I proposed for lunch at Miga, intending to splurge on a well-deserved meal of meat. Since our midsummer visit last year, the restaurant has expanded its patio area to introduce artificial flowers and potted plants, a translucent overhead covering, and picnic tables equipped with grills. By the entrance was a floral arrangement with "Miga" in white, sans-Serif font. The restaurant name was also clearly visible from both ends of the patio area - this time formed by faux fuchsia petals. Potted plants prompted a tropical vibe that was mirrored even beyond the patio, adorning the ceiling of the indoor dining hall.
"How many strips does this one have?" I pointed to the stone pot selection.
"Two." The bespectacled young server responded, "I believe it is two, as seen from my peripheral."
"Okay." I stifled a chuckle at his choice of vocabulary. "We'll go with this one!"
A short while after order placement, a trio of banchan arrived, along with sweet potatoes in oligotang. The amount was admittedly scanty, so we picked at it slowly in anticipation of the entrées.
True to the server's words, roughly two strips of marinated short rib rested atop the white grains. They had been cut into individual portions of ease of consumption before plating. Each section was tender and flavourful, boasting uniform marbling of flesh and fat.
- Lemonade for Margarita
- Pineapple juice for Piña Colada
- Orange juice for Strawberry Dacquiri
Pale pink and generally icy in nature, the drink was a far cry from SK's publicized ode to summer. Refreshing it was, but warranting its sixteen-dollar price tag it was not.
I managed to secure the top two scores on the green keys, while both of us succeeded in obtaining the 500-ticket jackpot on a separate game.
The clock was ticking as I hastily searched for acceptable alternatives in the vicinity; the unwanted unleashing of hangriness was imminent.
In we marched, and only inside was the realization was made: fresh was entirely "plant-based" - ie. vegan. fresh was not to be confused with freshii, where the assorted varied vastly from starch-thickened, "meat" masses.
While not particularly keen on soul-less sustenance, I was far too hungry to consider heading elsewhere. Dine-in guests were instructed to seat themselves within the patio or at one of the not-so-socially-distanced tables inside, as table service was provided. The menu could be accessed from a QR code pasted at the edge of the table.
Bottled in nature and entirely outsourced, the Tonica Kombucha was comparable to the other instances of the fermented tea beverage and more or less as unenjoyable. Along with pressed juices and chai sodas, the drink menu comprised of radlers and "craft cocktails"; the sighting befuddled me, for the impression was of "plant-powered" conjured a sense of health eating, an aspect bearing weak correlation to alcohol.
The Goddess bowl was available in Small and Large, yet portion sizes varied only by the amount of carbohydrates in accompaniment. When faced with the choice of rice or soba noodles, I opted for the latter, completely unaware and uninformed of the additional one dollar surcharge. It was the cheapest, slyest trick in the book, executed by our waitress with the most unapologetically impassive demeanour.
The side of soba noodles were served in a similarly small bowl. As I relocated the buckwheat noodles before, I perceived warmth from its container and observed dullness on its surface. "Oh dear." I thought. Upon closer inspection, certain strands had severed - an obvious indication of overcooking and lack of cold-water rinse. A stabbing of the brown-grey threads returned nothing, for the noodles were limp, tearing and plummeting back into the bowl from which they had perished. Beyond disrespect for package directions, the frail qualities implied uncertainty, lack of longevity, and discontinuance in life - an abomination even outside the weeks of Chinese New Year.
The experience was despicable to say in the least. Even with raging appetites, not a single item on the table was passable. Service was sluggish in spite of the off-peak hours, further failing to establish communications with a pleasant attitude. Within the waitress's tone were implications of our supposed ignorance, lined with passive-aggressive hostility.
The Chipotle Bacon Burger on the other end of the table was "alright", in the most moderate of evaluations. Fries were quite decent, though salted heavily and presented in a modest quantity.
A visit to the bathroom entailed no relinquishing of funds, no interaction with the patio waitress, and no ingestion of the franchise's abhorrent feed, constituting the sole instance of triumph of the nine o'clock supper.