Since my favourite fellow fangirl brought one back for me from one of her Koreatown trips, I've been completely smitten with the crumbly tea-infused carby goodness. Consequently, Put A Cone On It was my first stop of the day. I also took the opportunity to grab a Kyoto Smoke - which the girl charged me an extra 45 cents for?? - after snatching up the last two Grinch-hued creations of the day; neither of these could be resisted long enough for images to be captured though. (The addition is real.)
The independently-run shop was extremely compact: present were the essential elements of a sink, hot water dispenser, display case, cashier, and merchandise rack as well as a substantial amount of small adorable decorations. Despite the apparent lack of space within the shop, it surprisingly did not evoke feelings of claustrophobia.
In addition to the cashier, the enclosed market stall could have likely fitted up to three backpack-less customers cozily.
While I had honestly wanted to try the matcha-flavoured roll cake, I understood that petit nuage's selection of products were rotary and only offered in small batches to ensure freshness.
Inside was a luscious, milky green filling that was as rich in flavour as it was silky in texture. The grassiness of it all satisfied my profond fondness for matcha, while intertwined ribbons of vanilla lent it a subtle sweetness.
Jams and Japanese green tea powder were also spotted for sale inside the shop.
Debit and cash were the two accepted forms of payment, though the latter was preferred.
In all honesty, I couldn't have cared less about the outrageously-priced smoothies and fruit-grain bowls; a friend had actually mentioned Calii Love as "that hipster place".
Majority of their signature creations either included white rice or some element of spice, so I opted for a customized version in a small size. Calii Love did not permit mixing bases, so I stuck to single portion of zucchini and sweet potato noodles (which bore a very strong resemblance to carrot slaw). The bowl included choices of one protein, three toppings, and an unlimited number of sauces.
In contrast to the downright barbaric attitude of the lofty girl behind the cashier, the staff member behind the ingredient bar was much more welcoming. He agreed to mix half scoops of tuna and salmon to make up one protein choice, and even offered to add tobiko as the last ingredient of the bowl to maintain visual attractiveness. Wasabi aioli was also drizzled on in excess after I relayed my fondness for the Japanese horseradish.
Unfortunately, the resulting product wasn't as delectable as I had hoped. While I appreciated the smoothness of the guacamole, slight acidity of the pineapple, and gentle kick of wasabi, the bowl fared less favourably than Corner and Pokito. The fish hadn't been marinated in advance, but rather simply scooped on top like Rolltation; sauces didn't live up to uniquness of their names and lacked depth of flavour. Evidently over-oxidized, the guacamole could have used better seasoning and fresher avocados.
The pineapple-infused water, communal tables, turquoise decor highlights, and range of fruit toppings deserve their own merit, though, even if hygeine was severely lacking in all aspects: the dining environment (crumbs were squeezed into every crack and crevice), serving bowls and trays (fish fragments and sticky undersides), and washroom stalls (dust, dust, and more dust).
I had been informed of the restaurant's authenticity numerous times as we neared Village by the Grange. From the obvious lack of Japanese on the plastic laminated menu, it was soon concluded that this genuineness was questionable.
My order of Chicken Katsu Curry had arrived with stale rice and a fiery pool of curry that was lightyears away from the authentic mild Glico version. Upon asking for mayonnaise or yoghurt to reduce the spice, I had to refute her "Spicy Mayo??" suggestion several times before being granted my wish.
And no, Ema-Tei was definitely not authentic, at least not by means of curry production.