My favorite hang out: Leisure 儷舍

This isn’t so much a post introducing or reviewing Leisure (儷舍). There isn’t one blog post that could suffice for that. The first time I have ever been to Leisure was … oh, 10 years ago. This is probably the one tea house (or eatery for that matter) in which I’ve spent most time, after my own kitchen and dining room. I’ve sat here for hours straight, into the wee hours of the morning. I’ve visited days in a row. I’ve come on hot summer nights and cold winter afternoons. I have been here with pretty much every single one of my friends, with my family, on dates, with strangers I’ve just met, for take out… you name it. 

And yet, I still have not tried every single one of the 200+ items on their menu. I have been a fan since highschool – and back then, whenever and wherever I went for bubble tea, I would only eat fried tofu, fried chicken nuggets. It is no different at this place (In retrospect I wonder why I wasn’t at all adventurous before). Later on I fell in love with shaved-ice desserts with red bean and fruits, and other sweet things like waffles. Leisure’s food menu has many, many sweet and savory Taiwanese-style snacks, tofu drinks/desserts, thick toast, sandwiches, pastries, fried stuff, crepes… The drink menu boasts pages of bubble tea, black/green tea, fruit/flower tea, coffee, all in a plethora of flavors and varieties. In my opinion their major strength are not bubble tea per se but their snacks, and some of the more specialty fruit teas.

The thing about Leisure is that, unlike a lot of bubble tea houses, it is not a rowdy teenage hangout. Young people do come here (some even with textbooks in the pretense of studying). But Leisure’s clientele are of all ages and backgrounds. You can come here with your family with little kids, but you can also bring a business associate here. Heck, you can even come here with your grandmother and she will have no problem fitting in. The place will definitely be full and people will be lining up starting at about 9PM on busy weekend nights, yet inside the atmosphere remains relaxed and quiet as the name of the place suggests. J and I used to call it “The Bavarian House” because it’s so … well, bavarian, but comforting.

leisure

 The servers are crazy busy when the place gets full, but they are super nice, keep refilling your tea pots, and never kick you out. Considering how busy they get the food doesn’t take too long to get to your table and they don’t screw up orders. You can also see into their open kitchen/bar area where they are cutting up fresh fruit, making crepe batter, and preparing your taro milk tea with half pearls and half grass jelly with precision and efficiency.

One of my favorites is the longan-ginger tea, which is just tea with pieces of longan fruit and large slices of ginger. Recently They also added a longan tea with Gogi berries.

longan ginger tea

They make good thick toast here. This was something interesting I have not tried before – seaweed thick toast. It is a savory toast topped with bits of seaweed, green onion, and sesame seeds:

seaweed toast

Never had their coffee before; they only have coffee and not espresso. I went during my Christmas “break” and ordered what the server told me was their most popular – the Blue Mountain coffee. It is only so-so, a bit too acidic for my taste. I think I will stick with their teas.

Blue Mountain Black

Leisure has been going strong for ever since I first went there 10 years ago, thanks to a large menu, good food and drinks, friendly service, and a welcoming atmosphere. Their prices are not super cheap, but I have never found it to be unreasonably expensive. Their shaved ice and ice cream waffles are must try’s.

Leisure 儷舍
1110-8391 Alexandra Rd, Richmond (Located in the mall with Kam-Do restaurant)
I don’t think they open until after lunch, but they stay open quite late… until your conversation is finished. 😉 Try to come early on busy nights to avoid parking hell on Alexandra and long line ups.

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9 Responses

  1. Ever tried “Pearl Drops” at Willingdon and Hastings? It’s the best place for bubble tea that I have found thus far.

  2. God I used to go there…

  3. I’ve never been to Pearl Drops… The best place I’ve found for bubble tea is Dragon Ball on Oak and King Ed. Ever tried that place?

  4. Ben – no wonder why you look so familiar. ;P

  5. o.O No, never been to Dragon Ball but I will give it a try. You definitely need to try Pearl Drops… it’s “wholesome”. 😛

    You’re making me pine after bubble tea even though I have supposedly given up bubble tea. (can one really EVER give up bubble tea?)

  6. i thought i looked familiar because we azns all look same

  7. as a fellow bubble tea whore, i must also proudly proclaim that I, too, have “supposedly given up” bubble tea.

    MWAHAHAHAHA. but such a statement makes no sense whatsoever!

  8. Damn then i can never tell who is a ben look a like and who is real the next time i’m there. X_X

  9. OMG, I haven’t been to Leisure in… in… possibly 8 years! I used to get the Apple Milk Tea, I think. Hot.

    I think what made us stop going was age: couldn’t/cant’ really handle “late nights” anymore. Teehee.

    =)

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