By Diana (Foodology),
Special to The Post
Every summer, the Richmond Night Market attracts thousands of Vancouverites to enjoy great shopping, entertainment, and food in an open-air market. I have come here for many years and I always gravitate towards the food stalls. The smell of grilling skewers, the slurping sounds of people drinking Bubble Tea, and the sight of all the people speeding past you makes for a great evening out.
Entrance is $2.75 per person. You can purchase a Zoom pass for $20 and get up to 15 visits. It is transferrable and you get to go in the VIP line rather than the regular line. It’s good if you are planning to make multiple visits to the night market, have lots of friends, or just hate waiting in line.
I only come to Richmond Night Market once a year, so I paid $2.75 and went in the regular line up. Even though the lineup looks very long, the staff are very efficient and you will get inside in no time at all.
To get to the market, you can take the Canada Line Skytrain or if you choose to drive, parking is free. The parking lot closer to the market does not open until 7:00 p.m. Be prepared, there are long lineups for parking.
I always get overwhelmed by number of different vendors, so I recommend walking around the booths to find the stalls that make my mouth water. The selection includes German pork hocks, skewers, crepes, grilled squid, donuts, curry, dim sum, takoyaki, and more.
Shaka Shaka Squid is a great new booth this year that serves up deep fried squid. You can choose from three flavours: shaka (original salt and pepper), sweet seaweed, and spicy shaka. The small size is $7 and large comes at $11.
My friends and I started with the shaka deep fried squid. The batter is very crunchy and full of flavour. The squid was not chewy at all and cooked perfectly. The mayo served on top complimented the dish. I highly recommend this place; it was so good that we went back and bought two more to try the rest of the flavours. The spicy flavour is good if you love spicy food. The amount of batter and crispiness was consistent. The sweet seaweed flavour was good, but it wasn’t our favourite.
Another new booth at this year’s market is Tenryu Hashimaki, which sells Japanese savoury crepes on chopsticks. They have five main flavours: curry, cheese, ramen, crab, and shrimp. The price is $6 each or two for $10.
The Crab Hashimaki ($6) has the crepe wrapped around the chopstick and is topped with the crab, seaweed, and a generous handful of dried bonito flakes. You need two hands to eat this or else it will get messy. The crab didn’t add much flavour to the crepe. The Ramen Hashimaki ($6) has crispy ramen noodles, mayo, seaweed, and bonito on top. The ramen added nice texture to the hashimaki. It reminded me of an Okonomiyaki on a stick or a takoyaki in a different form.
A visit to the Richmond Night Market isn’t complete until I visit Chef James to buy a few of his skewers. You can choose from: AAA steak beef, chicken, lamb, honey prawn garlic, crispy green onion bun, and lamb kidney. The skewers are three for $7.25 or five for $11.50. We chose an assortment of skewers: lamb, chicken, and three beef skewers. Delicious as usual.
My friend started getting thirsty, so we visited Sugar Cane Juice for some young Thai coconut juice. At $4 each, it’s thirst quenching and delicious. These coconuts are much sweeter than the brown ones, and the coconut meat tastes good.
For my beverage and dessert, I visited my favourite booth, Icy Bar. Their products remind me of my childhood. They also have a permanent location inside Crystal Mall in Burnaby. I love mango, and ordered the Mango Tapioca Icy ($5), which has fresh mango, small tapioca pearls, coconut milk, shaved ice, and condensed milk, all layered in a large clear cup. It tastes and looks delicious.
Overall, the food is undeniably delicious and the market provides a unique experience. There are more food options than what I covered, but you will find something you will like.
On Friday and Saturday, the market is open from 7:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. On Sunday and statutory holidays, hours are 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. The Richmond Night Market runs until October 13, 2014. Visit www.
richmondnightmarket.com for more information.
Foodology is a top ranked food blogger on UrbanSpoon. These are the tales of her dine-out experiences.
Read more at www.foodology.ca.