Since the opening of the new Destiny Tea House/Restaurant in Richmond Hill, I’ve heard a lot about it. Apparently a lot of people checked it out. On the first 2-3 days of the opening I heard it took a long time to get a table.
Thinking about the evolution of bubble tea places, I gotta say it has come a long way. I guess it was around the early 1990’s when bubble tea first came into Toronto. (The grotto monster has commented on the brief history on my previous post.) Then, around the late-1990’s, more and more bubble tea places opened up in the GTA and Richmond Hill. Back in the old days, most of the bubble tea places were quite small in scale – most of them can only seat about 30 people. Those are the places where high school kids usually hangout at night. You know… have a good time, sit there and chat without spending a fortune.
Of course, there were tons of other BBT takeout places around the cities… Top of mind – Tea 168 and Ten Ren are the two major players. Location, location, location is the determining factor of the sucess of these little huts. There are many places you can get BBT, but the quality of the bubbles (tapiocas) can be very much different. I guess it really depends on the person who’s making/boiling the tapiocas. So, chances are you can get good ones and bad ones from the same store (if the quality control isn’t good).
Then, I think around early 2000, the largest bubble tea restaurant, Go4Tea, opened up in Thornhill (Commerce Valley). It stirred up the industry. Another place that’s similar to Go4Tea at that time was the Destiny’s teahouse in Scarborough (Silver Star Blvd.) – but I guess these two locations were quite far apart to have a huge impact on each other. Can’t remember exactly which opened up first…
About a few years after, Ten Ren opened up a new tea house nearby on Hwy7… and now Destiny finally joined the game in GTA north and opened up this flagship store.
Since it’s opened, I’ve been to Destiny a few times. Obviously, it’s a huge place. The design is quite cool. With different levels and styles of seats, it’s more interesting. The servers usually approach using English – although some of them weren’t that fluent, I still think it’s a good idea – no need to guess Mandarin/Cantonese. The design is modern compared to TenRen’s Tea Time and a bit similar to that of Go4Tea. The food selection is wider compared to Go4Tea. But for the taste of the food, I’d say Go4Tea’s better. That’s from what I’ve tried so far… especially the beef noodle – the one at Go4Tea is better. Price range is about the same.
So, here’s the summary from my own experience: (Comparison among the 3.)
TenRen’s = Best service, Chinese dimsum, (carries traditional and more professional) tea, but no magazine, wifi (was only available to those in VIP room – not too sure about now)
Go4Tea = Best food, with magazines (but a bit too dark inside for reading), wifi access
Dentiny = Best food selection, Newest, largest, with magazines (and good lighting),
Some people comment on the waitresses at Go4Tea and Destiny… to be honest, I found they’re about the same.
FYI: Destiny Tea House/Restaurant
163 York Blvd., Richmond Hill, ON L4B 4A7