I found some excitement through Lucullus' varied assortment of buns and egg tarts, minimal satisfaction in T&T's too-damp raisin rolls, and adequateness in storebought Country Harvest smothered in homemade strawberry jelly and pecan butter.
It started with congee (Preserved Egg & Pork, Minced Beef) and steamed rice noodle rolls (Beef, Plain) from Congee Queen.
The lunchtime order had been placed online for an approximate pickup time of 11:45 AM. Rarely are mid-day meals taken at an early hour, however Wednesdays tend to feature everlasting afternoon meetings, making sustenance a pivotal element for prolonged productivity.
"We don't have that right now." came the staff's response. "Did you want to try the regular one?"
As I hesitantly declined the suggestion, she followed up with, "You like GOT7 too?", pointing to my pink Eyes on You lanyard.
Half stunned and half delighted, a loud gasp escaped from my mouth. A step back was taken. "You know them??! You like them too?!" The words emerged partially whispered, embodying a tension only extreme enthusiasm could induce.
She responded with utmost calmness, as if awareness of the global septet was common knowledge. "I have that too." referring to the lanyard. "I have everything you have."
Som Tum Thai, the dish that spurred the entire ordeal, was incredibly spicy, as I had inferred from its ingredients. Shredded papaya marinated in smashed red chili peppers, garlic, and lime served to provide a tangy, refreshing start to the meal. It simultaneously set my tongue ablaze. Rather than the torturous foreboding of all-encompassing Indian spice though, the Thai edition was far more moderate, its fiery aftereffects definitive and temporary. The dish was delicious, and I persevered in spite of risking breakouts the next day.
Mostly savoury with zesty undertones and slightly pepperiness, the Pad Thai was delicious and easily provided up to three portions (or two for the ravenous). Especially commendable was the even distribution of seasoning between the noodles: while not particularly greasy, the noodles came apart effortlessly even after refrigeration.
Mango Sticky Rice was quite a microscopic portion overall, albeit the generous portion of ripe mango. The glutinous rice was plush without exhibiting signs of overcooking. Its edges were crisp, while barley further contributed texture and crunch.
1) Purple Sweet Potato Dessert Soup w/ Glutinous Rice Balls (紫番薯糊 + 湯圓) Feat. leftover Black Sesame accent
The intention behind quickly searing one side then flipping was to ensure structural integrity. High heat was maintained throughout the cooking process with the intention to crisp skin. As retention powers are powerful amongst metal utensils, the grilled sections quickly transformed to a coal-like appearance. Its edges began sputtering and the pan began smoking. I had lost foresight of the fish's natural fats, which would convert to oil secretion throughout the cooking process.