I discovered Orange Corner a few years ago when I was still a university student as back then, Wi-Fi wasn’t as widespread as it is now. A restaurant with Wi-Fi back then meant I could study and eat simultaneously, saving time that was better spent drinking beer or the other way more fun parts of college life. Bubble tea places are usually hit or miss when it comes to food, which is to be expected from anywhere focused on drinks. If you go to a Starbucks, you know that eating the food is usually at your own risk. Have you ever had the sandwiches? They manage to taste tough and soggy at the same time so it’s understandable if you’d expect most of these places to treat food as an afterthought.
Most bubble tea places serve Taiwanese food and before you ask, I can’t really definitively tell you what Taiwanese food is or how it differs from other Asian cuisines. Having been to Taipei, I usually associate Taiwanese food with street cart food or night market stands with various fried items and hot pots stewing pork belly. Orange Corner offers most of these dishes along with a wide variety of bubble tea flavors and other drinks. They recently opened a second location in Burnaby.
In case you don’t know, bubble tea is basically milk tea, usually flavored, with tapioca pearls. You can get other stuff like coconut jelly if you’re not a fan of tapioca. I believe it started in Taiwan years and hit its peak in popularity years ago when I was in high school. With Taiwanese food, I usually go with fried chicken nuggets on rice so I got a combo that includes a drink. All the pictures in this post were taken with my new iPhone 4 since I forgot my camera so if you’re wondering why the pictures look a little bit different, that’s why.
Word of warning with just about every bubble tea place on the planet…they usually make things way too sweet, or at least for my taste. I usually have to ask for things to be half sweet or else it’s just an explosion of sugar. This is the coconut bubble tea that came with my meal. Not bad…plenty of coconut flavor and the pearls are good. Not too chewy or mushy.
For $10, you actually get quite a bit of food. The chicken nuggets were piping hot when they got to me and each piece was fried perfectly. Crispy on the outside and juicy chicken on the inside.
Unlike chicken nuggets at McDonald’s, they actually look like chicken here with discernible bits of cartilage and skin rather than generic chicken stamped into weird boot shapes. It’s hard to go wrong with fried chicken but still, a very good example of Taiwanese fried chicken.
You get a couple side dishes and a dessert as well. The small portions of vermicelli and broccoli in what I think must be thousand island dressing were forgettable but I guess some variety is needed or else this would just be some chicken on rice.
The pudding really isn’t my thing so I mostly left it alone.
The only real blemish on this place is the service is questionable. Despite how small the place is with seating room for about 20-30, they seem understaffed since I see them scrambling everywhere even if there are only three or four people in the entire place. My food took a reasonable amount of time to get here but when I asked for a dish of hot sauce, it took ages. In fact, I thought they forgot about it altogether but when I was just about done, they brought me some hot sauce.
Orange Corner offers good food at a reasonable value. It isn’t spectacular but $10 for a full meal with a large drink is tough to find nowadays, especially at a place offering complementary wireless internet. It’s a nice cozy little place to catch up on work while you’re eating. A real time saver since, I mean after all, your time is probably better spent on beer drinking.