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You find a carpark before you have an argument about finding a carpark. You get the last table for two. The wine is only 11 bucks a glass and the kale fettuccine with black bisque sauce is the culinary equivalent of slipping into a polar fleece onesie. You feel cosseted. It's like you're at home, but you're wearing shoes and someone else will be loading the dishwasher. I am never this relaxed in Newmarket. Usually I'm running for the Outer Link, laden with receipts and regret. But there we were: Saturday night, in a restaurant next to an art gallery and across from a fashion design store, feeling pretty bloody smug.
The Candy Shop is an unpretentious gem about two minutes' walk from the Rialto Cinema. If you haven't added it to your list of date night options, you should. A popular brunch spot, it has one of the city's more eclectic evening offerings. How did that happen, I asked? So that's kimchi on the best bowl of chips I've had this year and, based on the aforementioned fettuccine, I'll be giving the spaghetti and lamb meatballs a go next time.
There were some hiccups. We had arrived at a relatively early 6. We had a substantial wait for our first course and, at another table, one couple was served several looong minutes after the rest of their party. Maybe come here post-movie?
It would be a shame to have to leave without pudding. Kind of a doughnut-meets-cinnamon bun, it's made from a yeast dough and stuffed with brown sugar and spices. Flattened and fried on the outside, gooey and sweet on the inside, this is the kind of dessert that makes winter bearable.
It was a travesty of dry crumbs and zero flavour beyond a pile of freeze-dried fruit. A huge disappointment.