Monday, July 23, 2012
Richmond Night Market by the River Rock
There are two night markets in Richmond this year. Along with the Summer Night Market (I've been the last two years posts here and here) near Home Depot and Ikea near No.5 Road, there is now The Richmond Night Market by the River Rock Casino. On a hot and sweaty Sunday evening, The Leggy Redhead and I arrived to check it out and get some tasty bites. We arrived around 6:30pm (they are open Friday-Sat 7-midnight and Sunday 6-11pm.This market comes with an admission fee of $1.50 per person. I don't really agree with this - why pay $ to go somewhere to pay $? Where is this $ going?
There is the typical assortment of retail booths with discount merchandise from iphone accessories, unique artwork, kitschy toys, bizarre beauty products and a stage with live entertainment. We didn't let ourselves get distracted and headed straight for the food booth area.
Fortunately, at this point in the evening, it didn't feel too busy and the rows of booths felt quite spacious and well organized. This market features a wide variety of delicious looking food- even original Oktoberfest booth, fusion burgers, Mango Tapioca Icy desserts, grilled meat skewers, bubble tea, fresh lemonade, egg waffles, dim sum, lobster, bbq pork Humburger (not a typo or spelling), soba noodles, crispy taiwanese chicken nuggets, rotatos (hurricane potatoes), japanese corn dogs (a deep fried hot dog with a crispy yam fry exterior), korean, filipino, rice burgers, japanese crepes, taiwanese oyster omelettes...and even more.
The Leggy Redhead made the first purchase with an order of Pancit ($3.50) from the Filipino stand. TLR loves her friend's mom's pancit and feels compelled to order it whenever she sees it. She found this good, but not great.
There were at least a couple of booths selling BBQ Squid (one of my night market favs). We compared and thought this booth looked the best.
We ordered a small "hot and spicy" for $6.00. The squid was fried and spiced to order.
It was chewy (which I like), tasted fresh, and had an awesome, truly spicy, seafood flavour. The portion was huge- good bang for your buck!
Bandudanyaki for $5. I've tried to try this item twice before when they were a food trailer operating near the River Rock- once I attempted to go there for lunch to find that they were only open for dinner and then I tried again, to find that they had moved and weren't serving there anymore. I had read that they were serving at this night market and figured this was finally my chance. Takoyaki, is a ball-shaped snack made of flour based batter and filled with small chunks of seafood/octopus.
Instead of making small balls, Bakudanyaki is one huge battered ball of seafood- it's basically the size of 4 takoyaki together. Each fritter has squid, cabbage, corn, ginger, shrimp, rice cake, egg, green onion. They offer a few different flavour options, I asked the girl taking the order for the most popular, she recommended Wasabi or Curry, and I ordered Wasabi. It took about 5 minutes and our order was ready, smothered in Wasabi Mayo sauce and topped with bonito flakes. This was quite tasty but unfortunately didn't quite meet my hyped-up expectations. I wish the outside texture of the ball was crispier (like smaller takoyaki's) but instead I found it a bit soft and soggy.
I did love how it was jam-packed with ingredients like whole shrimp! The flavours were good and blended together nicely- but I didn't find it was spicy at all from the wasabi. Everything gets quite mushy and goopy as you get to the bottom.
I finished off my night market experience with a refreshing, cold, and palatte pleasing single scoop of green tea ice cream for $2. We left around 8 as it was starting to get really busy and crowded. Definitely recommend this experience. There is something here for everyone!