We would engage not in boxing nor hiking, and instead be given a rare opportunity to dress nicely for the occasion.
The additional effort furthered my lack of punctuality, leading to a departure delayed just under sixty minutes. By the time I had arrived at her humble abode, it was nearing early afternoon. Lunch at Hub would take place around the 2:30 PM mark, in an essentially deserted dining hall.
We were guided towards a lengthy table at the north end of the restaurant. Laminated menus soon followed; eliminated were the hardcover scrapbook-style booklets.
Our request for hot water was responded to with lidless paper cups, while utensils adopting unanimously disposable format. I had no issues with this approach, though it would have been appreciated if a separate dish was provided for emptied soy sauce packets. For the duration of our meal, they either remained on the edge of our plastic plates or laid atop our only napkin on the table.
First to arrive was the Hub Tower. While the lover of stars and pigs found it typically average, my impressions did not align. The combination of fresh mango, salmon, and tuna was splendid; ripe avocado could also be enjoyed in small quantities, just as I prefer. It was admittedly more watery than previous iterations, yet nonetheless delicious.
"Can we have cake?" the lover of stars and pigs had inquired.
"Not cake." I had answered, "But I can promise dessert of some sort."
In attempt to alleviate the feelings of satiation, I suggested a trek about Centerpoint Mall.
Purchases spanning household helpers at One's Better Living to festive packaging from Dollarama were completed before returning to the great outdoors and its ruthless gusts.
Cafe Login has assumed a ranking on my POI list for years, however its inconvenient location (and scarcity of suitable dining partners in the area) infinitely postponed any visits. We entered through the double doors to find a full house. Staff members behind the counter urged for us to verify the availability of tables prior to placement of orders.
"I'm not a fan of sweet things." had come the hesitant response.
"Me neither." I thought, acknowledging the recommendation.
The Pistachio Raspberry Dacquoise presented itself as a palm-sized production in a soft, chewy shell. This lack of structural integrity was not preferred, but aromatic properties and noticeable shards of pistachio compensated the unfavourable texture. At its centre was creaminess: silky and not overbearing, with a small amount of raspberry jam for a fresh twist. Dacquoise rang in at unit prices of four dollars, just fifty cents more than macarons positioned on the shelf underneath. Personally though, Tokyo Cheesecake Café still takes the cake.
Unsatisfied churro cravings were fulfilled via the lovely Churro Financier. Albeit thinner than the standard financier, it was also denser, making it more enjoyable in a smaller portion.
Drinks were served in large cups and priced reasonably given their contents. The London Fog was available hot only for $4.95, while the middle-sized option of the Americano came to a ridiculously affordable $3.65.
Although macarons remain in the bottom tier of my dessert preferences, I greatly enjoyed this sweet-savoury variation. Cheesiness could be tasted upon contact with the tongue; the sensation would then invite delicious, cheddary essences. A single RITZ cracker was included in the middle, but proved crunchy no more. Nonetheless, the addition was appreciated, for it made the filling less satiating.
I wasn't a fan of the food colouring-enhanced embellishments, but the sesame seeds and coloured squiggles were inarguably adorable.
The café offered a password-secured Wi-Fi network, which could be utilized over the course of a two-hour seating limit. A quick glance at our warm-toned surroundings informed us of the demographic: beneath the record-studded ceiling were laptop users, small groups of friends, and even an instructor-student duo.
Washrooms were situated between the dining floor and bar. Patrons were limited to two gender-separated stalls, which were surprisingly clean despite customer traffic.