A relatively new restaurant to make an impact on the Richmond restaurant horizon, is Bubble Waffle Cafe. A few months back, I found myself peering through the windows and admiring their posters, prior to their opening. I forgot about the restaurant completely until I noticed the lineup while driving past one evening. The other thing that caught my eye was the restaurant signage that read ‘Egg Waffles’ in Chinese characters. My instincts told me that we needed to immediately go to this restaurant, and that is exactly what we tried to do.
It was too bad that the restaurant was completely packed, and the lineup outside wasn’t encouraging either. We tried to get a takeout menu to review, but the staff avoided making eye contact with us. They were obviously too busy to pay any attention to anyone except for the patrons sitting at their tables, so we left empty handed.
The next time we returned, it was in the early evening; still too early for dinner too late for a proper lunch. But, that didn’t mean that I wasn’t hungry! We got a table immediately that evening. The menu selection was a long list of what would be considered Hong Kong style hawker food, with ‘cart noodles’ as the main attraction.
There were three of us at Bubble Waffle Cafe. Not enough to order more than one bowl of noodles, considering the number of appetizers we were anticipating. Our first appetizer came quickly, and we were all excited to try the curry fish balls (not before I took a picture, of course). The aromatic curry flavour had penetrated the tough skin of the fish balls, a fully ripened curry fish ball. There was an additional scoop of thick curry sauce sitting atop the fish balls. The fish balls were spicy, which I quite enjoyed, but a touch salty.
Out of curiosity, we ordered the shake shake fries, which were french fries served with a flavoured powder. We placed the fries into the paper bag supplied to us, and tossed the fries about to coat them in the spicy steak flavoured powder. I’ll have to admit, it is always amusing when the food becomes interactive. There may have been cayenne or paprika used as an ingredient in the powder, because my tongue started to feel numb.
We sat for a while without the food supply being replenished as the staff weaved back and forth in the tiny restaurant. We realized that they may have forgotten about us, and had to remind the staff what the rest of our order was. They were quick to fix the issue, but maybe a little unapologetic. But, that is the standard when it comes to most of the Chinese restaurants.
The next thing brought to our table was what we hoped to get for dessert. Don’t get me wrong, we enjoyed the egg waffles they brought just the same, but it was a little unexpected. The honeycomb-like egg waffles were served fresh off the griddle, and still very hot. Each crispy bubble segment was creamy and almost custard like on the inside. It was quite obvious why they named the restaurant what they did at that point.
The noodles followed, shortly after. I have never been to Hong Kong, so I can’t compare to the noodles there. But, I like that there were plenty of choices for noodles, toppings, and broths at Bubble Waffle Cafe. The noodles were delicious, but they didn’t outshine the egg waffle.
There were several things on the menu that I wanted to try, but my stomach just didn’t have any more capacity. Though, the food tasted delicious, the kitchen staff seemed too busy to concern themselves with presentation, and slopped the food onto their dishes at times. I hope that the next time I visit, I will be able to get a table just as easily.
**I will be visiting Portland, Oregon this weekend! A recap of my food cart experiences to come.