Monday, August 21, 2006

Richmond Night Market 2006

As the end of summer approaches, I hope you get a chance to hit things like the many farmers' markets and fairs like the Richmond Night Market before it's too late. I'm personally going to try and get to the PNE before it ends to get my mini doughnuts. There's also other community events like Country Celebration in Campbell Valley Regional Park in Langley (a GVRD Parks event) on Sept 16 and 17.

Here are photos from my trip last night to the food section of the Richmond Night Market. For me, these tasty little bites are well worth the trouble of wading through the ridiculously crowded aisles, and withstanding the background sounds of amateur karaoke (going on that night at the entertainment stage). I hope they widen the food aisles next year. That's where all the action is. We started eating right around opening at 7:30 pm, and kept going for a few hours, with strolls through the merchandise aisles in between.

Crispy Duck-filled Pancake - I liked this quite a bit. ($1.75)

Curry Puff - unfortunately served cold (2 for $3).

Roti Canai (2 for $3)

A School of Fishies - Look they're swimming so fast, they're blurry.

We Caught One of the Veggie-filled Ones! - Yummy. Also comes filled with Sweet Red Bean.

Waiting for our Lamb Skewers to Cook

Watching Someone Threading Big Squid Tentacle Sticks

The Ice Shaving Machine with a Block of Mango Ice

Big Bowl of Mango Shaved Ice without Toppings - wonderful lacy texture ($3.50)

Fistful of Meat: The Best Lamb Skewers Ever - So tender, fatty, and spicy! (4 for $5)

Lychee and Osmanthus Jelly (not very sweet), Side View

Lychee and Osmanthus Jelly, Top View

I can still taste those wonderful spicy lamb skewers, which were definitely the highlight of the lot. Worth the very long wait (they handed out numbered cards), and having to stand near the stinky smell of the fried tofu skewers served with a very odd sauce. We also had some great takoyaki, puffy balls of dough embedded with cabbage, and a chunk of octopus in the centre, and tasty Japanese toppings, that is not pictured here. Also missing from the photos are a bowl of fried rice, Korean sweet chili meatballs, and five pieces of fish cake stuffed eggplant and green pepper ($3). Bac'n Girl and I probably spent about $20 each on the food, shared everything, and came out stuffed. Oh yah, we also bought some cute crap from the merchandise stands (yes, I did have to buy those socks with the Ampanman cartoon figure on them), and paid $4 in parking, so you can factor that into the cost of a visit there. My first time was last summer. It's not for everyone, but it's now on my list of favourite summertime hotspots to hit each year.

Some tips for first-timers? Bring lots of cash. Resist the temptation to get too many of any single food item (even though they often are cheaper if you buy more), so that you have room to taste everything that you'll want to taste. Bring friends that will share food so that you'll have room to taste more items. Ask for that weird sauce for the fried tofu cubes to be served on the side if you are brave enough to try that dish (ew). And finally, be friendly to everyone around you and patient, as you're making your way through the crowds. Oh, one more tip, get those lamb skewers. There's several stands with meat on a stick, but we had the skewers from the one in the middle, serving just lamb skewers and squid skewers, that sold a paper bag of them at four for $5. We were glad we said spicy when they asked spicy or not spicy. They were so spicy and so good. They were also so wonderfully soft and tender, I wish I had their marinade recipe. In the classic words of Bac'n Girl, "even the fat tastes good."

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