Can you believe it? I've never been to the Summer Night Market. Yes, it's true. Hey, it's not like I haven't tried. On a few occasions in fact. Every time, I've left in frustration due to the fact I couldn't find parking. And when you have kids in tow, parking far, far away is not an option. So when I heard of the new Richmond Night Market near the River Rock Casino with over 1000 parking spots, that was my cue to do a visit. To make things easy, we only brought our son because he wouldn't complain about walking too much. On the other hand, for such a picky eater, we were a bit nervous as well.
Not to fear because the first thing we spotted was the BBQ Duck Wrap at a place that really didn't have a name, but had the wrap boldly displayed. These were okay, if not a bit pricey (at 3 for $10.00). They were essentially freshly made crepes with egg which contained BBQ duck segments, hoisin, cucumber and scallion. Not bad, yet with chewy skin, this was not as enjoyable as a true Peking duck. Walking along, I noticed The Squid Company offering up different flavours of freshly pan fried tentacles. I went for the Signature Cup of Squid which consisted of all the sauces (satay, hot & spicy and garlic). This was probably my favourite item of the things we tried. First of all, I happen to love tentacles for their chewiness and snap more than the body of the squid. They were cooked up just right and the combination of seasoning agents gave it a good balance of the 5 main tastes. Only problem was that the 2 bamboo skewers were clumsy as eating utensils.
My son was not satisfied with his BBQ duck wrap, so we went in search for something else he'd try. We spotted the Japanese Corn Dog and he happily agreed to have one. This was essentially a hot dog wiener on a stick covered with a "hashbrown-like" batter. The result was a pretty starchy exterior that was crunchy on the outside, yet soft on the inside. Interesting item, not sure if this would necessarily be at the top of my list when there was so much more exotic items at the market. Also, they normally lace the thing with ketchup, but my son didn't want any. Actually they had to make up a new one for him because they forgot and drenched the darn thing with ketchup. For me, I love octopus' balls aka Takoyaki, so I went to a random takoyaki stand where the name was all in Japanese. Turns out it was a mistake because they were some mushy octopus' balls. The had been panfried in the takoyaki mold earlier and were sitting around. Hence, they got soft. Too bad really as the octopus wasn't chewy and the ample amount of toppings made it quite flavourful.
As much as I was tempted to get a Rotato or some Dim Sum, I went to Zhang's for their World Famous Terracotta Noodle. A bold claim and really, who checks these things anyways? As seen in the picture, it was a combination of wheat noodle, bean sprouts, cucumber, cilantro, sesame paste and chili oil sauce. We liked this as the noodles were chewy and the classic combination of chili oil and sesame paste appealed to our senses. The only thing we would've liked to see was a bit less water on the bottom and a touch of sodium. While I was in line for the noodles, Viv went over to get some Gai Dan Jei or a waffle that looks like a bunch of little eggs. We decided on chocolate because my son wouldn't want anything else. This was pretty good fresh out of the iron with a crisp exterior and a chewy interior. I wouldn't classify them as chocolaty, but they were semi-sweet.
We were planning on eating more, but it was getting late and upon leaving, Viv got one last thing which was the Mango Slush with real mango bits. This was refreshing, not too sweet and aromatic. Blended smooth and tasting like mangoes, this was another favourite of ours. We ended up parking at one of the farther lots and had to walk a bit to get there. On the plus side, we were able to leave and avoid the traffic. Yet, it seemed like they had a good handle on it and the fact they had parking in the first place is a major selling point.
- There's parking!
- Convenient location if you wanted to take Skytrain
- Near other businesses and not in the middle of nowhere
- There's parking, but only one way in and out
- Not exclusive to this market, but if you plan to eat dinner, it'll add up