With news of Nohohon's temporary closure and relocation, I couldn't help but feel a sudden pang of anxiety. The urge to rush downtown to coat myself in zen was prominent, and soon resolved to a trip down the Gardiner on a Saturday afternoon.
The entire journey lasted over an hour long: ramps were closed, cars were slow, and congestion was absolutely ridiculous. A full 65 minutes passed before we managed to inch our way down the Jarvis exit, then creep up Parliament with only slight improvement.
The poke phase has more or less adjourned for me after two seasons of hunting down the best spot in the city (1, 2, 3), but Sushi Burgers remained an item of interest.
SU&BU had taken over Union Juice's previous location at King and John some few months ago, and I had patiently awaited the opportunity to swing by while pointing out my most frequented City office building.
SU&BU had actually removed some of the seating area to make room for a bubble tea-specific extension, significantly reducing the amount of space for customers to move around and wait in line. Bar seats remained the same, but with smaller stools, a grimier surface, and the additional placement of napkin holders. Hooks were in complete absence, meaning that all bags were to either be hugged closely during meal consumption or placed on the tiny neighbouring seat that caught as many tobiko fallouts as the floor.
The once conveniently-situated garbage bins had now been shifted to the eastmost end of the store - an area that almost unreachable once a group of noisy friends had blocked off the corridor to chat away at meaningless topics I wanted no part of.
Two individual stalls were present for customer use: one standard and one accessible. The standard featured a urinal-shaped sink and, once again, an absence of bag hooks; the accessible one was a tad more spacious and included a more user-friendly sink. Neither was particularly clean, nor painted with a high degree of proficiency.
"Can you please turn the pop-up off?"
"We can't. It just appears." came his snide response. "It's not like it's blocking anything anyway.", completely dismissing the fact that half of two menu items had been hidden from view.
Patience rapidly deteriorating, we settled for a half portion of the Sensei Sushi Burrito and the Poke Nachos. The Sushi Burger had been "sold out" for the day, which was odd considering the mite of a weekend lunch rush. He ought to have told us that they simply hadn't prepared any at all.
Salmon and tuna chunks were in abundance, but ineptly added to the "chips" for a disjointed combination.
With poke competitors popping up left and right, SU&BU is likely only to survive off nearby office workers (and Ritual/foodora). Food quality is just below decent, as if the shop was being operated by the same shameless crew as Sugar Marmalade back home.
Reality check: People don't actually want your face in their photos or videos. They're simply too polite to ask you to get the hell out of their shots.
Most shop workers pleasantly ask customers to refrain from filming their faces, so it would be immensely appreciated if you would do the same instead of throwing snarky remarks in the air at the citizens that are contributing to your ongoing employment. Thanks.
Oh, how I longed for Tandem.