The staff have undeniably sped up their crafting process to relieve the demand, though the number of staff members working the floor is variable.
Next stop was K-Town.
During my last visit, I was able to spot the shop's extensive slew of machinery in action: small, wrinkly spheres were being gently removed from black, iron molds on a conveyor belt and allowed to roll down into a parchment paper-lined wire rack for cooling. While these little treats can also be obtained at a higher price point but greater convenience at Mississauga's P.A.T supermarket, the quality of the product and degree of freshness are utterly unrivalled. Crafted entirely from scratch in store, Hodo Kwaja's signature walnut cakes are distinctly irreplaceable.
Containing fillings of either Red Bean or Brown Sugar, fist-sized portions of dough are flattened and pressed onto a lightly greased surface for toasting. The process ensures a crisp, toasted exterior and a warm centre with oozing brown sugar (if you happened to choose that filling).
Walnut cakes and hotteok are items I tend to crave quite often, but usually aren't within easy reach (unless you count P.A.T.'s out-of-the-city location). Hodo Kwaja is a bit far for this suburban explorer, but the products they offer are worth every bit of the commute. Until next time, my love!
The storefront is cool: an easily-identifiable sign, glass window panes, and a towering, deep emerald double-door entrance. As many other reviewers had noted, it's evident that the "industrial chic" aura resides within MeNami and its sophisticated interior design. The singular washroom boasts a wall of textbook-like pages with primary- and secondary-industry-related info, along with bathroom mirrors adopting the shape and size of storm pipe cross sections.
And thanks to hooks conveniently situated underneath the wooden plank that was our table, I was able to focus more on my dining environment than worrying about how I would eat with a roll of plastic bags on my lap. The setup was not unlike to Khao San Road, but the illuminatation provided by fuschia LEDs made for a classier presentation; it also provided a cohesive element to the soft pink/purple tones throughout the restaurant.
Served in a slick pool of rich, umami-packed sauce composed of coarsely-ground black sesame seeds and topped with a generous handful of red pepper threads, this udon dish was dissimilar to anything I've ever tried before. It was an innovative mix of ideas, with toppings of baby spinach and green onions, and tender morsels of bulgogi threaded in between.
(Side: It was observed that the woven tray used to deliver bills featured Han Ba Tang's menu at its base. Talk about The Three R's!)
By the time we had reached the terminal, my hourly connecting bus had just departed. My ever-so-kind guest offered to remain with me until the next bus arrived; we hid inside SilverCity until it was time to leave, taking hostage of the air hockey table in the meantime.