For, as young adults adopting increasingly prevalent positions in the workforce, there comes a degree of responsibility: to be aware and considerate of those surrounding you, which may or may not occasionally requiring placing personal gain behind for the greater good. By placing yourself in the shoes of another, the bias is lessened; respect is sustained.
Interestingly, budgeting, a skill as pivotal to adulting as social awareness, is less often overlooked due to survival needs. Homecooked meals (and, more recently, purchasing end-of-day surprise bags from select vendors) are one method of slashing expenses. However, my personal take is that handcrafted sustenance is not only quicker and cheaper, but easier to customize.
A small No. 22 House Special Pho rang in at an economic $11.95, while No. 45 Vermicelli, Spring Roll, Grilled Pork Balls & BBQ Pork and No. 82 Pad Thai Style Stir Fried Noodle with Egg, Shrimp, and Chicken were a tad pricier at $14.95 and $15.95 respectively.
Self-identifying as a pho restaurant, I expected nothing less of their noodle soups. A part of me desperately hoped that it'd be tastier - if not at least comparable to I Love Pho; both travel time and wait time were a fraction of the central Sauga favourite, and budget-friendly as well. Immediately obvious was the looser consistency of the broth. It was noticeably less savoury, yet nonetheless flavourful with slightly gelatinous qualities emerging the day after. Raw beef strips and brisket were of a decent portion, though I observed only a singular beef ball, thumb-sized section of tendon, and tiny bunch of tripe constituting the rest of the toppings. That said, the bean sprouts and lime wedges were distinctly fresher - a nice change from I Love Pho's frequent inclusion of wilted greens and yellowy limes.
Lover Boy, just like Kilimbi, is refreshing and, frankly, even a bit addicting in filter format. In espresso format, it emerges a bit odd-tasting without milk though.
It wasn't until my carpooling partner warned of the illogical mindset that I gained a sense of consciousness. Ultimately, the decision was mine and mine alone, irrelevant of fees relinquished. Combining at-home cardio and in-gym equipment routines was one solution, albeit a physically taxing one. Despite my reluctance to lug myself to the facility, I was reminded of my pending CN Tower Climb. Training on the Stairmaster was, unfortunately, a necessary evil.
Behind the doors were the same equipment as the co-ed floor. As expected, there was only a handful of users within, meaning that foul odours were kept at bay. Having mirrors installed at the front and side of the room also allowed for form check while utilizing the cardio equipment - not possible in the general space.
The sole downside was the frequency of maintenance: one of two Stairmasters was faulty, while the other failing to function in its entirety. Beyond this, I appreciated the judgement-free zone and its proximity to the women's changeroom.
1) Rice Krispies w/ Toasted Pecans and Mini Chocolate Chips
In an attempt to recreate the Iced HK Milk Tea with Traditional Ding Ding Candy from Cafe de Hong Kong, I set out to craft my seventh - eighth?? - batch of dalgona. The intent was to obtain a honeycomb-like topping similar to the popular dining spot, rather than perfect the stretchy, maltose-based traditional treat.
Brewing the tea in advance is recommended, for it allows chill time before serving. Evaporated milk is the standard choice of accompaniment, though, in its absence, I utilized a mixture of sweetened condensed milk and my old friend of Coffee Mate (an expired but never opened tin).
I liked their purple straw, but despised the fact that it was paper - the blasphemy of it all!
Upon returning home, I turned to UberEats to satisfy long overdue oyakodon cravings. From In A Bowl, the following were obtained:
- Kimchi Beef "Poke" Bowl with Half Purple Rice, Half Salad
- Oyakodon (of course)
- Chicken Karaage
Oyakodon was scrumptious, retaining a crispy cutlet underneath a dashi-filled, egg-and-onion topping. Beni shouga were positioned at the edge of the bowl for a sparkling palate cleanser.
The spread was paired with Waterloo Brewing's aromatic Passionfruit Wheat.