Two weeks of planning later, a successful meet-up plan was executed in my final week in the city.
On my solo walking adventure downtown, I had unknowningly passed by Laduree's single confectionery outpost in Canada. The Parisian macaron boutique was hidden in a shady section of Robson, situated beside Telus (amusingly enough). Neither of us were particularly keen on sugar paste-stuffed meringue shells, but we headed inside anyway.
The space itself was quite small with minimal lighting and absolutely no windows whatsoever. Decor was simple: brick walls, wooden furniture, and Daiso-style woven utensil baskets. A familiar, comfortable vibe resonated from within; the feeling was reminiscent of dining at a friend's house with parents with extraordinary culinary skills.
Our plan was to eat light in preparation for indulging in dessert afterwards. Although I had been wanting to order two varities of pasta and share them between us, I eventually settled on one spaghetti dish and two side orders after taking the size of my appetite into consideration.
A unanimous vote was cast for Mentaiko Spaghetti. Garlic Bread and Mentaiko Tofu seemed to have earned significant recognition on social media, so we opted for those exact two sides. Unfortunately, we were informed that the latter was unavailable, thus picked Stir Fried Scallops with Garlic Butter as an alternative.
"Why is it green?" my friend had inquired, slightly taken back by its hue.
"Don't worry, it's not moldy. It's just the seasoning - herbs maybe?" was my hypothesis.
One piece had arrived as part of the Mentaiko Spaghetti, though I had requested an extra order which contained two pieces. This later proved to be a great decision on my part: the baguette slice was crispy and bursting with a truly unique blend of seasonings, unlike the typical cheese-covered fragments of white bread served at Kelsey's. I also found the surface to be slightly sweet, which my dining partner had presumed to be honey. When our smiley waitress came over to check up on us, we discovered it was, in fact, maple syrup.
"What a shame!" I was especially puzzled since their original menu and concept were the primary reasons for our lunch visit. Service, environment, and food quality were also of extreme satisfaction.
The scent of the uber-fragrant marinades reached our olfactory senses as we neared the ingredient bar. Despite having just consumed a delectable meal of spaghetti, mushrooms, and bread, the poke remained to be as attractive as ever.
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"You're not a spy from the other poke place, are you?" he piped up from behind the cashier.
"Nope, just tourists." I replied with a smile.
When we finally agreed on sharing one soft serve, the same man came to our assistance. After I had handed over payment to the girl at the cashier, he offered up his "best swirl of the day" to us, the "tourists".