We settled on a late afternoon excursion along the strips of Chinatown and Downtown Yonge.
My memory had the bakery/café stitched at the southwest corner of College and Spadina; after referring to Google Maps, the actual location was determined to be just south of Dundas on Spadina.
It goes without saying that I also wanted to familiarize myself with the new-and-updated Little Pebbles. Hunger caught up with me, while parchedness with orangecane. On this detour, I secured a White Chocolate Matcha Scone with macadamia nuts, which was much drier and firmer than I would have liked, as well as a satchet of mixed shortbread cookies. A Yuzu Rare Cheesecake was orangecane's pick; "It tastes like yuzu." I was informed.
A small group of international students had shamelessly stole majority of the stools from the other tables for their own chatty fest, so the two of us were left perched at the waist-level tables with our bags still strapped on. Suffice to say, we didn't stay long.
I will also conclude that Little Pebbles doesn't retain the same attraction as their smaller, pre-move spot.
The interior was practically empty at this time, though it filled up gradually as we eased into the evening hours.
I took a box of four to go, primarily to compare the Malaysian bakery's signature to our household favourite, Bake Code's Roasted Coffee Bun. Additionally, orangecane picked one for an on-the-spot munch. It made its way over to the table just as an all-too-familiar tune echoed above us.
"It's mainly air." my dining partner concluded.
Despite the Original Coffee Bun earning the namesake title of the Southeast Asian establishment, it proved underwhelming and less superior than that of Bake Code (even at one dollar greater).
The Yonge/Gerrard location was the first of five to introduce the Katsu Burger - a variation of the popular panko-patted protein source devoid of the standard cabbage slaw and rice accompaniments.
This forenamed creation was not offered in the form of a fluffy fish fillet, for a reason that the waitress had difficulty justifying in the English language. A Cheese Pork Loin Katsu was selected in its place. The "patty" was made significantly smaller than that of the standard platters, which I presume is to fit between the toasted buns. Its crispiness was not compromised, despite the bottom bun being saturated with an abundance of tangy, teriyaki-like sauce. However, I did find the condiment to be overbearing at times, especially since the surface of the cutlet featured another layer of sauce. Encased between the pork was a discernible layer of mozzarella: while tasty, it wasn't as stringy and satisfying as its other locations.
Gender-separated stalls were found a few steps away from the dining area, at the end of a dimly lit corridor. The same wooden elements were found here, but not the woodsy fragrance which I had adored from the Mississauga venture.
Hygeine levels were also several notches lower than the Japanese fusion restaurant's first and third locations. Not only was dust perceived in the cramped quarters, a large roll of toilet paper merely resided atop the toilet for all grimy hands to touch. It was either a matter of a misplaced toilet paper dispenser key, or outright laziness of staff. In addition, I was not impressed by the lack of a fully functional faucet.