Re-attempting the excursion once more, I was pleased to discover that Google Maps has since updated the Cantonese bakery's coordinates for improved clarity. In addition, Local Guides had also uploaded images to confirm the shop's precise situation in the large complex.
Given the humid, dismal conditions, it was a steaming cup of HK Milk Tea that I longed for, not a sugar-laden morning snack. I swooped up two Pineapple Buns, a Chocolate Croissant, and Matcha White Chocolate Croissant before tacking the $2.25 beverage onto the bill.
Beware: the establishment is not a fan of credit, so bring cash or have a debit card handy.
One of my primary reasons for tagging along on an early weekend morning was to test the bubble waffle waters of First Markham Place's newest contender, Eggette Hut.
Unfortunately, the gates of the ex-juicing stall remained locked even after their declared opening time of 11:30 AM. The interior was dim, and didn't appear as if it would be illuminated any time soon, so I accepted defeat for the day and moved onto a hunt for prospective lunch destinations.
The Times Square restaurant commenced operations at noon. As luck would have it, parking was secured with minimal effort, so we were able to enter the dining hall shortly after 12 PM to choose our desired table.
Service was tardy in spite of the ordering system: members of waitstaff carried tablets across their chest such that orders could be submitted instantaneously without the need of running back to a central computer. Many were absent-minded, either completely lost in his or her own thoughts, or simply confused by the chaotic scene taking place before them. No explanations were provided regarding the menu, nor was there a great deal of insight on the café's best-sellers.
Perhaps our expectations of caffeinated beverages were too idealistic, for the Americano proved inferior for the price being charged. The surface of the dark liquid was not only devoid of crema, but boasted a peculiar, cloudy film suggestive of foreign matter. In comparison, Kerr Street Cafe's rendition had been severely more enjoyable.
Crispy as it was, I was not fond of its dry properties and synthetic flavour profile. The glamourous description failed to sway me, as a consumer, to believe that the dish was worth any more than fried chicken with preserved, man-made umeboshi powder. Points for visual appeal were allocated separately, for the combination of turquoise with purple is a solid match. Personally, the inclusion of puffed rice is viewed more as a distinct downgrade than intuitive fusion cuisine.
It should be noted that this bowl would be insufficient in satisfying diners with large appetites, for the ceramic container held far less than the standard size.
Our wait time averaged twenty-five minutes, with potentially the most observant server coming around to apologize for the delay at the 20-minute mark. He further explained that there was an influx of pancake orders, and that only two orders could be cooked at once.
Fluffy and airy as the rounds were, the bright yellow hue (with bits of white chunks) was slightly offputting. Its texture was not exactly uniform, which may have contributed to variances in consistency after cooking. The exterior had browned evenly, though this was merely a sign of monitored slow cooking on a smooth griddle.
"It tastes like uncooked sponge cake." remarked my dining partner, as the knife punctured the mound but refused to leave a clean cut.
Accompanying elements of chocolate sauce and fresh berries were on the typical side, but the Iron Goddess Soft Serve is worth mentioning. Dissolution speed was slower than expected, though nonetheless annoying. That said, we appreciated its bold, refreshing qualities: it was neither too slick nor too runny, and served as a highlight for the dessert conclusively.
A more spacious accessible stall was later discovered; it exhibited signficant improvement in the degree of cleanliness and convenience of use.
Meals ingested over Cafe Bon Bon's soft opening period were subject to a 10% discount off the entire bill. Oddly enough though, tax is calculated based on the original amount - a sneaky Shoppers-esque tactic indeed.
The impromptu decision to attend Toronto Kpop Con 2018 had been made while nonchalantly munching away.
< Pictured above and below: No.5 四寶飯 Four Treasures Rice and No. 26 鹹蛋肉餅飯 Minced Pork and Salted Egg on Rice >
Preserved meat, preserved duck, eel, and BBQ Pork were the constituents of the Four Treasures Rice. With the exception of the marinated eel, these elements were far too salty for my liking.
The heartier Minced Pork and Salted Egg on Rice was much easier on the teeth and digestive system.