Bubble World

Restaurant: Bubble World
Cuisine: Taiwanese/Chinese/Bubble Tea/Desserts
Last visited: February 14, 2011
Location: (Multiple locations) Surrey, BC (Guildford)
Address: 137-10090 152 Street
Price Range: $10 or less, $10-20

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 3
Service: 3
Ambiance: 3
Overall: 3
Additional comments:

  • Bubble tea franchise
  • Popular for bubble tea
  • Taiwanese casual cuisine
  • Extensive menu/bubble teas
  • Wide selection of hot food items
  • Allows customization of drinks
  • Some fresh fruit drinks
  • Great for snacks/drinks
  • Quick/casual
  • Cheap eats/budget friendly
  • Family friendly
  • Mon-Thurs & Sun: 11am – 1am
  • Fri-Sat: 11am – 2am

**Recommendations: 1/2 Matcha, 1/3 Almond & 1/3 Coconut Slush bubble tea, Milky Taro Ice Cream Slush, Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream Slush, Salty Peppery Chicken Nuggets

I might as well point it out even if you didn’t notice, but just in case you did, I should kill any assumptions. But yes, it was February 14, Valentine’s Day, and I spent it with Sherman. Don’t jump to conclusions because he’s happily married to his gorgeous wife Viv… as well as his blog. Yes, we’re both crazy obsessed, but he brings along a SLR and I’m lucky he shares his photos with me!

Anyways it was actually on this day that we really started planning Vancouver’s 1st Foodie Feast and putting our talk into action, or at least on paper. I guess you could call it blogger business? Since it was Valentine’s Day we decided to be extra classy and arrange our rendez vous over a fancy glass of bubble tea… in Guildford. Yes, we decided to go all out.

Bubble World is the most popular bubble tea franchise in Metro Vancouver. Although it specializes in bubble tea it offers a good variety of casual Taiwanese snacks and hot food too. It’s quick, casual, decent portion sizes and pretty affordable so there’s really not much to complain about. Of course I’m not going to be expecting anything gourmet here, but it is good value and the food is quite solid for a place that focuses on bubble tea.

What I like most about Bubble World is that they’re willing to customize your drinks as much as you want. They don’t give you a hard time and the menu is extensive so you can get really creative. Seriously I get so frustrated when bubble tea places won’t customize a drink even if it’s just adding extra ice or mixing two kinds of fruit. It drives me insane because those requests aren’t even unreasonable.

Although some consider Bubble World the “McDonald’s of Bubble Tea” I wouldn’t necessarily agree. Based on convenience, since they’re everywhere, I’d say yes, but quality wise I would say it depends on what you order. They do offer one of the best values in bubble tea and the hot food is made in house and upon order, although it varies from location to location.

I’ve been to several Bubble World locations before and I’ve had both good and bad experiences, but it just depends on what I ordered. It’s not my favourite place for bubble tea and it’s not in my top 5 choices, but I’ll still go based on convenience and I won’t really complain about it either.

On the table:

**1/2 Matcha, 1/3 Almond, 1/3 Coconut Slush – 4.5/6

  • $4.45
  • This is my own little invention and it was the first time I tried the combination.
  • Considering all of the flavours I chose came in powdered form, it was naturally a bit powdery in flavour and texture, which was expected.
  • The flavour was great though and the combination worked! I would totally order it again.
  • It was a sweet Matcha bubble tea with a creamy nuttiness of almond and a hint of aromatic coconut in the background.
  • They did a pretty good job on blending it and the portion was huge.

Lychee Slush – 2.5/6

  • $4.45
  • This was Sherman’s drink. I’ve ordered their lychee and mango slush before and I wasn’t a fan because they were both canned.
  • It tends to be overly sweet for me, but if you ask them to half the sugar or even skip the sugar then it’s way better.
  • It’s refreshing and the canned lychee is sweet enough already.
  • I don’t expect fresh lychee, and I don’t even know many places that offer fresh lychee bubble tea, but I’ve had better versions of it than here.
  • I do wish it was blended better because the ice and juice was separating a bit.
  • For a super blended and slushy version, see the lychee slush at Tri-ty Cafe here.

**Salty Peppery Chicken Nuggets – 4/6

  • $4.95
  • This is almost the must order at any Taiwanese bubble tea place. It’s as classic of a pairing as peanuts and beer.
  • It’s a typical Taiwanese snack and street food.
  • If you’ve never tried Taiwanese style chicken nuggets, you’re missing out. It’s nothing like the American ones and it’s 100x’s better and crispier.
  • It was pretty long strips of chicken “nuggets” and they weren’t too oily for being deep fried.
  • These ones were nicely seasoned with a hint of 5 spice, very crispy, boneless and juicy dark meat chicken bites.
  • The batter is very crispy and crunchy and a bit powdery in texture because it’s made with potato starch and corn starch.
  • The pepper is white pepper so it’s more aromatic and not spicy and it wasn’t that peppery at all in this case.
  • This isn’t the best version of Taiwanese chicken nuggets I’ve had, but they were still good. The best I’ve had so far are from Pearl Castle – see here.
  • Traditionally they’re fried with some Thai basil leaves and garlic before serving and I’ve only seen Beefy Beef Noodle and Kalvin’s Szechuan do that, but the actual nuggets taste better at Pearl Castle.

Pan Fried Egg Roll with Dry Meat Floss – 3.5/6

  • $4.25
  • This is a very casual Taiwanese snack or appetizer and I really like all the ingredients that go into it so I tend to order it when it’s available.
  • It’s almost “peasant” food, but I find it a comforting casual snack, and for what it is, it was actually done pretty well here.
  • It was pretty well stuffed and the dried pork floss was the crispy fried kind which is great to use in this roll.
  • It’s a thin pan-fried soft crepe wrapped around a fried egg and savoury crispy shredded dried pork floss (jerky), and it comes with a savoury sweet garlic sauce for dipping.
  • The sauce tastes like a sweet, syrupy sauce with a hint of sesame oil and lots of garlic paste. It’s slightly fishy with oyster sauce, and it doesn’t taste like oysters if you’ve never had it. It’s just very sweet and salty like Taiwanese style teriyaki sauce.
  • I liked this roll better than the one from Dinesty Chinese Restaurant, although the crepe was better there. It was also better than the one from Pearl Castle, although that one looks nicer.

Spicy Beef Noodle in Soup – 3.5/6

  • $7.95
  • For a bubble tea place, this was pretty good. It’s not going to be Wang’s Beef Noodle House, but it was decent and made in house.
  • It was actually quite spicy but the broth was a a bit flat without the depth of beef flavour being infused throughout.
  • The soup is usually much more complex with added spices as well, but I didn’t really expect anything complex here.
  • The noodles were soft and chewy and the soup was savoury and even a bit sweet at times followed by some chili oil heat that lingered for a bit.
  • There was also some pickled Chinese radish on top which I love because it gives it a tangy salty crunch.

  • There was about 6 fairly large pieces of beef brisket.
  • The pieces were rather lean and a bit inconsistent. Some were tender, but not melt in my mouth, while others were a bit tough and chewy.
  • The clear parts weren’t gelatinous for the most part, and I really can’t stand it when the clear parts are like elastic bands.
  • Overall it was good, not great, but it does the job to satisfy a quick craving. For a bubble tea place it’s pretty impressive, but Taiwanese beef noodles do get much better than this too.

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Bubble World (Surrey) on Urbanspoon

8 Comments

  • Elaine says:

    Have you been to Tapioca Express? For me that place has the best Salt & Pepper Chicken!

  • 4SlicesofCheese says:

    Second on the Tapioca Express S&P Chicken. Closest thing I have had to Taiwan. But go to the Richmond location.

  • Linda says:

    OMG i just had bubble world bbt yesterday! haha it’s funny because my bf’s cousins each had the mango and the lychee bbts and the one that had the mango one didn’t like it very much – the lychee was ok, but probably only because there were coconut jelly pieces instead of the pearls.

    we got the taro bbt which is my go to one – only if they have the milky slush version though, thats the best! i’m not really too much of a fan of their pearls or pearls in general – i find that there’s too much in there lol am i crazy? i like a couple of bites here and there but everytime i get like 5 or 6 in my mouth at the same time, i can’t taste the taro goodness 🙂

    i didn’t realize you could mix flavours there – wow, i should definitely try that next time, i’ve been to bubbleworld since highschool so it’s definitely a go to spot for me – that and dragonball or course 🙂

    the food is ok there – i like the noodles with the meatsauce lol plus the beef rolls are ok too but the sauce is waaaaay too sweet 🙂

  • Bow says:

    Don’t go to these places but had a pretty good mango slushy in the food court at Yohans. Am a sucker for anything mango. Nice combo you invented…although wouldn’t have thought matcha and almond would meld.Don’t like nuggets but don’t mind go chicken wings(Phom Phen, Golden Star, etc.).Never found any good soup broth and beef in Northern and Taiwanese noodle houses(Legendary Noodle House and S&W Pepper House comes to mind, there are others).Often the beef broth is flat, and the meat is tough.I prefer Cantonese beef brisket or Vietnamese Pho(Pho Linh opposiete Kingsgate mall).

  • KK says:

    Hi Mijune! Just wanna say I’m a big fan of ur blog! Great reviews all the time -> gave me lots of ideas for dining out. Just a tiny note* I believe the beef in the noodles are actually beef shank , which the tendon through the meat is suppose to give it a chewy texture. Keep up the awesome work!

  • Megan says:

    I’m not sure about the Richmond bubble world, but the Kingsway/Metrotown one is terrible. I find the bubble tea very runny and the coconut jelly is always super sweet. I much prefer Pearl Castle further up on Kingsway-their food is a bit less greasy too.

  • Mijune says:

    @Elaine – ohh you need to wait for my Pearl Castle post coming up lol… I love their chicken! Except I haven’t tried the ones from Tapioca Express… I also like the Beefy Beef Noodle ones. Tapioca Express I like, but they piss me off b/c they won’t let me customize my drink!!

    @4SlicesofCheese – ok now I really better go!!! Thanks!!

    @Linda – They DO have milky taro slush!!! It’s one of my favourites too!! They have it! You just need to order it! They’ll do it!

    @bow – I’m not a fan of their mango because it’s canned, but I LOVE the fresh mango moo shake at Phnom Penh! You’ll love that bow! I actually like the Wang’s Noodle House broth though!

    @KK – oh wow!! thank you so much kk!!! So honoured by your comment. yes! You’re definitely right about the tendons and being chewy, except I was referring to the overall peice of meat lol. I guess some pieces were chewy, but not in the “good” way… haha I should clarify! Thank YOU for your lovely comment! you’re great!!

    @Megan – I heard that too!!! I heard the Kingsway one is hurting!! 🙁 Try another location to see if it differs… or I will try THAT location and report back too 🙂

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