That being said, this does not automatically signify that the supposed "downtown" sections of suburban areas aren't a force to be reckoned with. Although it is impossible to compare the amount of action, food and retail options, and traffic flow to the metropolis that is Toronto, I find that several up-and-coming sections of suburbia are gradually adding elements to add vibrancy and variety to their surroundings.
My last visit via the VIVA BRT had involved weaving through the area, as well as grazing the entrance of Unionville GO station; it was at that moment that I realized there was now much more to explore than just Cineplex.
The tea house's newest uptown location proved to be extremely grand, not only featuring an outdoor patio, but an expansive seating area with an impressive collection of wood-themed decor elements.
Requesting a table for two, I was led towards the outer corner of the tea house, to a comfy orange-and-tweed booth. Besides the ever-convenient four port outlet - they had two traditional outlets and two USB outlets! - and newly-placed furniture, it was also observed that an assistance bell had been placed between every two booths. Needless to say, the setting was greatly appreciated and kilometres past anything we had imagined for a mere eatery.
Braised Chicken w/ Sesame Oil was the name of the dish, but the final conclusion was that any hints of sesame oil were essentially non-existent due to the unnecessarily high number of ginger slices inserted in the dish. The braised bits of chicken meat were decent, but not especially succulent that they deserved being mentioned twice. Speaking from the perspective of one hailing from a family possessing a hot pot stove, Paper Hot Pots are a trend definitely worth skipping over.
Following our light meal, we strolled around the remainder the shops in Downtown Markham.
We paid our $2 admission fee and hopped on.
To our dismay, majority of the items had already been sold out by early evening. (It was a weekday too!) I requested a sample of their Matcha and Black Sesame Soft Serve prior to re-evaluating their selection.
Unlike other users, I wasn't able to perceive the prominent specks of green that had been shown in numerous Yelp photos. Regardless, the green tea flavour had been incorporated very well, yielding a flavourful, seamless result. Nowhere nearly as milky nor as firm as Woofles, Tendou's soft serve was subtly bitter but void of the standard grassiness. Its contents allowed it to have a stronger green hue; it melted within several minutes of residing in A/C, which was an indication of either a notably low fat content or a sparse amount of stabilizer.
Either way, the soft serve was thoroughly enjoyed. Fragrant black sesame and silky smooth matcha are a match made in heaven; though, we could have definitely done without the inexplicably soggy waffle cone.
I had initially wanted to try their Opera Cake and Tofu Cheesecake, but alas, they had been sold out. Tendou has left a positive enough impression that a third visit will be prompted. (As a final word of note: washrooms are located outside of the shop on the basement floor and credit cards aren't accepted.)