Update Feb 4, 2011: This restaurant is now closed.
There’s a new froyo kid in town!! And it goes by the name of Tuttimelon!
It seems like the frozen yogurt craze down South has gained momentum here in the Lower Mainland. The newest addition is located on Alexandra Road a couple doors from Kam Do. I’m so happy that some of them decided to open in good old Richmond. Boyfriend and I were fortunate to receive an invite from Gary and Benson to try out their yogurt products.
Boyfriend: On the left wall, the ‘wave’ contours is actually a set-standard for all Tuttimelon stores. So are the white tables and green/orange seating.
Tuttimelon is well established in the States but this location here is the flagship store in Canada.
The usual suspects are here. Obviously they have the Original flavor, but unlike other similar places, Green Tea flavor isn’t a staple offering. So far, they have Mango and Lychee in addition to Original. The flavors will rotate but not on a set schedule, mainly according to popularity. I see on their corporate website that they also have Blueberry, Pomegranate, Peach, and Grapefruit. Those sound extremely interesting to me and I hope they’ll offer those soon.
From previous experience, it seemed like frozen yogurt made from fresh yogurt was the “gold standard”. So naturally, I asked Gary about it. Apparently, powdered yogurt base is not allowed here in Canada. Therefore, they use a liquid base, as does all other froyo places I’d assume.
Before we dove into the fancy stuff, we tried out the three flavors. My favorite is still the Original. Boyfriend liked Lychee, which was very well-flavored but it was a bit soft. Gary explained that it’s due to the liquid base. However the Original flavor was firm enough so I wondered if it’s the flavoring that contributed to the consistency. Mango was a bit mild. You could tell it’s flavored but it was nothing compared to Lychee. It however had a firmer texture also. Those comments were forwarded to Gary and Benson as they were adamant on us giving opinions.
Flavor-wise though, we found it was on-par with the other similar local froyo parlors in that it was neither better nor worse.
They are another frozen yogurt parlour to offer fresh fruit toppings. Gary tells me that they are handcut every morning and they only cut adequate amounts to ensure freshness. They have quite a selection here.
And of course they have the dry toppings also. More than 20!
And my favorite MOCHI is available of course!!! Unbelievably though, I didn’t have it this time. We let Gary make the choices for us.
So the first item we tried was a Smoothie. Gary picked a concoction that they’ve only recently come up with. It’s a mixture we never would’ve thought to combine together – Blueberry and Watermelon.
It was indeed very good. Very refreshing and light at the same time. Despite the amount of yogurt they added it wasn’t heavy at all. We really enjoyed this and encourage all of you to try it!
As the Boyfriend, I happily engaged in multiple conversations with Gary and Benson on what offerings Tuttimelon has and what is needed for a successful operation. But of course, the review takes precedence. Gary suggested we try the parfait. All I had to do was to pick two fruit flavors. The picture above shows the final product of a Dragonfruit-Kiwi Parfait. The sprinkling you see on the top were some very yummy Granola that totally lifts the eating experience. It was made with Original Flavor and I was totally surprised by the amount we got. This is the biggest parfait I had ever ordered and it will definitely fill you up for a bit under $6! A GREAT deal.
To expand on Wendy’s point – I am definitely looking forward to the other yogurt flavors. According to Gary and Benson, blueberry should be next. My fondness for blueberry can never desist and this is absolutely a piece of news to me. When it comes out, I may be the first person in line!
We tried a traditional cup of yogurt. Gary and Benson created one that had a split of Original and Lychee flavors. It was topped off with pistachio and mango pieces. What a great mix! The mango was very sweet and I particularly enjoyed the texture and crunchiness of the pistachios. It was interesting to be able to compare the Lychee and Original simultaneously in this cup. I would have never thought to create a pistachio/mango mix. I would recommend our readers to do so next time they go!
I agree. Pistachio was a surprise hit. Obviously if it were up to me I would’ve just picked mochi again. I’m glad I tried something new.
Aside from yogurt products, Tuttimelon also offers gelato/sorbets. They are made by a local supplier but using their own recipe. I tried a few and I really liked the Pomegranate sorbet and the Taro gelato.
One of the things that bother me most about driving in Richmond is 1) PAID parking on open streets, 2) TERRIBLE drivers that often have neck problems so they don’t check anything that is not in front of them, 3) LACK of parking spaces in very busy areas such as Alexandra Rd. I was SO pleasantly surprised that TM has decided to rent out two parking spaces in the back exclusively for them. Two may not sound like a lot, but on the night we went to TM, it was busy and we actually got a spot. It was definitely a great first impression. Trust me, it was a big deal.
The Grand Opening will be held this Saturday, August 22, 2009. The special would be free small Originals for customers between 2pm-4pm. Thereafter, for a limited time, 99cents for the same. Try it out and feel free to comment here at Eat ‘n About.
The fact that Tuttimelon is a successful franchise in America should allow great support for the Canadian team here for a successful operation. Having a good brand name does ensure a higher quality experience for us consumers due to an already set business model of success – which comprise of higher quality foods, training and marketing. I relayed an important message to Gary and Benson that customer service should take a high priority as it has often taken a far backseat in Chinese-owned places. The staff were great tonight and I do hope that with continued support and a strong training program, great customer service will keep us from going anywhere else for yogurt. Now, I am aware that some of our readers may think that we got good service because we were invited; however, I was being very observant of the staff during my time there and I can say that the service was on an equal standing with other customers. I am totally looking forward to my next visit.
Gary and Benson also seems very passionate about their store and welcomes any and all opinions/suggestions. We hope they’ll keep this ethusiasm up.
Oh one more thing! We are in talks with Gary and Benson to offer a sweet deal for Eat ‘n About readers. We’ll definitely keep you posted if it works out so check back soon!
P.S. We have 2 coupons for “1 Free Topping” when you buy any yogurt. Leave a comment and you will be entered into a random draw for one of them. Be sure to leave your email address so we can contact you! This mini-contest will be held for 2 weeks ending midnight Sep 3, 2009 PST.