Observing the setup that occurs in preparation for events like TIFF is enticing, to say in the least. Certain sections of road are closed off for vehicle access, making the area extremely pedestrian-friendly. While it's defnitely not the most convenient situation for drivers and streetcar-reliant residents, it certainly significantly reduces that amount of time required for the average commuter to cross the street.
Before 5 pm though, there really wasn't much action to witness. Several media crews were in the midst of setting up, but the limos hadn't pulled up, nor had the subdued orange "TIFF" been installed on "Festival Street". No matter though, as this simply meant that there would be more freedom to explore the bustling neighbourhood's existing and new pop-up shops
Located only a few minutes from the TIFF activities, just a few steps past the road closure limits, a short string of small shops could be found on a quiet, shaded side street. Among these was the ever-so-popular sister shop of Millie Creperie - Millie Patisserie & Cremery.
As with many food fanatic faves, the name of this glass window-encased shop materialized onto my radar shortly following its "soft" opening. Despite my highly unsatisfactory experience at their original store (which had been complete with terribly unjustified prices), I was still very much intrigued to disclose whether improvements had been made at, and whether those "rare" cheesetarts and ostensibly rich cake slices were worthy additions to their Patisserie menu.
In addition to serving ramen, Touhenboku is also known to offer housemade desserts such as tiramisu, chiffon cake, cream puffs, and mille crepe cakes. One unnecessarily humid day, I made my way over to Queen St. W just after lunchtime to get my hands on one of these sweets treats.
(I apologize in advance if the term "mille crêpe" has been appearing on this space in excess recently. It's a type of dessert that requires time, skill, and a great deal of attention to detail to properly execute, thus I can't help but scour each district (and subdistrict) to attest the coordinates of the best crepe cake shop.)
Although the lunch rush has passed, many of the tables were still occupied. One small table remained, but not for long, as a small family entered in through the double doors a few minutes later.Three girls were working the floor - with one in the kitchen and the other two frantically running around delivering orders. It took approximately six minutes for my crepe cake to be removed from the refrigerator at the back of the store, placed into a Styrofoam box, and then into a bag with napkins and utensils. Judging that many customers had already received their meals and were busily slurping away, I deemed their actions to be on the less efficient side.
The crepe cake was revealed some time later that day to consist of abnormally thick layers of cream sandwiched between crepes of medium density, and topped generously with yuzu jam. While the hint of citrus was an undeniably nice touch to the otherwise rich cake, the amount of cream slathered on top and within was too much for my liking. Approximately half of the cake was cream, resulting in a rather disproportionate texture ratio. The vanilla flavour wasn't particularly pleasing either, nor were the crepes fitting in consistency.
At this point, it is important to make aware that Touhenboku is not a dessert shop, but a ramen house. My expectations for this crepe cake were probably higher than they should have been, even with the related reviews and comments I've read. Nonetheless, I do not think I will be repurchasing this particular item; its price tag was severely unjustified.
The next day, I decided to give a go at Khao San Road's Thai Iced Tea.
Given that a sapling is situated directly in front of the restaurant sign, I nearly walked completely past it before realizing.
With every nearing step, the noise level grew: Khao San Road was fully packed for lunch.
Last year's Fan Expo took place amidst a massive heat wave: not only was there an unnecessary amount of humidity and an intense glare from the sun, but it was made even worse with on-and-off periods of heavy rainfall. Thankfully, I could leave my umbrella at home this year. It didn't rain at all during our stay, and there were even periods where a light breeze could be felt. Quite frankly, though, I could have done without the humidity.
The day started off extremely hectic, with train delays caused by increased passenger volume (most were Jays fans decked out in royal blue or CNE-goers sporting sunhats and sandals). Upon arriving, we eased our hunger by picking up some things at Front St. Foods before heading off in the direction of the convention centre.
< Pictured above (and below): Lobster Roll + Snow Crab Fries combo from Fresh Off The Boat, Signature Cold Brew (with milk) from Station Cold Brew >
As it was still early afternoon, many cosplayers had yet to make an appearance. The sun's glare had also become stronger as the hours passed, making it difficult to capture decent photos; as result, we retreated into an A/C-blasting area to cool off in the meantime.
The lineup at Starbucks wasn't too lengthy, though our Peach Green Tea Lemonade and Peach/Passion Tea Lemonade order took much longer than expected. The girl who took my order at the cashier was extremely cheerful, but made a small error by forgetting to write down "+ Fizz" on both cups. Consequently, the girl making the drinks produced both sans-carbonate, and was observed to make a silent attempt at containing her annoyance when she had to remake them.
While I do understand that dealing with one particularly picky order is frustrating when there are numerous sweaty con-goers in line, I wasn't about to walk away accepting the drinks as I had already paid an extra 60 cents per drink for the addition. In this case, please don't blame the customer - blame your drink-writer!
Soon after, we returned back to the unshaded cosplayer hangout area. It had definitely become less sunny, so a couple more shots were captured before we decided to move on to our next destination for dinner.
Fan Expo 2015 photos can be found HERE !
Taking a short break from my regular posts, I'd like to shed some light on a newly-established cake shop by the name of Waterloocakeshop, alternatively called Waterloo 千層蛋糕專門店.
The shop primarily specializes in Mille Crêpe Cakes, offering the strategically layered dessert in five flavours: Green Tea, Chocolate, Mango, Strawberry, and Durian. Custom flavours are also available upon request.
Featured in this post is the Green Tea Crêpe Cake, consisting of an airy green tea pastry cream sandwiched between subtly sweet layers of crêpe. The creation is further dusted with a generous amount of green tea powder for enhanced flavour. For the optimal tasting experience, it is recommended that you store the cake in the fridge until just firm enough to slice.
To ensure freshness, be aware that the cake can only be kept refrigerated up to a maximum of three days. However, I doubt that will be an issue - my own cake was devoured in less than 24 hours!
For details, please feel free to contact Waterloocakeshop (Waterloo 千層蛋糕專門店) via Wechat (ID: waterloocakeshop) or by phone at 647-887-6292. As a bonus, the shop offers free delivery to Mississauga, Toronto, Scarborough, Markham, and Waterloo!
In addition, Waterloocakeshop has also joined Eatmanleague, a food ordering platform from the Kitchener/Waterloo area. For Chinese-literate users, feel free to use their services as an alternative method of obtaining your own Mille Crepe Cake. (Additional fees may apply as orders are not directly placed with the business owner.)
Who Am I?
I'm the one that talks fashion and K-Pop randoms behind Quirky Aesthetics, the one who contributes honest opinions about commercial beauty items on Review Junkie, the one that obsessively shares photos of food on Pinterest, the one that loves her DSLR more than her own being and the one that wants to work in the transportation sector for a living.