Taiwanese dessert shops Meet Fresh and Shiny Tea open, plus Chinese resto roundup

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      Here are two Taiwan-based dessert shops that have opened up over the past few months, as well as some brief notes about some Chinese restaurant openings and closing.

      A taste of Taiwan

      The international Taiwanese dessert shop Meet Fresh has locations around the world, including Taiwan, China, South Korea, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S.

      The company opened a Richmond location at 1136–8328 Capstan Way in 2016, in addition to a spot in Toronto.

      Meet Fresh

      Last week, it opened up its second location in the Lower Mainland at 1232 Robson Street in downtown Vancouver (in the former address of Kanpai Teppanyaki).

      The sprawling menu covers a wide range of Asian desserts, covering taro balls (with red bean soup), tofu pudding, herbal jelly (with herbal soup and taro balls), purple rice porridge, shaved iced, slushies, whipped cream tea, tea, and milk tea.

      There's everything from taro shaved ice with condensed milk or tofu pudding with sweet potato and barley to sweet potato slush with whipped cream or herbal blended ice with herbal jelly and whipped cream.

      Shine on (and on and on)

      The brightly lit Shiny Tea opened up on the second floor of International Village (88 West Pender Street) back in January.

      Shiny Tea Vancouver 溫哥華嚮茶

      This Taiwanese tea shop offers a sprawling and seemingly endless menu covering almost every Asian tea beverage concoction you can think of: milk tea, honey tea, jade tea, tea lattes, tea with fruit juice or vinegar, ice slushes, tea macchiatos, and more.

      Whether you've got a craving for a caramel pu-erh tea latte, aiyu jelly lemon green tea, plum vinegar oolong tea, or a honey longan red date tea, it's all there. Prices range from $3.35 to $5.25. 

      Add-ons include black or white pearls; grass, coffee, aiyu, or coconut jelly; mung bean; taro; aloe; and more.

      Shiny Tea Vancouver 溫哥華嚮茶

      But as if that's not enough, the menu also include soft-serve tea gelato.

      A rotating selection of daily flavours include the likes of mango green tea, strawberry black tea, jasmine smoked green tea, pear green tea, pu-er tea, and roasted tie guan yin tea. Sauces can be added—including mango, caramel, plum, molasses, condensed milk, passion fruit, or chocolate—plus add ons.

      The company also has locations in Aberdeen Square in Richmond and Crystal Mall in Burnaby.

      Brief bites

      Here are a few brief notes on some openings and closings:

      21 Nautical Miles

      • The extravagantly decorated 21 Nautical Miles has closed at 1257 Hamilton Street in Yaletown. The seafood bar, which specialized in Northern Chinese cuisine with fusion influences, opened last May but, after getting skewered in numerous reviews, it failed to survive its first year in business.

      Na Jia restaurant has opened on the False Creek seawall at 1018 Beach Avenue, near the Burrard Bridge. It takes over the premises formerly inhabited by Chili House Thai Bistro and has renovated it with traditional Chinese décor. The menu includes items such as shredded pork with chili garlic sauce, diced almond chicken, cod fish with eggplant, chilled fish jelly, Chinese yams with osmanthus, and more.

      Guoyan Cuisine Group

      Guoyan Cuisine Group has opened at 792 Denman Street, taking over from Chong Xing Szechuan Cuisine. Dishes include General Tso's chicken, fish fillet in Szechuan chili oil broth, Szechuan hot and sour noodle soup, and more.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook