Pearl Castle - Burnaby & Surrey Locations

Pearl Castle has locations in Richmond, Surrey, and Burnaby! I've been to all their locations and I have to say, the food is generally consistent throughout the locations (with the exception of a few items.) The service on the other hand, varies greatly from location to location! The Richmond locations are especially busy, resulting in a lack of service. The Burnaby and Surrey locations tend to have better service, as the waitresses seem to be less stressed and are more polite as a result! :) 

I've reviewed both their Richmond locations as well as their Burnaby locations, but this post will comprise of some other items from the Burnaby location as well as some new items I've tried at their Surrey location! Their Burnaby location is located in Old Orchard Plaza across from Crystal Mall. It's tucked in a corner, so you really have to look for it! The Surrey location is strategically placed inside of T&T in Surrey Central Mall, which is a pretty wise move haha!

Another thing about Pearl Castle: unlike most asian restaurants, they don't provide you with tea because they expect you to order a drink off of their extensive drink menu, so if you don't want anything sweet, you  can ask for a glass of water!
Roasted Rice Lattea
4/5 stars
If you don't know what roasted rice tastes like, you have to try this! It's delish! The roasted flavour is very prominent, with a heavy grain taste. The drink is topped up with cream, which adds an extra boost of sweetness to the tea! However, if you're looking to get your money's worth, I would suggest getting one of their frappes/smoothies, cause they're priced the same as the tea haha!

Chicken Teriyaki 
4.5/5 stars
I wasn't expecting this to be that great, but this actually turned out to be AWESOME! After I was done, I wanted more haha! The chicken was super tender, and the sauce was sweet, salty, and different from your typical teriyaki sauce! The green onion added a nice freshness to the dish, which I really enjoyed! You can also order this dish with fried rice, but you get less sauce, because they place the chicken on the fried rice, to ensure it doesn't get soggy, so there's less sauce haha

All the rice combos come with a side dish. On the menu they list the dishes separately so if you want a combo with rice you have to add it for an extra $2.25, which is a little deceiving at first glance!
Chicken Nuggets w/ Fried Rice Combo
4/5 stars
Yien Su Gi (Chicken Nuggets) is Pearl Castle's signature dish. The chicken nuggets are perfectly seasoned with ample amounts of Taiwanese 5 spice. The nuggets are super crispy,and crunchy, albeit a bit dry. However for a bubble tea place, these are more than acceptable! Better than Bubble World, that's for sure!

House Fried Rice
4/5 stars
Their fried rice is another one of my staples! The fried rice at Pearl Castle is one of my favourites to order whenever I go! The rice is long grain rice, that's fluffy, with an amazing aroma! Depending on the location and the day you go, the saltiness varies haha. Twice the rice was super salty, once it was rather bland, and another time, it was just the right! Definitely a consistency issue, but if they fixed it, it would be perfect!

Milk Seafood Hotpot
4/5 stars
Note the bin bin crackers haha. I was addicted to those when I was younger and allergic to everything so I thought these were amazing haha. Usually you get jello as a dessert, but that day we went, we received bin bin crackers, which I thought was pretty random.
I've ordered the Milk Seafood hotpot before and this time there was a lot more ingredients in it! Last time I had it it was rather lacking in ingredients, which was unfortunate since the broth was so good! The broth is really creamy and fragrant from the sweet and salty milk base. My grandpa couldn't stop slurping it haha
Slicked Pork w/Vermicelli
My dad ordered this so I didn't get to try it. Compared to the other dishes, the portion size was really small. It didn't come with any side dishes either, despite being a combo. The beef was sliced really slin, and there wasn't much vermicelli in it. However, my dad remarked that he enjoyed it and that he found it rather tasty, so I guess that counts for something haha!
3 Cup Chicken Combo
4.5/5 stars
This is the BEST thing I've tried at Pearl Castle to date. 3 Cup chicken (San Bai Gi) is seasoned with a blend of 3 spices, which is what gives it that distinct flavour! If you've never tried 3 cup chicken you definitely should because the flavour is really unique! I was also really impressed by the presentation and portion size. It was served on this large boxy iron skillet and the portion size was so huge my parents were questioning if I could finish it. And yes, I did end up finishing all of it harharhar

The side dishes that came with the 3 cup chicken consisted of some spicy fried tofu, bak choy, and bean sprouts. The fried tofu was a bit too hard and dry, but had been properly seasoned. I didn't try the bean sprouts but the bak choy was rather standard. 
Kimchi Hotpot
2/5 stars
My mom's choice food of the night was the Kimchi Hotpot! I advised her not to order it because unless you're at a Korean restaurant, you really shouldn't order a kimchi dish because it's most likely not going to be executed very well haha. She went ahead and did anyways because she said she was craving kimchi haha. Aside from the kimchi, the hotpot was really lacking in ingredients. It was basically just kimchi soaked in a spicy soup base. Nonetheless, she still enjoyed it! The hotpots at Pearl Castle also come with satay sauce, which you can ask them to refill!
Mango Pudding Dessert
3/5 stars

Unlike the other Pearl Castle locations, this one in Surrey actually gave us real pudding, instead of the artificially flavoured packaged ones haha!The mango pudding on that night was surprisingly tasty! The mango flavour was potent and the consistency was right, it was firm without being too mushy.

Here's a picture of the mango pudding on another day I went! That night it was cut differently and it tasted different too haha
Fried Chicken w/ Black Pepper Sauce

1/5 stars (Surrey Location)
3.5/5 stars (Richmond Location)

My dad has ordered this same dish before at the Richmond Centre location, and this was nothing like the dish he had there! It was as if this was a completely different dish, in a bad way. The fried chicken had been saturated with a ridiculous amount of bean sprouts and sauce, resulting in the chicken becoming soggy and rather gross. Since it was covered with the sauce, the flavours of the chicken were overpowered by the pepper. To make matters worse, the sauce didn't taste like black pepper sauce at all, it actually tasted sour, which was really strange. At the Richmond Centre location they serve the fried chicken on the side to ensure the chicken doesn't get soggy, and the sauce is real black pepper sauce! I was rather disappointed because it wasn't the dish I was expecting and since Pearl Castle is a franchise, their dishes should be consistent across all locations.

Here's a photo of what the fried chicken w/black pepper dish looked like at the Richmond Centre location!

 Red Fermented Pork

This dish and the pudding frappe (below) is actually from my Continental Centre review, but for convenience's sake, I also copied it here for you to read haha!

4.5/5 stars
This was great! The exterior batter was fried perfectly, and had a great crunch. The sauce they use is a sweet  honey based soy sauce that complimented the pork very well. The pork is referred to as fermented due to the fact that is was marinated in fermented bean curd. One of my favourite meat dishes at Pearl Castle!

Pudding Frappe
3.5/5 stars
I was expecting this to be a frappe with pudding on the bottom, but I guess I was wrong! It was on the sweeter side, but you could always ask for half sweet. The frappes at Pearl Castle are very thick, creamy, and milky, so I would suggest sharing if you're also ordering a meal, cause this was really filling haha.

The Continental Centre location is the only location that gives out cream puffs as dessert! Granted, they're just frozen Costco puffs, but at least its better than the artificial cup jello haha! However, I still prefer the mango pudding dessert at the Surrey location! Apparently if you're lucky they'll have grass jelly pudding instead, which is my favourite haha!

Overall, Pearl Castle is a great place for relaxing with friends over bubble tea, fried food, and Taiwanese music! I find myself defaulting to Pearl Castle a lot because you know what to expect and the food/drinks are generally predictable! With the plethora of Pearl Castle locations throughout Greater Van, you'll never be deprived of chicken nuggets! :D

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