A foodie carnival covered in dinosaurs. Have I gone off the deep end, am I dreaming? No, I made it to Vancouver just in time to check out the North America’s largest night market, this year themed: Magical Dino Park.
Don’t worry if you missed it this year, the Richmond Night Market [8351 River Rd, Richmond, BC V6X 1Y4, Canada] starts up again on May 12th, 2017 – but it will be dressed differently, previous themes were Duck Island and Candy Kingdom.
We got there a bit before opening time hoping to beat the rush, but boy were we in for a surprise. There was a quite a line already cued up so we hopped on huddling for warmth on the brisk night. The line moved, but if you’re in a real hurry or you want to get inside before all of the vendors have big crowds, skip the line by purchasing a zoom pass. The atmosphere is really fun with pretty lights, live performances, and other than food you can do some shopping for material goods as well.
However, I had my mind on food and food alone. Our first stop was at the infamous Rotato stand, probably the most popular of all vendors with a real crowd around. Don’t let it deter you, save time by walking over to another nearby vendor during the wait. Rotato comes in different flavors such as curry, seaweed salt, cheddar cheese, and ketchup…we opted for the roast garlic pepper at the recommendation of the girl in the stand. They come in full sized and mini, mistakenly – we went for mini.
It took extra long, because I don’t think many people order the minis, plus it was gone in two seconds because they are pretty small (we wanted to save room for trying other foods anyway). Go big or go home on this one! When it comes out piping hot fresh out of the fryer do your mouth a favor and let the sweltering spiral cool for a second. It’s a tasty treat that is sure fun to eat! While I was waiting for my Rotato I swooped around the corner to pick up something quick and tasty. I have an obsession with pork buns and dumplings – these were hot, fresh, and substantial! Wish I ordered two orders of these sensational goodies!
Looking for a bit more protein and something that wasn’t wildly unhealthy, meat on a stick was a good choice and many vendors sell it. The honey prawns were succulent, but make sure to grab some napkins because your hands will get sticky pulling the tails off.
Takoyaki were sinfully good battered balls of joy filled with octopus. Even if you don’t like octopus, you probably won’t even realize it’s in there because of all the scrumptious toppings.
You have to save room for dessert, because some of the most unique items are the sweetest ones! We had two different kinds, first from the OD stall was Mizu Shingen Mochi which looked really cool. I was intrigued mainly by its looks and wondering what would happen when you poke it.
It is made of mineral water and agar – a jelly like substance, served with different toppings. To be totally honest, the taste was a bit strange to my palate and I couldn’t finish the whole thing. The texture was just too weird and not what I expected. Of course since its jello-like, it didn’t burst as I’d imagined, just wiggled. Nevertheless, the sauce good and I was happy to have experienced a new kind of food. Second dessert was a winner for taste and fun for sure! Taiyaki is a fish shaped cone with oohygooey goodness inside.
You can pick your filling with options from oreo to DURIAN, was not ready for that yet, especially after my first dessert. I went with a nice simple kitkat! If you love the air of a fair with a foodie flair, I do declare this market is your perfect affair.