August 5, 2018: I was in need of some turtle herbal jelly, so I decided to try out this Chinese dessert shop that I’ve noticed in the Times Square plaza at Leslie and Highway 7 in Richmond Hill.
(Its signage and menu says “Sweet Turtle Desserts” but online, they are known as “Pun Cao Tong (本草堂)“. I’m guessing the English name is a newer rendition of their business name. This actually makes it difficult for customers to know that they either changed their name or now go by a different new English name if their new name is found nowhere online…)
Walking in, it was a really comfortable and traditional-looking Chinese dessert shop. It felt especially cozy to be in their heavily air-conditioned space because it was so hot and humid outside. Some elements of it reminded me of Hong Kong traditional dessert shops too.
I ordered the Herbal Essence Jelly to go. This cost $9.50 (one standard size) which seemed a little pricier than Tracy Desserts. When I got home to eat it, I was dismayed to not only find it was a smaller portion than the one at Tracy Desserts (it didn’t even take up the majority of the space in the Styrofoam container — another unnecessary environmental no-no) but also the taste of the herbal jelly didn’t have the distinct “golden” flavour or taste that I wanted. I was so disappointed. It tasted more like jello than what real herbal jelly should taste like.
Thus, although their store interior seemed so impressionable and with potential, their herbal jelly didn’t cut it for my taste.
Their menu is so extensive though and they serve so many other desserts and hot snacks too. Maybe I’ll return someday to try the other things out to feel them out a little more before I write them off…