Light Café was amongst the very first establishments to embrace the supposedly popular "goth theme" by debuting heart-shaped charcoal/sesame waffles. Neither a fan of long lines nor ridiculously overpriced desserts, there was no sense of urgency in trying out this concealed spot on Baldwin. Not until it was brought up in conversation as one of the spots I hadn't tried, anyway.
A region of artificial shrubbery lined one wall, while dimly-lit booth seats were found along the opposite wall. Exposed light bulbs in geometric fixtures hung from above, casting orange glare spots on the marble (faux marble?) tables underneath and further highlighting areas of griminess.
Stout water glasses had been provided initially, and a basket of utensils and napkins followed upon ordering.
Two staff members were served us during the visit: a lean girl clad in black, and a male in a training jacket. The girl was prompt in her actions but otherwise undeserving of praise. No attempts were made to conceal her attitude, nor had any shred of effort been exerted in maintaining a friendly, approachable demeanour.
The male, in contrast, showed genuine willingness to assist in requests and upheld a friendly appearance. Actually, I found him to appear familiar at times. It was only later than I realized his resemblance to Crush.
Two containers of fruit salad and spring mix accompanied the croissants. Consisting of diced green apples, pineapple chunks, several pieces of bruised red apple, and a few orange segments drizzled in lemon juice, I hesitate to term it "fruit salad" at all, for it was neither impressive in presentation nor taste. Minimal effort was required to prepare this side, making it ridiculously easy to replicate at home (or even prepare a version comprised of more complex flavours).
The croissant was flaky though devoid of the comforting, buttery aroma witnessed at other establishments. Similarities can be drawn to duo's creations, except that Light Café's were more vulnerable to small movements, exhibited greater rigidity, and did not have the capability to envelop its constituents.
The Philly Cheesesteak Croissant was similar in all categories with the exception of fillings. A shockingly yellow viscous cheese sauce had been ladelled atop a pile of beef slices, with little grace if I must add. Admittedly, the item was a few notches tastier than the Pulled Pork, but nonetheless a pain to secure a slice from.
The leaves exuded a soothing, sweet fragrance whilst mid-brew, though any hints of Oolong could not be distinguished during consumption. Contrary to its name, the base notes leaned more towards floral than fruity. Nonetheless, it was a refreshing blend that aided in clearing one's palette between bites of crumbly croissant.
Elsewhere in Kensington, specifically at a tried-and-true location.
Fortunately, this was not the case; it was relayed that assembly preparations were currently in process, and that the wait time averaged a mere five minutes.
I requested for the beverage to be unsweetened, as the Mille Feuille would likely reside on the sugary side. The resulting product featured a substantial layer of silky, frothed milk, while its body was aromatic and toasty. Regrettably though, I was unable to taste - or smell - any hints of the delicate purple flower.
The puff pastry layers were on the drier side, however the addition of fresh strawberries supplemented moisture while contributing to a refreshing twist.
Had I had not consumed the rigid monstrosity of a croissant during lunchtime, I would have likely found greater joy in enjoying the remainder of the golden pastry layers. Consuming a similar specimen almost instantly afterwards, though, was admittedly overwhelming; a greater ratio of custard to puff pastry may have been the more ideal approach.
Whichever way I was headed, advertisements for Kusama's Infinity Mirrors glared me in the face, almost as if they were taunting me for failing to nab online tickets despite the ticketing experience I've accumulated over the years for various K-Pop concerts.
My final stop of the day was Pilot Coffee, which had moved from its pop-up style counter in the Great Hall to a physical shop in the lower level of Union Station.