An entry I don’t want to make: Gogo Tea Cafe

I have been M.I.A. for a bit. I’ve just been lazy – it’s not that stuff at the food-front has been boring, I have been stuffing myself and gaining the pounds and eating out – so I am terribly backlogged for posts! ;D

Anyway, I don’t really like to blog about restaurants I don’t like, so this post has actually been sitting in my drafts for a while now. It is a bit mean to give bad reviews, though at the same time wouldn’t it be cruel to not spread the word about places that are not worth dining at?

Anyway, so here it is, Gogo Tea Cafe – a tea house in Richmond that have waitresses in Cosplay. If you live under a rock, then it doesn’t really matter that you don’t know what Cosplay is – this would just be another tea house with waitresses in funky uniforms. Unfortunately, it is worse if you are into Cosplay, because this would just be another tea house with waitresses in funky uniforms. And not Cosplay. Whatever. When it first opened it was like the “have you been there yet?” “we have to check it out” type of it place. Trendy? Not really. Oh they try. But I expected more from a so called  “maid” cafe.

I will say though, it’s nice that the cafe is upstairs (though the view is not all that spectacular), and the place looks pretty slick:
Gogo tea

Unfortunately, there is a very bad stench from their bathroom, and unfortunately, their bathrooms are located right at their entrance, conveniently killing whatever appetite you have as you walk in.

Again, I will say this: their menu is quite big, and varied, so there are endless choices: fried snacks, noodles, hotpots, sizzling hot plates, all kinds of meat. Not bad. Typical tea house stuff.

First up, chocolate, and mango milk tea. They come with the set lunches, which is good. Unfortunately, the latter tastes just like this instant bubble tea powder mix I bought once at some Taiwanese tea house:
Tea

Tomato rice with an egg on top:
Tomato rice

Vegetable hot pot. There are quite a few things in here, which is good I guess. Although, this is not vegetarian – their choice of soup base is either chicken or pork, or beef. They did not have a vegetable soup.
Vegetable pot

Rest of the hotpot sides: more of what’s already in the hotpot – tofu, mushrooms, cabbage etc. There was also a bowl of white rice. Soy and spicy sauces for dipping, as well as minced ginger and green onions. And I guess it is pretty thoughtful of them to give you a little lychee jelly snack as a dessert:
Veggie sides

Herb Chicken hot pot. They’re not skimping on the chicken, I guess:
Herb Chicken Hot pot

The sides, same kind of stuff, but with (ugh) SPAM:
Herb Chicken sides

I will say I always like little heated pots you get all to yourself for a meal. One of their stoves didn’t really work though, so the pot of stuff never boiled up or even stayed warm. (We ended up just switching the pots mid-meal, nobody bothered to replace the stove.) Neither the drinks nor the food was great enough to have me going back ever again. It was also very empty for a weekend lunch. Despite this, the service was slow and rather unattentive.

Ugh. And I am so done with this post.

Gogo Tea Cafe

2170- 8188 McKim Way, Richmond

604 244 7336

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Worst. Bagel. Ever.

worst bagel ever

I got sucked into this little place called Bagel and Coffee, it was across the street from my (very Japanese) hair stylist, and I’ve been meaning to check it out. Bagel and Coffee is located on the south side (ie. side facing McKim Way) of Pacific Plaza – on the corner of Cambie and Garden City in Richmond. It’s the giant words Coffee and Bagel that lured me in, because – well, it’s coffee and bagels, why else?

It was a rainy day, almost lunch time, there was one guy sitting outside and I think another customer inside the little shop. The decor is quite pleasant and warm, and it was clean inside.

The woman working there gave a very friendly welcome as I walked in. She speaks Mandarin, although I don’t. Anyway, today’s bagel was whole wheat, she touted (at least twice as I can remember, I think it’s because whole wheat is soooo good for you). So I got one. It was still warm. 

From the looks of it i should have known better. Or at least I should have when I sniffed at it. Of course it smelled like that very characteristic smell of whole wheat, which isn’t the problem, but it smelled so doughy and underbaked that I should have known better than to sink my teeth in it. 

Of course I did. And it was just… ugh. Gross. It wasn’t really underbaked, but it felt like it. The outside was not tough, it wasn’t even bagel like. It was heavy but it wasn’t the right kind of bagel-dense. It was like somebody’s first ever attempt at making bagels and they forgot to boil it or something. I just. Ugh. I’m sorry. I can’t continue on with this post.

 

I didn’t try their coffee. Maybe it’s better. Maybe somebody else would like to try it and tell me what it’s like, because I’m not going back soon.

 

 

Bagel and Coffee

Pacific Plaza- 8888 Odlin Crescent, Richmond

OY! Bagels from Save On Foods

Baked in Store

It was a lazy, get-all-my-groceries-done-at-one-supermarket kind of day, so I was tricked into buying bagels at Save-On-Foods. Supermarket bagels are essentially baked rolls with holes in the middle that aren’t boiled, and look exactly like it. (See IGA’s, for example.) These ones looked OK from the outside, and were on sale. Probably a bad idea, but the mantra of my Bagel Quest is to try bagels from all walks of life. So what the heck.

What can I say about this thing? It’s not a bagel. It tastes like nothing – worse than Tim Horton’s plain bagel. Weighing at almost 5oz (that’s pretty heavy for a bagel this size), it is just a really, really dense roll with a hole in the center.

plain bagel

At least with Safeway’s bagels, I could finish the bagel as what it was. And if I had no other choice, I wouldn’t mind eating them if I really wanted a bagel fix. But these Save On ones were so bad I just couldn’t … So I took the rest of them, sliced them up, toasted them in the oven and made bagel chips. Less suffering this way. 😉

bagel crisp

General Mill’s Oatmeal Crisp

Oatmeal Crisp

Didn’t buy this because of the claims of “healthiness”, but thinking it might actually be a crispy cereal. Turns out both “oatmeal” and “crisp” are misnomers. Though there was, surpisingly, a bit of almond flakes present. First of all – UGH! This was WAAAY TOO SWEET! Tastes like wheat bran flakes, with little oat-ness to it. In my opinion it had more of a hard crunchiness than light crispiness, so “Sweet Wheat Crunch” rather than “Oatmeal Crisp” would have been a more appropriate name. Won’t buy it or any other versions of Oatmeal Crisp again.

Naked Bagel @ Tim Horton’s

Tim’s Plain Bagel

The object of my Bagel Quest is to find bagels that are delicious as is – plain and without any added toppings. Indeed, my bagelogy is that if your plain bagels ain’t good, your bagels ain’t good, period. Anyway, last week I had a sliced, toasted plain bagel (“Naked Bagel”) from Tim Horton’s. Probably something everybody is familiar with. Uggh…not great. Semi-dense, not that chewy. It definitely lacked that slight sweetness that I love in bagels. In fact, there is hardly any flavor to it. That’s probably why they kept asking if I wanted cream cheese.

I’d say that if I was born without a sense of taste or smell, then I might be able to identify this object as a bagel just by mouthfeel.

Jang Mo Jib (外母屋) @ Aberdeen

Boo… Kimchee soon doo boo

 

This is a rarity – a food court post. I don’t do food courts. It’s gross, and fast food is not really food. But on the rare occasion, maybe you feel cheap. Maybe you feel like having that not-really-food food, and enjoying the frenzied food court ambience with your plastic tray, on your plastic chair, at your sticky table. And leaving feeling hungover, dirty, and stupid over your momentary lapse in judgement. “Food prostitution” – it happens.

That brings us to Jang Mo Jib (外母屋) at the Aberdeen Centre food court. There may be better choices, but at the time this seemed like a safe choice for lunch. (1. Customers present. 2. Run by Koreans. 3. Two Jang Mo Jib eat-in restaurants in the city.) They are also avid supporters of their national conglomerate, Samsung:

Jang Mo Jib 

There appeared to be some variety with the 19 items on the menu. Several samples are present for the shy, lazy, and mute to just point and pick. And look! “Today Specail“!

For the banchan picks: kimchi, bean sprouts, pickled radish, marinated kelp, or potatoes. Typical stuff, plain looking. Everybody gets to pick two banchan, but the lunchbox people get three. Maybe because they are … “specail“. For the meals you can choose from 4 grades of spiciness: Spicy, Medium, Mild and Not. Service is fast and accurate, with minimal speaking from all, and a lot of smiling from the kind Korean lady.

 P’s Beef Boolgogee lunchbox ($7.95) 

Chicken bulgoggee W’s Chicken Boolgoee lunchbox ($7.95)

  My Kimchi tofu pot @ mild spicy ($6.95)

 

I don’t think it says much when the best thing about the meal was the very ordinary banchan, and the second best the sticky rice. The third may be my can of Diet Coke. Nothing much in the Kimchi tofu pot: A sprinkle of green onions, a lot of tofu, and two pieces of kimchi. The soup had tiny bits of pork in it. And unless an egg looks like tofu, there was no egg as promised on the menu. At least they didn’t lie about the spiciness – The mild was mild, ie. just red looking and not at all spicy. (I also don’t notice any real vegetarian options here. Maybe you can tell them to omit the meat in the tofu pots but it looks like part of the soup base.)

Definitely on the B List, this one. I have never eaten at the actual Jang Mo Jib restaurants but now I don’t really want to.

 

 

Jang Mo Jib  (外母屋)

Take out: Aberdeen Centre Food Court , Richmond

2xEat in: 8320 Alexandra St, Richmond, and 1719 Robson St, Vancouver