Another similar situation arose when I was informed of my impromptu extended long weekend. I set out on a mission to refamiliarize myself with the downtown core and uncover the mysteries hidden within the IKEA Play Cafe situated at Queen and Spadina.
Sadly, the cafe had concluded its final day's operations on the evening that the suggestion was proposed to feedthebear. Either way, our lunch plans remained unbroken.
Current Sulley count: 2; actually, minus one for the adorable fluffball that found a giddy owner while I stood beside it.
I seem to recall a time where I had wished to visit Manpuku, though the excursion was later banished for some unknown reason. The interior is small with minimal space between tables; seating for up to 30 people was found distributed across two floors. Remaining space was allocated for the cashier, a tabletop arrangement of Japanese snacks, and a bathroom that I did not visit (Oops. We were in a rush.)
One thing can be certain though: it's unlikely their prices have inflated over the years, since none of the prices had been covered.
Prices were ridiculously low, as many Yelpers had stated. In my mind, I had insisted that their associated costs be a reflection of the size and quality of their portions. However, upon placing our orders with the bubbly waitress, I was soon proven wrong.
"It's huge!" were the first words to escape my mouth. My eyes widened at the meal. "This was not what I was expecting."
Feedthebear and I had also opted to share the Takoyaki. The supposed wait time is about twenty minutes, though I guess luck was on our side. The waitress reappeared within minutes of relaying the approximate wait time to us, piping hot takoyaki in hand. Should another customer's order been cancelled haphazardly, the bonito flakes were still surprisingly fresh.
Okonomiyaki sauce, Kewpie mayo, aonori were also present. Candidly speaking, the spongy spheres contained heftier chunks of octopus than most of my Ontarian experiences; the exteriors were crisp to taste, yet the middle soft and dough-like. Minor points were deducted for the lack of flavour in the sauce combination - I didn't find sufficient punch to contrast with the textures of the dish.
Wakame Udon adopted a similar presentation, but with slippery seaweed in place of kamaboko and a larger handful of tenkasu.
With this, it can be made quite obvious that portion sizes are indeed regular-sized, even if prices are not.
We parted ways shortly afterwards, as feedthebear had other schedules to attend to.
Despite my satiated appetite, the mention of bingsoo drew me into the narrow cafe. A single party of three occupied one of the tables, eagerly scooping at their Large Strawberry Bingsoo.
I observed as he layered sweetened condensed milk with the creamy white flakes sputtering from the snow ice machine. A yellow object with accordion folds was inserted into the plastic cup at one point; a dusting of matcha powder, thick layer of sweet red bean, and uniform scoop of green tea ice cream completed the lofty specimen. The object was later discovered to be a firm cupcake - or poundcake? - or sorts that slowly disintegrated into the bingsoo with time.
Thankfully, it was nowhere near Cafe Bene's level of sugariness, though it would have been more pleasant with added texture and milkiness.