You know a cafe holds a special place in your heart when you’re happy to go back for eats even after a mortifying experience. On your birthday. In front of other people. And by mortifying, I mean having your special circus-themed ice cream birthday cake completely defrost, deflate, collapse, and flood the dinner table with your dinner guests watching, laughing hysterically, and then helping you mop up the goopy mess afterward. And that, my dear friends, is the fondest memory I have of eating at Destiny Cafe until now. Which is somewhat unfortunate considering I’m in love with their menu, their decor, and their drinks and food! Let me start from the beginning though and turn the clocks back to the summer of 2008.
Enter the reunion of yours truly with a childhood friend through the magic of social media. Said friend suggests grabbing a bite at Destiny Cafe in Scarborough. Yours truly, not yet the savvy food adventurer she is now (humour me with that one), has no prior knowledge of what Destiny Cafe is or what food and drink they serve. However, she is highly intrigued and jumps on the chance to try a new place and to catch up with an old friend. Yours truly is happy to find out that Destiny Cafe is a lovely place with traditional Chinese rice and noodle meals and snacks, and vows to come back in the future.
When she does so in 2009, she is shocked to see the cafe has undergone a complete makeover in both appearance and in menu, making it one heck of a gorgeous and delicious space to eat in! Goodbye wooden and bamboo accents and furniture; hello sleek and shiny gunmetal and olive green! The scrapping of the traditional Chinese food menu made way for the more modern and hip bubble tea and tea drink cafe with fried rice and noodles dishes, dim sum appetizers, and Hong Kong diner style fare. Yours truly is hooked and vows to eat and drink her way through this luscious Chinese cafe.
And eat and drink she did as she enjoyed afternoon tea time food with her family (scrumptious crispy shrimp and mango dim sum rolls! Mango peach bubble tea!) and a birthday get-together with friends and boyfriend. She decided Destiny Cafe would be a lovely place to hold a birthday dinner – large space, large menu. With circus themed goodie bags and special ice cream cake in hand (or rather, hands), the birthday girl made her way Destiny Cafe for what hoped to be a memorable birthday celebration with great food, drinks, and friends.
Oh, it was memorable alright, as unforseen circumstances took hold. The food gods must have chosen her as the next target to poke fun at because before anyone could say, “melting cake!!!”, disaster struck as the birthday girl’s entire cake caved in, melted, and spread like evil molten lava. Mortified and nearly choking on her Portuguese chicken and rice, she lunges for the stack of napkins and tries to salvage what is now a circus freak show mess. The birthday girl’s friends and boyfriend help to clean up by eating any and all unmelted remnants, shoving the leftover goopy mess into the cake box, and using ice cube water and leftover guava juice to mop up the evidence. All the while giggling uncontrollably and soothing the birthday girl’s wounded spirit.
And that, folks, is the last memory I had of Destiny Cafe until now. Under the circumstances, I actually took the incident fairly well and snorted about it on the way home. That incident occurred two and a half years ago and I look back it ruefully and fondly. My last trip to Destiny may have ended on a mortifying note, but I look back and only remember the good because all my food experiences here in the past have given great food and memories.
If not for my old friend, I never would have known about this Chinese cafe and I never would have had the pleasure of tucking away another delicious Chinese food spot into my list of Chinese cafe mainstays. Destiny played a part in my family’s afternoon tea time meal phase during a difficult time in my life, and it gave my friends and I one of the most ridiculous, hilarious memories ever. No matter what, food brings us together and it’s what anchors many of fondest memories.
Aside from the crispy dim sum rolls, what you see up top are photos taken from the Markham location as opposed to the Scarborough one. I’ve barely made even a tiny dent in the food and drink department since, but I have a yummy post to share with you all tomorrow that’s sure to get you eating and drinking here. Minus the melting lava cake.
Destiny Cafe is located at 165 York Blvd. in Richmond Hill, Markham. The large space is housed within a complex of restaurants and eateries and can be accessed via East Beaver Creek Drive and Highway 7, just off the 404. Destiny Cafe has two locations in the GTA. The other location is located in Scarborough off Silver Star Blvd. and Steeles Ave. East. The markham location is open for business at 11am.