Aberdeen Centre

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Wu Fung Dessert in the Aberdeen Centre, Richmond BC. Photo by David Lansing.

Here’s what I’ve learned about Mijune: If she suggests you go somewhere to eat, just go. Even if it doesn’t sound like your thing (think chicken feet or frappé).

Today she says, “I have a craving for Wu Fung.”

“What’s Wu Fung?” I ask.

“Deep-fried chicken wings.”

Okay, again: I don’t do chicken wings and I never do deep-fried fast-food. “Chicken wings?” I say. “Seriously?”

Mijune doesn’t even listen to me anymore. Just as well.

But before we bite into our chicken wings, I have a question to ask: What is it with Asian places giving fanciful names to eateries that have nothing to do with what they serve?

For instance: Yesterday Mijune and I were walking around getting all hot and thirsty so we stopped at a place called the Cherry Juice Company. And guess what? They don’t serve cherry juice.

Wu Fung, as you can see from the picture, is actually called Wu Fung Dessert. Would it shock you to discover they don’t sell any desserts (unless you consider soy sauce hard-boiled eggs to be a dessert)?

Somebody please write and tell me why they do this.

Anyway, back to Wu Fung. Once again, Mijune was right. These puppies are meaty and flavorful, the crust crisp but also kind of puffy, sort of like a fish & chips batter, with a slight taste of ginger in it. A little oily (get them out of the Styrofoam container they’re served in as soon as possible) but positively delectable. They reminded me of some Hong Kong street food I had once.

Oh, and get the lemon tea. It’s just as good as the chicken wings and the perfect accompaniment.

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Bliss in the form of a Frappé

Mijune shoots our frappe bliss before we devour it. Photo by David Lansing.

I don’t do dessert. I just don’t. So when Mijune suggested that after we finished our chicken feet at Fisherman’s Terrace we head up to the food court in the Abderdeen Centre for some Taiwanese-style shaved ice, I told her to go on ahead.

“You should try it.”

“First of all, I can’t eat another thing. And secondly, the last thing I want right now is shaved ice. I hate shaved ice.”

“It’s not really shaved ice,” she said, grabbing my arm and dragging me towards the escalator. “It’s frappé.”

Whoopy do.

I haven’t known Mijune long but obviously what Mijune wants, Mijune gets. She was going to drag me kicking and screaming like a two-year-old to the food court.

So the Taiwanese-style shaved ice place is called Frappé Bliss. Mijune says in Taiwan it’s called xue hua bing, which means “snowflake ice.”

“But it’s not really ice,” she says as she barks out instructions to some kid behind the counter for what she wants. “It’s actually frozen milk.”

Like that makes it sound any better.

Anyway, Mijune orders a big bowl of green tea frappe with fresh mango, kiwi, and strawberry and a scoop of ice cream on the top. Then, after we get it, she whips out her cell phone and starts taking photos. While the whole thing melts. Which is just fine with me since I’m not going to have any of it anyway. Finally, she dips a plastic spoon in to the bowl and takes a tiny little bite.

“Oh-my-god,” she murmurs. She looks up at me but I ignore her. She plays with the spoon in her mouth, as if she’s licking off every last drop. “Oh, David,” she moans. People are looking at her. It’s like that scene in the diner in When Harry Met Sally—she’s having an orgasm at the Aberdeen food court.

“Fine,” I say, grabbing a spoon. “I’ll take a bite. Just stop moaning.”

The frappé is ethereal. Remember when you were a kid and the first snow of winter would fall and you’d go outside and lift your head up to the sky and catch a single solitary light-as-air snowflake on your tongue and it would instantaneously melt and make you giggle?

That’s what this dessert tastes like. Silky, fluffy, feathery snow. With flavor.

“Stop eating all the frappé,” I tell Mijune, pushing her plastic spoon out of the way. She smiles. “Should I get another?”

“If you want any you should,” I tell her.

And off she goes to Frappé Bliss. While I close my eyes and spoon into my mouth each delightful bite of the green tea-flavored feathery frozen milk delight.

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