For loyal followers of this space, it should come as no surprise that I've been eager to attend the dotty display since its announcement in January. By the time the fourth public release of tickets came around, I had already been convinced that I would not be able to attend, yet somehow I managed to secure tickets for four. Regrettably, my favourite fangirl was unable to make it as weekend tickets had sold out completely.
A pamphlet outlined the seven rooms available for viewing: some dimly lit and some completely illuminated. The entire exhibit spanned two floors, where Kusama's paintings and standalone works filled the gaps in between the timed "infinity rooms".
Dim rooms and a multitude of colourful illumination sources easily capture my heart. It gives the illusion of being isolated in an everlasting capacity of thoughts and emotions, in the most soothing way possible.
There were no time limits on this final stop, so images could be captured in excess.
With the amount of media attention garnered though, one could have easily gotten their dosage of dots via various outlets on the Internet.
While some tried-and-true teas were revisited, our curiosities were piqued with the warm weather launch of Spring Teas and Coconut Tapioca. Unfortunately, the shop was out of Coconut Tapioca. Thankfully, the ever-bold Sesame Tapioca was available and just as delicious as the uptown location. The Purple Tapioca. on the other hand, didn't exactly taste like taro, or anything for that matter.
With nothing to lose - or so we had believed anyway - we stepped foot in the chilly quarters with random imitation shrubbery draping from the ceiling.
With a crew barely capable of composing sentences in English, no explanations of the ordering system, and few pictures in sight, the very notion of picking a bowl to feast upon was a mission in itself.
The waitress merely stared back, seemingly as equally puzzled about our question as we were in regards to the options before our eyes.
"Umm these are for this." She drew an imaginary circle about the Signature Rice Noodle options and then pointing to the subheading. "And this is this." Another imaginary circle was drawn before pointing to the second subheading.
We blinked back in annoyance, not quite sure how to respond at her utterance of the obvious.
"What's the difference?" we further questioned.
It was only at this point that the "Crossing the Bridge" options involved customers placing ingredients into a roaring pot themselves, while the Signature bowls arrived with all components already intact.
"Mountain Cliff Mushrooms Crossing the Bridge" ?? I understand entirely.
This same girl later brought us an extra order of rice noodles when we requested an additional bowl for sharing. (What was that affirming nod that we witnessed then??)
Deduced from the tables around us, Fresh Watermelon Juice seemed the safest selection off the drink menu.
The Fresh Watermelon Juice was easily the highlight of the meal. Though evidently sweetened post-processing, its freshness could not go unacknowledged.
The Original bowl boasted a milky broth with distinctive patches of grease. Although it did not taste heavy, usage of synthetic flavour enhancers was strong. Its tomato-flavoured cousin was tangier, which perhaps yielded the illusion of a milder sodium content.
Toppings were relatively passable: Stuffed Meatballs had been a good decision, though the supposedly tender Beef Slices were tough and lean instead.
Unlike the thin threads of vermicelli we had been anticipating, the thick, doughy strips of rice noodles caught us by surprise. Visually speaking, it did not differ drastically from Macey's baked spaghetti dishes; consistency-wise, it was starchy and slightly less springy than MeNami's housemade udon. In retrospect, a heavier noodle was likely used to combat the slickness of the soup bases.
We returned home with throats as dry as the Sahara - enough evidence to deter others from dining at this non-English-speaking franchise.