1. Pinkberry Square One
The LA-native's latest venture in Ontario has yet to import waffle cones from their fellow West Coast neighbours, so I suppose Pizzelle cookies shall have to do for now. I haven't the faintest idea of why Instagramers were complaining that the new location was cheap in terms of topping amounts - the girl who served me was not only friendly, but also tried to squeeze in as many mango chunks and mochi pieces as possible such that the end product would still remain visually appealing.
3. Homemade Parfaits
With plastic milkshake/parfait glasses being on sale at Loblaws, I scooped up a few to jazz up my breakfast routine. To date, my creations have included:
- Cornflakes + vanilla gelato + sliced straweberries + matcha sauce
- Cornflakes + whipped cream + banana slices
- Alternating layers of cornflakes and vanilla ice cream + square of Sea Salt Dark Chocolate
- Cornflakes + vanilla gelato + banana slices + wheat bran + chocolate mocha sauce
Happening to be wandering around Square One one lazy weekday afternoon, I decided to pop by the food court to check out this concoction. As I opened my mouth and pointed to the menu board behind him, the guy at the cashier immediately asked, "Thai Iced Tea?". To my surprise, it was actually one of their most popular products, and many customers had come solely for the drink.
Tis no joke after all - Basil Box's Thai Iced Tea is amazing!
I received my order in less than two minutes, handed to me by the girl behind the "bar" area beside the cashier with a giant smile on her face. It was especially nice to see that they had not mixed the evaporated milk into the tea, and had allowed it to gradually produce swirls until the customer chose to mix the components himself/herself.
I finished the tea in almost one go - yes, it was that good. Had I not been waiting to be picked up, I would've have probably headed back for seconds! It was much more budget-friendly in comparison to the leaders of the downtown Thai scene (Khao San Road / Pai), and externalized true depth of flavour without the need to add copious amounts of ice. (I'll be back, Basil Box!)
Over the years, I've come to learn that true nikuman can indeed be sourced from trusty ol' T&T. Appropriately-seasoned vegetables and meat encased in a warm, fluffy bao can act as both an afternoon snack or even a light lunch.
An impromptu creation resulting from leftover crepes used for the Minion Crepe project, I slathered vanilla gelato and a thin layer of crushed cornflakes in between and froze the "cake" for a few hours. The result was yummy, albeit a bit hard to slice. With a few tweaks, this cake may have the potential to make it to What I Make!
9. Homemade Green Tea Frapuccino
11. Homemade Sweet Potato Latte w/ Almond Milk
15. A life-sized Monkichi being auctioned off for donations at New Kennedy Square
Due to a suspicious package being discovered at Exhibition GO, the GO trains on the Lakeshore West line were cancelled for a good few hours on one busy weekday. Thank goodness Front St. Foods was present to solve my hunger-induced worries! These Cocoa Protein Cookies managed to keep me full until I finally reached home, though I must admit that they were a bit messy to eat due to their crumbly characteristics.
17. Sweet Jesus
This image was taken amidst TIFF chaos, but since that enthusiastic movie-going crew has now dispersed, the lineups are basically nonexistent.
18. My new Starbucks Cold Drink Cup
The first thing that popped into my mind was: "I should all grab all the Andys I know and make them take a group photo here."
Yes, no lie. (I do know quite a number of Andys so it's always a possibility...)
Earlier this week, I made a post-work stopover at Green Grotto following errand-running at Square One. It was raining quite heavily, which means nothing but trouble for public transit-takers, but a great deal of joy for indolent drivers. In terms of buying takeout at normally bustling cafes, this means a drastic drop of customers in line and a consequent surge in the speed at which your own takeout is delivered. Coincidentally, service is usually much friendlier due to the reduction in customer orders and confusion that follows.
The girl who took my order was a new face, which induced no feelings of surprise me considering that my last visit ended in absolute watermelon-y terror.
The Hokkaido Milk Tea, as informed by the waitress, was one of their most popular drinks on the menu; I had originally expected the drink to bear a noticeable milk powder scent, but was delighted to discover that it was satisfyingly milky without being rich. It wasn't excessively sweet either, and the brown sugar agar added just the right amount of chewiness.
The Coffee Toffee Milk Freeze, despite having a grander appearance than the former, proved to be an odd creation overall. The formula was too thick to easily pass through the straw, and the flavours had not been incorporated together. The top half of the drink was sweeter than the second half, with the bottom of the cup containing the most bitter bits of slushie. The pieces of granola top a mountain of whipped cream didn't exactly emit a cohesive property either. I'll probably turn to Taro again next time.
23. New York Cheesecake from Green Grotto, that was further made into a bruleed cheesecake
This was amazing on so many levels! I had been anticipating an extremely rich cheesecake with a thick, butter-laden crust, but was grateful to discover that the cheesecake to crust ratio was 9:1 of creamy goodness to subtle crunchiness.
This wasn't my first visit to PAI, so I wasn't expecting incredible service, per say. The responses I received to my questions weren't particularly satisfying though.
"What types of fruity drinks do you have?"
"Um...pineapple and mango shakes, juices, and....hold on a sec." The manager-like man turns to ask one of the waitresses about their drink availability. "Oh and Lemongrass Iced Tea."
"Hmmm do you use real mango in your shakes?"
"Yes, we use real pineapple and mango for both. But we don't have the Mango Shake right now."
"But you have mangoes over there...?" I question his previous statement as I point towards a large basket containing the Ataulfo variation.
"Yes, but we don't have the shake."
"Alright....then. But what else do you need to put in it?"
"I'm not exactly sure."
"What about the juices?"
"They're from a box.
For lack of better selection, I eventually opted for the Thai Iced Tea and Lemongrass Iced Tea instead.
To be fair, the tipping was a user error. At the same time, in my defense, I had placed the tray on a completely flat surface. I have previously never experienced such a monstrosity, thus shall blame the structure of the tray for being distorted after being subjected to strong loads prior to being handed to me. (Please note: This is an assumption, but quite an educated hypothesis in my opinion.)
Stay tuned for next month's happenings!