Richmond Night Market: Bigger and Better
8351 River Road, Richmond, Canada
Diana, Amy and I checked out the new Richmond Night Market last night. This is the original night market but just with a new location. The other market is called the Summer Night Market. Check out the back story here.
All three of us were famished when we arrived shortly before 7 pm so you can imagine how agonizing looking for parking was. There is a free, make-shift parking lot beside the Richmond Night Market. But if you’re a baller, and love convenience, you can pay $10 for parking just outside the market.
After we parked and headed to the entrance, we were appalled to find that the admission fee had raised to $1.50. Wasn’t it only a dollar a few weeks ago?
Even though it was early, the market was pretty packed, many of the stalls were bustling. We headed straight for the food. Our first stop was the Bakudanyaki stand. What’s better for a hungry, grumbling tummy than a giant, fried octopus ball! Bakudanyaki offers four toppings along with a special. I stuck with the original, Diana ordered the wasabi and Amy ordered the curry. We figured the fillings for each giant octopus ball were exactly the same though, only the toppings were different. Actually, we were sort of in awe of how so many ingredients were jammed into one octopus ball: squid, cabbage, corn, red ginger, shrimp, rice cake, quail egg and green onion. I wasn’t crazy about the cabbage and green onion but all the other ingredients were flavourful and delicious, especially the soft little quail egg.
I also love the crispy batter of the octopus ball and the soft and sauce soaked insides. I could definitely eat 3 or 4 of these. I also liked the neat little take-out container and the chopsticks, this totally made the octopus balls easy to eat while we walked around to scope out more food!
There is a big seating area at the Richmond Night Market. We didn’t check out the washroom situation but it seemed to be an upgrade from the out houses from the Summer Night Market.
We couldn’t visit the night market and not have bubble waffles. There are many more bubble waffle stands at this night market than the Summer Night Market. Amy and I settled on the stand with the cutest logo. I got the taro flavoured bubble waffles and Amy got coconut. I totally wish I got what she ordered! The coconut bubble waffles tasted exactly like little morsels of coconut bun, sweet, nutty and tropical.
My taro bubble waffles were so pretty on the inside though – a bright purple that tasted exactly like taro bubble tea. Very syrupy sweet.
Next up was our favourite of the night, skewers at Le Tigre. I was originally only going to order the mochi skewer but as the line up inched closer to the stand and I started smelling some of the meats they were grilling, it was hard to ignore. I finally decided on three skewers, the beef, pork belly plus the mochi skewer.
The chefs at the Le Tigre booth were like artists, plating up the skewers with precision and style. Also, I just loved the skewer chef’s glasses.
Out of the three skewers I devoured, I loved the pork belly the best. Mostly because it literally was 50/50 fat to meat ratio. Delish! And the flavours were incredible – smokey and deep. The meat was so moist and juicy too. I also am partial to skewered street food, it’s easy to eat, and we gobbled these up while walking and standing. Great for my clumsiness! My second fave was the mochi, I loved that this was a savoury twist on mochi. I usually eat mochi in desserts and yogurts. The skewered mochi at Le Tigre was topped with a big glob of melted cheese and fresh cracked pepper. The flavour combo was genius, chewy, gooey mochi, kicked up a notch by even gooier cheese, and the pepper brought out the sweetness in both.
The beef skewer, although also delicious, juicy and moist, didn’t compare to the over-the-top scrumptiousness of the mochi and pork belly skewer.
Amy ordered the kick ass rice that was topped with a beautiful poached egg. Amy described the rice as slightly spicy. It was also nicely plated with a little bowl and spoon for easy eating while wandering the market.
Le Tigre is totally worth a few more visits.
For dessert, we visited the Icy Bar. I was craving ice cream so I ordered a red bean, mochi and ice cream slush. Amy and Diana both ordered a mango slush with tapioca bubbles.
The big, juicy chunks of mango on Amy’s and Diana’s drinks were pretty impressive and so sweet! Their drinks were definite thirst quenchers.
My dessert was delicious too, the ice cream totally quenched my thirst. The sweetness in the ice cream was curbed by the red beans though, which were slightly less sweet and gritty. I loved that the texture also contrasted the soft and squishy mochi beads.
After the food, we wandered the market for a little bit but didn’t buy anything. After all, we were only there for the food! The Richmond Night Market is much larger than the Summer Night Market. There is a larger stage for live entertainment. There is also a lighted tree display that served both as a seating area and a photo op for visitors. The installation was put up by Care for Life, a foundation raising money for underprivileged families. Visitors can donate $5 for a cookie and a wish! Wishes are written on cards that can be attached to the lit tree branches.
We left the night market around 9 pm, the parking lot was already getting to nightmarish levels. I wish they had more than one exit from the parking lot!
I would definitely say the Richmond Night Market is much better than the Summer Night Market, there are more booths, more food, and it’s definitely more festive.