The strip of restaurants and casual eateries along Yonge Street is ever-evolving, and the newest name to make the list of North York eats is Konjiki.
A member of staff made sure to note the names of each party that joined the lineup, estimating wait times while moving from person to person. When she reached us, we were informed that a minimum of one hour would be necessary to taste the award-winning bowls.
The words underneath read "Customers Only", which I misinterpreted as the back door being utilized as a second customer entrance, just like The Guksu and Noodle. Upon spotting the "Employees Only" sign and creaking open the door to find stacked jumbles of raw meat, it hit me that the sign had referred solely to parking. We rounded the strip to the front door.
As ceramic cups of hot tea and laminated menus made their way over, I made a request for napkins, specifically indicating discomfort towards the grime occupying my immediate surroundings. Without much expression, the girl set off to retrieve a single napkin, then returned to clean off both areas of concern with an almost exasperated attitude. She left no extra napkins for us to use, and made her departure swiftly (read: not meeting our eyes or responding to "Thank you"s)
A different member of the team arrived to take our orders. Directly situated on the booth was a service button, but the friendly waiter demonstrated such incredible attentiveness that the bell hadn't come into use at all.
The nightmare from the evening before caused me to veer from the kimchi and pickled radish banchan that appeared on the table. Marinated tofu pockets and miso soup were safe bets, though the speedy delivery on the entrées meant little time for snacking on appetizers.
As opposed to the traditional demi-glace sauce, Crazy Don's was a sweet, tomato-based substance that paired well with the egg. Personally speaking, it was much more preferable than the likes of starch-thickened gravy.
Not only did he nod in agreement, a soft drink was provided on the house in apology.
Afterwards, it was revealed that the cheese had, in fact, been inserted underneath the egg after all. It had merely been concentrated at the end!
The fault had been on my end, so it was imperative to clarify and apologize to the staff. While I insisted on paying the regular price in addition to the soft drink, he waved it aside, saying that the cheese "should have been spread out anyway".
Cleanliness levels were average and, might I add, consistent across both lavatory and dining areas.
A secure Wi-Fi network was, regrettably, not to be found, in spite of the password-donning posters tacked throughout.
Although neither the most pristine establishment nor the most tech-friendly, Crazy Don serves as the ideal spot for grabbing a quick bite or assimilating indecisive diners for casual conversation.
It hadn't. On the bright side, it no longer exceeded the length towards the double doors.
We made a short stopover, partially to kill time before our next appointment and partially to avoid walking in the snow so soon.
Obtaining the very last slice of Mont Blanc for the day instilled feelings of accomplishment in me. Not only was the dessert beautiful to gaze upon, its distinct layers appeared promising in terms of delivering various depths of flavour with an overall cohesiveness.
The tiered pastry had detached from its triangular cardstock base by the time it had reached home, which wasn't so much a calamity, but the sight of finding it toppled over was downright horrifying. The bag and its container had remained upright and unshifted during the entire journey, so I merely concluded that it hadn't been placed into the box with as much as care there should have been.
Having personally removed the slices from the box, I came to the realization that the tip of the cake was ridiculously soft, while the tart edge was rigid. The difference in stability had caused deflections to form at the weak end, in addition to increasing vulnerability to overturning.
The Mont Blanc Chestnut Cake was an odd creation, specifically in that a general sense of harmony could not be attained despite the innovative presentation.
Initially the cake emitted a strong, very potent aroma. Hopes were high for this specimen, so disappointment was greater when the result was no more than a confused profile of milky stabilizers with underlying saltiness. The main proponent of the body was either gelatin or starch (potato? corn?), though I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Minimal flavour was present, despite the dark swampy hue commonly associated with houjicha. Forks were returned to the table after a solid two bites.
The fine graham cracker crust was, dare I say, the highlight of the five-fifty dessert.
The implementation of black sugar - confirmed to be a direct translation of kuromitsu by the ONE OK ROCK-esque cashier - in hot beverages is, undeniably, an up-and-coming trend across the industry. The Houjicha Black Sugar Latte was the ideal beverage to soothe sore fingers and rejuvenate cold hearts with a slow-releasing burst of caffeine. Sweetness, fragrance, and boldness had been incorporated well; my sole complaint: the speediness at which the drink's temperature plummeted.
One customer had barged before me to demand whether "milk substitutes" could be utilized in the cafe's beverages. This question was misinterpreted as "Do the drinks contain milk?", therefore prompting an answer in the affirmative. Lady heard a "yes" and then proceeded to walk away without confirming whether the staff member had understood her question at all.