Within a very small space, the recently-opened shop sells original espresso-based drinks, exclusive blends of hot and iced teas, scones, churros, paletas (Spanish ice pops), and mindblowing soft serve creations.
I had been in more of an "iced tea" mood as opposed to a "let's-go-all-out-for-ice-cream" mood, so I decided to save their Specialty Soft Serves for an empty stomach visit and opted for an iced Strawberry Fields tea instead. I was informed that all teas were unsweetened upon delivery, and that customers could adjust drinks to their desired sweetness level using the three types of liquid sugars (brown, white, and agave) available at the condiment bar. This was a great idea in my opinion, as it allows for the ultimate level of customization while not hindering operational efficiency.
One of the vendors that I hadn't had the opportunity to visit during the T&T Waterfront Night Market was N9. Claiming to serve the best mille crepe cakes in Toronto, it was decided that a visit would be made for a late afternoon snack.
View the full album HERE !
No, that's a lie. That was the second thing I noticed.
Despite its apparent size as viewed from outside, the cafe was much more spacious that expected. With high ceilings, dainty light fixtures, comfortable cushion-y chairs, and a dark constellation-esque table, I could not have enjoyed the view any more. The large glass windows at the front also provided an acceptable amount of natural lighting to nearby tables.
That being said, though, I had an overwhelmingly immense appreciation for their attention towards presentation. Void were smears, drips, or failed decorating attempts.
The Rainbow Vanilla and Chocolate Mille Crepe Cake slices were ordered, along with a Rose Latte and Caramel Macchiato.
(Side note: Chocolate was chosen once we had been informed that Oreo was sold out. I haven't seen many Oreo Mille Crepe cakes pop up on my feed, so I'm unsure if this a popular flavour, or if they've simply run out of the chocolate wafer cookies.)
The crepe cake slices were amazing! From personal experience, I have arrived at the conclusion that creating uniformly thin crepes with wispy edges is not an easy feat. Compiling the layers together in an elegant, orderly manner while spreading equitably thin layers of cream filling is even more challenging.
Both crepe cakes were composed of shockingly thin layers of crepe and cream, something that I've never had the chance of witnessing before. Another element that I greatly appreciated was how the layers remained intact even when subjected to pressure at particular points (ie. when a fork was pressed onto the corners of the cake).
The Rainbow Vanilla crepe cake took on a standard vanilla flavour - the varying hues hadn't actually altered the individual flavours, but did provide an aesthetically stunning piece of dessert. Small black specks were visible on the cream layers, however, the vanilla flavour was comparatively light to other desserts that utilize real vanilla pods. The cake was essentially light in all aspects (flavour, texture, and degree of colour saturation).
Chocolate crepe cake tasted, well, chocolatey; the layers was creamy with a hint of cocoa flavour, and incorporated just the right amount of sweetness. It was reminiscent of velvety hot chocolate, just without the heat and settled lumps of cocoa powder.
Both cakes were served at just below room temperature, so neither melted while being devoured.
Both the Rose Latte and Caramel Macchiato were served at "drinkable" temperatures; by this, I am referring to a degree of warmth incapable of scalding one's tongue (looking at you, Starbucks!). The Rose Latte wasn't overly milky and included a refreshing floral note - ideal for accompanying dessert. The on-point latte art on the Caramel Macchiato was also worth noting.
Prior to leaving, I also decided to order a Lavender Latte to go - iced, as I was curious to see what differences would surface between their hot and cold drinks.
N9 Cafe offered a great, casual atmosphere with surprisingly indulgent mille crepe cakes. Next on my list are the Green Tea Mille Crepe Cake and savoury lunch combo!
For my last stop of the day, I went on a mission to obtain Creamy Rice Cakes from Han Ba Tang.
I ultimately decided to order the Creamy Rice Cakes to eat in-store, while adding Chicken Wings with Curry Powder to my takeout list. Both the hostess and waitress were extremely helpful and accommodating - a drastic improvement from the service I received during my last two visits (1, 2). The Creamy Rice Cakes proved to be worth catching the next bus for - they were soft, yet still firm pieces of Korean ddeokbokki slathered in a creamy alfredo-like sauce with bits of stringy cheese. A side of sweet pickled cabbage, magenta in hue, was served to cut through the lovely richness of the dish.
The uber-fragrant wings were unveiled upon arriving home. While the wings were no longer than three inches, each only contained one small bone. Crispy and seasoned very well, they packed a slight punch of curry without being too overwhelming for the mild spice-preferring crew. I can honestly say that I will definitely be returning for more of these!
Once again, the full Han Ba Tang album can be viewed HERE !