Perhaps it wasn't the best idea to embark on a trip to Yorkdale in the midst of almost-whiteout conditions, though it happened to be the only day where our free schedules overlapped.
Thankfully, traffic was rather light, and despite moving a tad tardier than on dry days, we arrived much quicker than anticipated.
Climbing over the fluffy white foot-high barrier, we pulled into the unplowed, unsalted parking lot just before noon to begin our shopping adventure.
But seriously, who was the barbaric soul who deemed it alright to toss tiny balls of garbage into the Sulley basket?!?!
As mentioned previously, Mii Sandwich's original location does not extend the same deals as the Square One spot. Instead of steamed bao and taco deals, Yorkdale features an $8.99 Lemongrass Chicken Banh Mi and Lemonade combination. Both were exceptional, with the former being crispy and flavourful and the latter refreshing and invigorating. The citrusy fizziness was a welcome addition to the subtly sweet beverage.
Service was on a similar level to my previous visit - blunt, impatient, and far from being excessively friendly. For someone who normally requests a to-go option to prevent the wasteage of food, I found it odd that I was interrogated three times for obtaining a plastic tray. One of the ladies at the cashier even forcefully insisted that I return it to its rightful place, and I can't say I appreciated this.
Unfortunately, the first two destinations on this list were closed for the day. It hadn't occurred to me that I should have confirmed operating hours for weekends before setting out, so two stops were skipped as a result of my sheer forgetfulness.
Instead, we settled for hodo kwaja from Galleria, followed by bingsoo at Cafe Bene.
The 설빙 sign resting at the exterior of the cafe has been present for some time now, though it wasn't until my friend had made her decision that a second trial session was conducted.
When we finally made it to the doorstep of the cafe, another challenge awaited us: the steep flight of stairs was slick from the puddles of disintegrating snow left behind by other diners. Thank goodness for railings. (No thanks to the lack of snow-clearing and absence of an accessible entrance.
One quick sip informed me that my hypothesis had, indeed, been correct. A chunky, powder-trailing substance of medium viscosity flowed gradually from the cup and into my central digestive tract, causing gentle winces along the way. It was $4.49 worth of poor decision-making.
Things were much more enjoyable this time around: proper flaky shreds coated with decent portions of injeolmi powder and mochi bits are always welcome in my diet.
The house Wi-Fi network was present and ever so resilient - so stubborn to the point where it refused to connect no matter the number of attempts. The unexpected component of this story is that the male server assisting me didn't exhibit any signs of remorse or take initiative to help me upon hearing my concern. He simply stated "Oh. Maybe it's just not working." before turning away.
As the final stop of the day, we didn't exactly reach Bake Code until well after dusk. By this time, the sidewalk had become a disgusting, squelching mess. And yet again, the roads still hadn't been salted, nor the plaza entrances or side street accesses shoveled.
I proceeded to dash in and obtain two of the (overpriced) European-Asian bakery's new products: the Honey Lava Castella Cake and Matcha Honey Lava Castella Cake. Being the first of any Canadian bakery to hop onto the trend, Bake Code caught my eye immediately.
It was strange to me that the cakes weren't released until 4:00 pm each day, though given that my day's adventures had extended into the early evening hours, this was not a primary concern for a weekend hangout.
A rather delectable-looking cheese tart was situated near the cashier, so I proceeded to add one of the $5.50 specimens to my order.
It was larger than fugo's, taller than T&T's, and roughly the same diameter as Love Me Sweet's. The tart shell was crunchy and carby, and its contents fluid and creamy.
Composition-wise, it gained the highest ranking amongst all the previous types tried. With a smooth and creamy interior and unbeatable cheesiness, it was easily polished off within a matter of minutes. The specks of sweet vanilla bean further enhanced depth and body. (Although, I would prefer a steaming mug of tea to combat richness and revert feelings of guilt for munching on such an indulgent snack.)
For the optimal consumption process, I took to pairing eggy, lava-soaked segments of the sponge-chiffon with an Iced Americano.
Due to its frail nature, majority of the cake tended to split even with gentle tears of the paper lining. As such, a substantial amount was lost in the unravelling process itself.
By all means, though, try a piece for the lava-ness. It's difficult to find such a product in Canada, after all.