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What8ver Cafe

February 20, 2012

It’s been nearly a year since my last post! Don’t worry, I was only temporarily on leave and did not intend to neglect my blog forever. Although I have been meaning to sneak in a few entries in between my busy schedule, it never did manage to work out. Now that reading break has commenced, I’m planning to get my blog active again and aiming to update it at least two times a week.

My visit to What8ver Cafe was pretty spontaneous actually. PonDeRing and I were planning to go there after shopping at Daiso to try the honey toast box, but changed our minds when two of our friends who were supposed to go with us didn’t come in the end. While shopping at the newly opened H-Mart at Aberdeen Centre, we ran into some friends who were going to What8ver Cafe for dinner and decided to join them. Thanks for inviting us, J!

What8ver Cafe is a bubble tea place in Richmond that serves Taiwanese snacks, light meals, and drinks. It’s pretty small inside and only has around six tables, so I would recommend making a reservation to avoid long waits during peak hours.  They do not have any full sized meals on the menu, but you can upgrade to a meal by adding $2 to any single Taiwanese snack item.

What I was particularly interested in at What8ver Cafe was the honey toast box. I first heard of honey toast boxes when I read about a place called Dazzling Cafe in Taiwan that serves it there. A honey toast box is a half a loaf of bread that is hollowed, and the inside of the bread is cut into strips which is then coated with honey and toasted. It is then decorated with ice-cream and fruits to create a fancy looking dessert.  Despite being the specialty of What8ver Cafe, the honey toast box is not on the menu – you just have to know about it and ask for it. Since the honey toast box generally takes a longer time to prepare, we started off by ordering two to share between seven people. They have three flavours available: matcha + red bean, strawberry, and vanilla. We chose the matcha + red bean and the strawberry honey toast boxes.

*Excuse the bad pictures – we were seated in a dim part of the restaurant and our main source light came from the flame of two small tea candles.

Strawberry Honey Toast Box ($8):

I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of the toast box before it was cut apart by the waitress. This toast box came with slices of strawberries, custard cream, a scoop of strawberry ice-cream, and strawberry sauce on top.

Matcha +Red Bean Honey Toast Box ($8):

How it looked like deconstructed:

This honey toast box came with red beans, custard cream, and a scoop of matcha ice-cream on top. Comparing this to the strawberry honey toast box, I liked this one much better. The bitterness of the matcha ice-cream complemented well with the sweetness of the honey coated bread sticks and red beans.

Although the honey toast boxes were good, I have to admit that I wasn’t entirely blown away. In terms of taste, I thought the bread sticks were a little too sweet and preferred eating the “box” of the toast which was not as crunchy and coated with less honey. This may be due to the fact that I’m not a big fan of honey, and people who do enjoy the taste of honey will have different opinions than I do.  I also expected the honey toast box to be fancier in its presentation, but that was not the case here. I feel that four people per honey toast box is perfect – although the seven of us finished all of the strawberry honey toast box, we couldn’t finish the matcha + red bean one. Since bread is filling, we were essentially half full from the honey toast boxes before the other food arrived.

Green Milk Tea with Pearls $3.50:

It was a good thing PonDeRing and I shared this, since it was too much for one person to finish. The glass that the drink was served in is pretty unique – PonDeRing commented that the glass resembled a mayonnaise jar. The green milk tea was good and did not taste overly sweet. Since the glass was so big, we ended up only finishing around half of it.

Aloe + Lemon Tea:

Took a picture of Robot Penguin’s drink because it looked so pretty. I thought it tasted very light and refreshing. RP said that it is a good drink to have during the summer.

Taiwanese Deep Fried Chicken (鹹酥雞) $5.50:

This dish is a popular snack item in the nightmarkets of Taiwan and was done well here.  The chicken pieces fried until crispy and were tender on the inside. The basil leaves added a hint of fragrance to the chicken pieces that this dish would not be the same without.

Taiwanese Deep Fried Squid Tentacles (炸魷魚)$5:

The squid tentacles were prepared the same way as the chicken nuggets. Again, the basil leaves were a nice touch and added a fragrant flavour to the deep fried squid tentacles.

Taiwanese Deep Fried Pork Chop (炸排骨):

The pork chop tasted authentically Taiwanese – like how my grandma makes it.  The sauce on the side wasn’t really needed in my opinion. I can’t recall how it tasted since I only tried a bit – maybe it was tonkatsu sauce.

Braised pork belly over rice (魯肉飯):

This is the bowl of rice that you get when you upgrade to a meal. A pretty good deal, since it’s much better than plain white rice. The braised pork belly was flavourful and went well with the rice.

All in all, What8ver Cafe is a great place to hang out with friends for a taste of authentic Taiwanese snacks and bubble tea drinks. It’s also one of the few places in the lower mainland that serves honey toast boxes. I’m planning to try the honey toast box at Dazzling Cafe in Taipei when I’m there in the summer.  I would probably come back to try some other snack items the next time I’m in the vicinity and missing Taiwanese food.

What8ver Cafe on Urbanspoon

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 23, 2012 7:12 AM

    I can’t wait to eat grandma’s tonkatsu!! I miss her cooking so much. ><

    I love the price of bbt here, but they have too few snack selections. Toast box didn't blow me away either. Maybe because we are desensitized already, since the ones in Taiwan are so much cuter. :P

  2. February 29, 2012 7:03 AM

    How was H-mart? Last time I went they were not open yet.

    • February 29, 2012 8:47 PM

      It’s similar to the one at downtown, but not as big~ I think they have a smaller selection of Korean products too, as Amy and I were trying to find Korean mochi bread mix but they didn’t have it in stock… =( Sad.

  3. March 1, 2012 7:25 PM

    Yay I’m glad you bumped into us :)

    I keep hearing about Dazzling and people keep showing me pictures…. I really really want to go there!!

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