Ranging from mildly to severely claustrophobic (concert pits are the only exception since idols trump everything, obviously.), I tend to steer clear of bustling shopping malls during peak hours. I either plan a trip for the first or last three hours of operation, simply too avoid crowds, nasty lineups, and incompetent customer service representatives.
Yet at Yorkdale, I had the joy of experiencing all three of the above tragic situations.
Mannerless tourists from Mainland? Check.
Exasperatingly slow service? Check.
Sales reps that not only talk down on their clientele but offer negative service? Check.
Pressed to fulfill my duties with just under 60 minutes, I honestly could have done without the snarky attitude, counterproductive comments, and repulsive idiocy. (For those wondering: avoid the Zara customer degradation reps and moronic, brain cell-deprived "muses" at Kate Spade.)
Seeing as the next return bus was not due for at least fifty minutes, I headed over to Cafe de Paris to briefly check out their fruit cups. The Bon Bons had earned excessive hype several months prior, receiving numerous mixed reviews, specifically in regards to value.
The process lasted for a total of two minutes, and I strode up to order a Mini Mango Bon Bon after that. After punching the item into the machine, she ducked her head behind a navy curtain and relayed my order to the man behind it. While I had assumed that the curtain had been present to separate the kitchen area from the cashier, this was soon discovered to be false; the skeleton-like man emerged from the area and started mixing (something) at the outer edge of the cashier area at a level camouflaged from view.
Upon flinging open the door to the stairwell, a waft of sewage-like grease hit me. I made a 90-degree maouver and began to descend the stairs, only to witness the shocking sight of a building standard basement.
Indeed, not a single element beyond the ground floor had undergone interior decorating. The stairs were barren, the floor cold and chipped, and the walls naked and insulation exposed. Cardboard boxes had simply been tossed in a corner where it would be out of customers' direct line of sight. The only other component of the floor was a single stall bathroom, of which the light switch was still grimy with the smeared fingerprints of construction workers post-renovation.
Inside was the toilet, a water droplet-splashed mirror, dust-covered sink, dollar store soap (with its green-and-yellow Dollarama label intact), and a singlular roll of toilet paper. Some eccentric folks may deem this setup as minimal, but I'd just describe as the result of minimal effort.
Majority of the time, I will continue to feed myself an item undeserving of my consumption for fear of wasteage and economic loss. However, this time around, I ultimately succumbed to nausea and consequentially disposed of the remaining half portion.
With that said, I would highly advise against visiting the establishment. (Take your funds to Presotea, if you must.)
On a previous visit to the area, I had waltzed into the bakery just as the lady in front had scooped up the last two Thai Milk Tea croissants of the day. Precautionary measures led to safely securing my items of interest for pickup at a specified time. Both croissants were placed in unsealed plastic slips when I arrived; boxes were an additional twenty five cents (or free with a forty-dollar purchase, according to the girl behind the cashier).
The Thai Milk Tea variation was filled with a super sweet, but very flavourful oozing orange formula. Fragrant as it was, I couldn't quite stomach (ever so literally) the excessive sweetness of the overall combination. The piping of custard on top was a cute touch, but evidently thickened by starch instead of egg yolks. Despite offering a strong visual representation of texture and colour, the result was a disappointing case of syrup-sodden dough. A more viscous filling would have also been preferred.
The most suprising aspect of the item, besides its Canada Goose excrement-like shape, was its Hulk green hue. Neither was reflective of its taste, for there was essentially no hint of matcha nor charcoal. Weaved within the croissant dough was some form of grease, though likely not butter. The satisfying aroma of dairy was not present, but instead replaced by a satiating punch of oiliness - an indication of heavy lard usage.
Both croissants were depressing at best and outrageously priced for its contents. The void for a proper croissant remained; I was reminded of dimsum-style century egg pastries (皮蛋酥), where the shell assumed flaky properties but lacked volume and butteriness. The sole highlight was the accuracy of the Thai milk tea flavour.
With that exception, save yourself the trip to Yonge and Sheppard.