Is it really busy to that extent? I had thought. Situated in the same tiny plaza as Marathon and Snow Time, amongst countless other eateries, I could comprehend why weaving around the one-way entranceways and locating parking would be a headache. However, two other bingsoo-offering establishments resided in immediate vicinity. Adequate competition existed within a fingertip's reach, even if subpar and unauthentic.
We carefully tiptoed around the prospective area of danger, heaving on the door to reveal a nearly empty dining area.
means of customer service, food quality, and general accessibility though, quite a significant number of deductions were made.
Visually appealing furnishings and skillful implementation of colour were appreciated, but one needs to beware of the slippery floors (especially as heavy snowfall is just around the corner) and non-uniform floor heights. The latter is particularly important to take note of as orders are not delivered to one's tables. Instead, customers are provided LED-powered buzzers that alert them to head over to the pickup counter, Panera-style.
I had a flashback of Icha Tea at this point, where in contrast to generally sophisticated seating area, the bathrooms were found to be utterly revolting. It defnitely was not to the same gruesome extent, but had the potential to be.
Setting aside the fact that texture was essentially non-existent, one of Dear Fro's most popular picks was nothing more than a deformed mishmash of Hime ice cream and dense chunks of flavour syrup. Given its price, I could have easily scored myself a much more enjoyable - and flavourful - bowl elsewhere.
Crisp and caramelized to perfection, the delectable blocks of sweet white bread were the only things that justified the trip to the Midland/Finch plaza. The portion size was also quite decent, making it great for sharing.
Although outlets could be found throughout the space, they were located at odd corners and heights. The Wi-Fi network, while password-secured, was highly unstable, thus causing mobile devices to frequently disconnect (or connect with limited functionality).
As luck would have it though, the door failed to yield as we yanked on its cold metal handle. Roll and Bowl was closed on Tuesdays.
"Szechuan?" we joked, before retreating back to the car for warmth as other options were evaluated.
Sharing a small parking lot with Subway and a neighbouring car maintemance/towing facility, the "Cars will be towed at owner's expense" sign posted on the side of building had me quite anxious. Approximately 10 cm of snow had remained uncleared from the asphalt grounds, masking the yellow markings one would normally adhere to align his or her vehicle.
I decided to raise the issue, or rather question its likeliness, with the waitress once inside. She waved such concerns aside, assuring that my vehicle would still remain upon termination of our meal.
While undeniably chaotic at our time of entry, the turnover period proved quite speedy. The Korean-operated Japanese restaurant seemed a local favourite that catered to both adventurous East Enders as well as the predominantly Chinese community.
Dear Fro's carb-sugar combo had rendered us less than ravenous, so we weren't particularly keen on ordering individual full-sized meals. Sharing a bento combo was an attractive solution.
Consisting of 10 pieces of sashimi, 4 makis, steamed white rice, tempura, and japchae, #85 was a set bento that also included miso soup and a side salad (with the onion pulp dressing I truly do not possess too much fondness for).
The segmented container of dry salmon sashimi, partially defrosted white fish, plain rice, and mediocre maki rolls not only left me unsatisfied, but frustrated that I hadn't think to review the opening hours of the restaurant I had wished to visit in advance.
The single redeeming aspect was the tempura: ridiculously crunchy and adequately seasoned, the only factor worth ridding was the extra grease that hadn't been properly drained away.
The individual washroom stall was surprisingly spacious - about as large as Coco Curry Ichibanya and retaining similar levels of cleanliness.
Roll and Bowl, I have my eyes set on you.