Thursday, March 10, 2011

What8ver - the one place that serves Toast Box

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What8ver Cafe

1108 - 8328 Capstan Way, Richmond (Map)

What8ver Cafe on Urbanspoon

Food: 3.5
Service: 3.5
Price: Fair

Anyone who's been reading this blog knows that I highly recommended Dazzling Cafe in Taiwan that serves honey toast box, so when Buddha Boy left a message telling me there is a place in Richmond that also had the Honey Toast Box, I was ecstatic, and immediately went looking for it.

The only clue I had to finding this place was that it's at Union Square. So basically R and I went to all the possible restaurants and asked one by one if they served the Toast Box. After about 4 restaurants, we were about to give up, until I decide to try one last one: What8ver Cafe. To my surprise, this time the answer was "Yes, we do have it, but only one flavor". I didn't even ask the price and just said "I will take it", after all this is what I came for.

What8ver Cafe is very much a bubble tea type joint that served light meals, and of course some desserts, such as waffles and toasts. Just like it's counterpart in Taiwan, they too have a limit time restriction (90min) for dining, but only on weekends. The one good thing I immediately like about the place is that it's HST included, so I know exactly what I will be paying.
Since it's a BBT place, we both started with a drink. R ordered the hot herbal grass jelly with 3 'toppings' of your choice for $4.50. For the toppings, R went with green bean, red bean and tapioca noodles. The grass jelly had that typical herbal taste, but it's sweetness level is something R and I disagree on. I think it's good, but R found it too sweet (you can see who has the sweet tooth :P).
I ordered the hot fresh taro milk also for $4.50. This took forever to come, at least a good 15 minutes, but it was so worth it, because this was by far the best Taro drink I've tried. It was fresh, creamy, with just the right amount of sugar. I highly recommend trying this if you are taro lover.
They also served various Taiwanese snacks, which you can add $2 to turn it into a meal. The extra $2 will get you 1 bowl of marinated minced pork on rice, and $1 off your drink. To simplify things, it just means you can use $1 to purchase the pork on rice (originally $3.50). We ordered the marinated tempura, but they actually served us the deep fried kind. Anyways, despite being the wrong item, it was actually good. The tempura was nice and crispy, and the basil leaf was nice touch as well. Since we upgraded to the meal, we were also served the pork on rice. To me, this was disappointing as the pork was not juicy enough (too lean) and felt a bit over cooked.
We also got another snack: deep fried chicken nugget ($5.50). These were really tender and juicy with a nice kick of salt/pepper flavor. Once again, the addition of fried basil leaf just enhanced the flavor of this dish.

After 20 minutes of wait time, we were finally served the Honey Toast Box ($7.99). Their 'one flavor' was essentially just a regular toast box topped off with a huge scope of vanilla ice cream, chocolate Pocky, Oreo, strawberry sauce, strawberry and banana.


After almost finishing the whole thing (this was really filling), here is
what R and I thought:
- Bread box: used honey water and sugar to coat, then toasted. It was nice and crunchy
- Bread sticks: most were good, but some are not toasted long enough, thus became soggy really fast after soaked by ice cream/sauce.
- Ice cream is ice cream, but really loved the real strawberry sauce (sweet, yet a bit tart).
When comparing with the original from Dazzling cafe, the bread was not crunchy or buttery enough, but we still really enjoyed it.

Now if you just want to come here for the honey toast box, you will have to specifically ask for it, as it's still not on the menu despite the fact they been serving it for almost half an year. Also this is a dine in only item, because it does have to be eaten fresh. Overall, we liked it this place, as their food and service were both good.

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