Pacific Mall was the first stop on my to-do list following the fear-inducing hydrology exam. GOT7's Turbulence album had to be obtained, and it just so happened that a friend of mine happened to be liberated from her usual work schedule the next day.
We stopped to grab drinks first.
Evalion, a somewhat recent addition to the food court, now offered "light bulb" beverages in addition to Thai ice cream rolls. The concept wasn't particularly innovative, as bubble tea shops in New York (and, more locally, Royaltea) had already jumped on the bandwagon, but it was a good opportunity to attempt flavour syrup-enhanced fizziness with an atypical appearance without travelling further east.
The agreement was that the drinks were overly sweet. Yelpers had been correct: they weren't worth it. Although the plastic light bulb-shaped container was amusing, a lack of quality ingredients makes justifying severely artificial-tasting drinks for $4.50 impossible.
On a more positive note, I managed to successfully locate Jackson's (and Bambam's) sheet masks for IT'sSKIN!
Of course, the Buy 5 Get 5 Free promotion was even better. (I still can't understand why they couldn't apply my membership discount though...)
Service was friendly and much quicker than the last visit, but it was unfortunate that the waffles were soggier this time around. Nonetheless, they kept us going until our mall trip was over.
Primarily comprised of woody elements and lumpy black walls, the stall was a newcomer to the second floor that specialized in Vietnamese coffee and Hong Kong Milk Tea. Listed in their laminated menu were other drink offerings ("Browned Milk" anyone?), along with the various toppings that could be added. It was claimed that their Hong Kong Milk Tea was brewed with authentic tea leaves as opposed to "commercial powders".
The staff member on site actually informed us that it was their first day of operation. I found this interesting as there were no signs in site informing customers of their grand opening, nor did he appear enthusiastic to recommend different items off the menu or explain their brand concept.
Another aspect to note is the fact that they sell coffee beans in addition to freshly-crafted beverages and jelly-filled desserts.
Soul Cafe was a spot I had entered with high hopes, only to have them shattered with the first soybean flour-crusted cough. I hadn't thought it was possible to find Korean bingsoo anywhere else in the GTA until images of Snow Time and The Cups began popping up on my feed.
The interior is reminiscent of one of the many cafes featured in K-dramas; the vibe is serene, the seating cozy, and the overall environment casual and comfortable. LINE figurines, pop culture-inspired plushies, and a cartoon-decorated wall add a sheer bit of cuteness.
One monitor played Descendants of the Sun, while another showed K-Pop music videos (mainly of Big Bang and member solo projects).
Injeolmi Toast and Croissant Taiyaki were two other items deserving fascination. Unfortunately, the latter was not being sold until the later weeks. Bingsoo prices ranged from $8.95 - fruit variations were less costly here than their non-fruity counterparts - to a maximum of $12.95. Toasts were reasonably marked at $4.75.
We were handed a buzzer upon placing our order and then proceeded to slide into one of the booths. During times of high traffic, it is presumed that customers will maneouver towards the designated pick-up area when their buzzer vibrates/flashes. During the not-so-hectic early evening hours though, the staff was kind enough to deliver the desserts to our table.
In contrast to the melty nature of Snowy Village's creations (at both locations), Snow Time's rendition proved to withstand the internal HVAC system and the force of time, resisting the melting process altogether. It was profound difference that easily set the dessert cafe apart from other spots I've had the opportunity to dine at.
Brown and Cony were kidnapped and brought over for Green Tea Bingsoo and Injeolmi Toast. A separate table strided over to grab the rabbit and fox set from Descendants of the Sun proceeding my giddy, plushie-adorned gallop. Kakao characters Ryan and Apeach as well as Kumamon remained on the shelf to spread joy to other diners.
To be completely honest, I was relishing in the experience during the entire journey back. Candidly speaking, I still am.
I didn't leave without first purchasing ASTRO's "Autumn story" though.
Their appearance in We Got Married and Jinjin's feature in Eric Nam's summer single garnered undeniable interest.