T̶y̶p̶i̶n̶g̶ Toiling into the early evenings render me feeble in the departments of physical and mental capacity. The lack of energy prompted an earlier dinner (before 9 PM, for once), then followed with a sweltering neighbourhood saunter.
Emails received throughout the visit conclude significance in logging back into the work portal. Around the 3:30 PM mark, I pull up to Platform with hopes of plugging in and engaging in proper conversation with my sidekick. Pulling open the door, I am greeted by the owner, who then proceeds to provide unfortunate news: The café was slated to close at 4 PM. Moreover, all acceptably distanced tables were occupied.
Disappointed - but not yet distraught - I thanked her and navigated towards Main Street Unionville. Corner 20 was spotted out of the corner of my eye; I found parking in the garage, gathered my weighty belongings, and waddled over in my flat foot-friendly footwear. Much to my dismay, the same message was relayed to me. I spun on my heel as soon as I heard the words: "We're closing in twenty minutes."
Next door was The Alley, where a delivery driver swooped before me in line - with an air of outright righteousness, might I add - and demanded his drinks. The cashier was kind, albeit a bit difficult to hear behind the plexiglass barrier. I dabbed at my forehead while in wait of Order No. 31, and was then shoved my Dark Knight by the barista who had the same tremendous demeanour as pod coffee's sole operator.
At long last, I would find myself outside and ready to dive back into work endeavours, only to be warmly welcomed by fumes originating from cigarettes and cannabis. Oh, Markham, how I have learned to loathe thee.
Dinner was scheduled with orangecane at Jin Myungdong Kalguksu, a destination that both of us had bookmarked for some forgotten duration.
The middle-aged server had eyed us warily upon our arrival. Menus were slid to us with minimal emotion, then retrieved in an identical fashion. She appeared exhausted, yet watchful of our intentions. A washroom excursion earned me a leery glare, to which another nearby server reacted prudently.
Although the slushy edition would have been preferred in the given climate, the MulNaeng was nonetheless refreshing. The broth was slightly tart, as it should be, with chewy noodles slightly submerged within. Admittedly, my top pick must reside with Cho Sun Ok, for the noodles were too tough to cut with bare teeth. A similar product could also be obtained from (the now blacklisted) Sikgaek.
Their signature kalguksu was, thankfully, an item fitting of our expectations. Served with gochujang, perilla leaves, shredded romaine lettuce, julienned carrots, and cucumber slices, the cold flour noodles were the highlight of the ensemble. Charred pork and a scallion-topped broth had arrived alongside the bowl, though quickly forgotten as I dove into the substantial savoury-spicy portion. Perilla leaves added a wispy bitterness that was not unwelcome in the consumption process.
Spurred from the rarest of hankerings, Strawberry Jam was assembled via the trusty breadmaker method in the early days of the work week. The condiment was then utilized as the foundation of the coveted tri-layer dessert.