Since trying out Grand Noodle out some few weeks ago, I've noticed that many Markham locals make a direct comparison to Deer Garden Signatures, which is just across the street in the Times Square plaza.
Greeted and seated immediately, the server proceeds to serve us hot tea as we casually browse the menu and wait for the remainder of our party to arrive. Along with customized noodle bowls, Deer Garden serves rice bowls (or "dons") and cha chan teng-style sandwiches; in terms of menu, the most prominent difference would be the fact that Grand Noodle also offers hotpot and carb-heavy submarine dishes.
Referring back to Grand Noodle, the font sizes were identical, and the sections were also numbered sequentially for ease of use. Cold drinks were an additional $1.00 on top of the standard $8.75 bowl, with specialty ringing in at an extra two dollars.
Our trio ended up choosing customized noodle bowls. All three bowls emerged from the kitchen with alarming speed, but didn't quite make it to the table as we were asked to switch to another table when the restaurant quickly began to fill up.
Likely the biggest flop of the meal were the hot beverages: never had I perceived such an extensive use of creamer in HK Milk Tea. Hopefully this isn't a new standard among Markham restaurants.
(Side note: both result in equally terrible parking situations.)
(Side note 2: apparently, Deer Garden Signatures also has two locations in Richmond, making for a total of three on the West Coast)
I also took advantage of this trip to claim a Taro Ice Cream from MOJI. This time around, the ice cream poved to be less icy, but equally milky. The taro flavour was essentially non-existent, so it was almost as if I was munching on a Vanilla Soft Serve from McD's.