I had been yearning for the Unagi Kimchi Donburi for the past little while, and even more intensely after my tastebuds came in contact with Nichiban's dreadful, shabby-grade eel. Once again, the stone pot dish hit adequately hit all the right notes.
Next up was Chi Patisserie. Having been added to the itinerary on the bases that a private parking lot was present and neither of us had visited previously, expectations were on the higher end of the spectrum.
Pastries and beverages were ordered at the counter, though customers had the option of paying at the conclusion of their stay. Shared between us were the Oolong Peach and Rice Wine, along with an Iced Grapefruit Green Tea for myself. For patrons wishing to opt out of purchasing a drink, a water station with Stainless steel cups was situated near the cashier for their convenience.
The Oolong Peach had been slid onto a matte, charcoal platter - rather carelessly if I may add - and then surrounded with droplets with tangy passionfruit coulis and starch-thickened lychee element. The acidity of the passionfruit coulis was quite refreshing, though the lychee was almost entirely bland.
Rice Wine arrived atop a white platter of equal dimensions. There was minimal contrast between the serving apparatus and the cake itself, with the exception of a dark red ring of raspberry sauce. Centering the piece within the ring made for an almost symmetric layout, though fell short in enhancing its visual appeal. Utilizing an angular syrup shape would draw attention to the cake's smooth, cylindrical form, while a plate in a darker hue would emphasize the daintiness of the off-white patisserie and its contained osmanthus flakes.
The pastry list was admittedly limited, with a total of eight fixed offerings and two to three seasonal specials. Moreoever, not all of the pictured items were available during our visit.
At some point during our stay, a few men waltzed in to deliver a new batch of cakes. I observed as he removed his jacket and proceeded to place the strawberry-decked rounds into the refrigerated display case. This was, presumably, another holiday creation, for it was not displayed on the menu.
The single stall bathroom was of a similar state - passable in terms of hygiene, though well stocked in inventory.
Instead of these new contenders though, I scurried towards my tried-and-true, low-budget favourite. Palgong Tea matches value with efficiency, and I cannot wish for anything more than that. (The cup was demolished at such an alarming rate that no images were captured whatsoever.)