Albeit these numerous modern improvements, finding other members of the human race on an equally eccentric wavelength as yourself is by no means an easy task.
Unique food bloggers are rare to chance upon on the World Wide Web, and even more challenging to meet "in the flesh". It's odd to ponder the though of two complete strangers becoming friends solely off non-verbal communication, but I can confirm that this is indeed possible.
Alchemy Coffee was situated on the south side of Hwy 7, just west of Main Street Unionville, in a microscopic strip of a plaza. Paved surface area was already scarce, and parking spots few, but a section of spots that had been reserved for Subway customers only contributed to further headache and frustration. Eventually, I managed to secure a spot devoid of signs or markings, directly beside a rusting dumpster.
This didn't automatically equate to a table inside the cafe, however.
I couldn't remember the exact duration for which I waited, except that it was torturous and definitely exceeded fifteen minutes. In the meantime, I had visited the bathroom (spacious but average in terms of cleanliness) and inquired about the inventory status of their cookies from one of the members of staff (they had unfortunately sold out by noon).
Around 2:05 PM, I noticed a mother-daughter couple gathering their belongings to make their exit. Locking in on seat, I dove for the two seats immediately after their water glasses were gathered, only to be rudely told off by an older member of staff with a passion for excessively gelled short hair. Apparently a duo of girls had been waiting, cortados in hand, even though neither exercised swift enough actions to swipe the table.
Ultimately, this turned out in my favour as majority of the stools featured outlets underneath. It was a shame that bag hooks hadn't been installed underneath as well though.
Fresh Chai and Chicken & Waffles were my choices for a late lunch. The former was spicier than anticipated from a Chinese-operated restaurant, proving to irritate the throat more than it soothed. Nonetheless, the strength of flavour and spices was appreciated.
Frankly, I could have done without the salad dressing, for the oil-based sauce possessed greater wilting powers than taste potential. The hollow crunch and plastic-like sheen of the waffles informed of the unnecessary usage of constarch in the batter.
Remaining aspects of the dish were more enjoyable: spice-enhanced breading lent a fragrant and unthinkably crisp exterior to the standard-sized drumsticks, while the sweet and sour dressing cut through the greasy aftertaste caused by deep-frying (and not draining). It should be noted that maintaining a moist, tender interior is extremely difficult to achieve, but Alchemy had managed to succeed at the feat.
It wasn't explictly stated, but Alchemy operated as a cafe with "Seat Yourself" and "Pay Up Front" properties Interestingly enough though, this information had been obtained from Yelp instead of the cafe itself.
To conclude my findings, the cafe is great for a one-time experience (in which not a single member of one's party needs to adhere to a strict schedule). One ought to make Alchemy Coffee his/her destination of choice if neither wait times nor parking availability are of critical importance. Space is scarce, meaning that noise levels are generally high even during off-peak hours. A password-secured Wi-Fi network and plentiful outlets are greatly appreciated, as with the fact that customers are not rushed out of their seats for the sake of turning over tables. I found it surprising that tips hadn't been expected either.
I grabbed a Black Sesame Angel Hat Cake - supposedly a Markham exclusive - before riding off to Langham Square for dessert.
Between gelato cookie sandwiches, Sloane teas, and a plethora of delectable desserts, the items that caught my attention were, in fact, the Candy Cane Chocolate Mint and Rainbow Mille Crepe Cakes. My past experiences with the layered specimens weren't mindblowing by any means, so I kept my standards low while choosing the candy cane-topped creation over the N9 style specimen.
The two of us took hostage of the remaining marble table and accompanying clear plastic chairs, rising only when the numbers on our order slips rang out.
Brewed teas paired exceptionally well with the sweets. I might opt to stick with DAVIDsTEA for genmaicha next time though.
A familial request for crispy egg rolls catapulted me onto the second floor, where I encountered Dak Lak's familiar storefront. It occured to me that the ideal opportunity to try their Hong Kong Milk Tea had finally arrived.
Vietnamese Coffee, as experienced previously, packed an incredulous amount of caffeine, but was nonetheless enjoyable. (Personal tip: one should gladly welcome copious amounts of ice in this specific beverage, as it allows the astringent yet aromatic qualities to be savoured; there is also extra charge for reducing ice levels.)