Update Jan 20, 2013: This restaurant is now closed.
Having to drive pass Crystal Mall everyday to work, one can’t help but notice the food shops that are situated outside. One such that caught my eye was Bean Flower, which specializes in Taiwanese tofu pudding.
I love tofu pudding, especially freshly made ones. There’s a Cantonese one in Richmond that I used to frequent with Boyfriend, but that will be another post.
I guess this is what most people mean by “a hole in the wall”, as this quite literally is to me. It was simply decorated, with 4 tables, and a counter. I don’t think there’s a washroom here.
The wall behind the counter has their full menu on a chalkboard. Their table menu is simply printed out and placed into sheet protectors…very typical of “a hole in the wall” restaurants I think.
Aside from tofu pudding, they also make bubble tea, and a few choices of savory items such as noodles, wontons, dumplings, etc.
I picked the Tofu pudding with taro rice balls. The main reason why I want to come here is because of the chewy rice balls. These particular ones are different from past ones I’ve had in that they are ‘flat’ (you can kind of see that in the next picture).
Disappointingly, the actual item looks a lot different from the pictures they’ve posted outside the store and on the walls inside the store. Firstly, there’s a lot less rice balls and tofu, it’s just swimming in the brown sugar syrup, the overall presentation was just not very pleasing to the eye.
Taste-wise, it was disappointing too. I don’t know if you’ll know what I mean but it seemed like they’ve given me the “skin” layer of the tofu pudding. That layer is coarser, less smooth, a bit grainy even. If you’ve had boxed tofu pudding from the supermarket you’ll probably know what I mean, it’s like that layer at the bottom, it’s rough. I’m used to my fresh tofu pudding being smooth.
The taro balls were chewy, but taste-less. I was expecting a bit of sweetness but there was none. I can taste taro though.
This was my companion’s Red Bean Soup with taro rice balls. I guess they took “soup” too literally, as you can see how watery this stuff is. It’s like, they’ve just used the water they’ve boiled the red beans in and added the other ingredients. My companion’s theory is that it’s basically the same sugar syrup as mine, but with different ingredients. I didn’t ask but I’m guessing it’s not that good either.
Having said all that, miraculously I’m willing to give them another chance. I’ll probably go with my coworker once more to see if their tofu pudding IS as ‘textured’ as this first time. I really want to like the taro rice balls. The whole combination just sounds too tempting to me.
I would like to say though that the service was very very friendly. It was very home-ly. It took them a while to prepare our stuff though even though including us there were only 2 tables equaling 4 orders.
I use to frequent this place cause my girlfriend gets a craving for this at least once a week. The tofu was silky when I had it, but that might have changed.
We also liked having the shaved ice here on hot summer days.
Service is top notch as you say, but its been a while since I’ve been there, and not sure if the same mom and pop duo are working (or owns) there now.