Stinky Tofu at Night it Up Market
Night It Up (July 11 to 13, 2014)
Markham Civic Centre
101 Town Centre Blvd., Markham, Ontario
Once a year, there’s a night market in Markham, Ontario that runs for one weekend in July. The food is amazing. Growing up in Vancouver, BC, we always visited the Richmond Night Market but we found that the food stalls at Night It Up offered much more selection, we tried so many things that we’ve never tried in BC.
For sports lovers there’s also volleyball nets and a basketball court set up at Night It Up. There’s music and a stage where sponsors are introduced and thanked. There was one drawback from the night market: no matter where you walked, it smelled like stinky tofu. For those of you who love stinky tofu, you’ll love it. I’m not a fan of the dish so we didn’t even buy anything from the stinky tofu stall. I did come home that night smelling like stinky tofu since it soaked into my hair and clothes.
There were some gimmicky food stalls at Night It Up that sold liquid nitrogen ice cream and desserts. We decided that the liquid nitrogen was mostly a gimmick and didn’t change the taste of the ice cream at all. We did buy a s’more from one of the stalls only to find out that it was basically a marshmallow on a stick with some graham cracker crumbs. I took the picture too late but there was a puff of smoke surrounding the marshmallow when they pulled it out of the liquid nitrogen.
My husband’s favourite stall was the Mamak Satay stall, there was barely a lineup and the skewers were cheap and delicious. We ordered the beef and the grilled home-style bacon. I loved the bacon, it was juicy and smokey and absolutely flavourful. Mamak Satay also offered grilled meat wrapped in a roti burrito, which was just as flavourful as the skewers and even easier to eat while wandering the market.
One of my favourite stalls was called Grub, they sold a pork belly slider on a pineapple bun. I love pork belly and I love pineapple buns so this little burger was a combo of my two favourite things.
We love squid and feel like it’s a must at every night market. There were two stalls with the longest lineups serving up squid. We picked the shorter lineup and soon regretted it while we were biting on half -raw squid. So unfortunately, we made the wrong choice here.
Another delicious slider we tried was the pulled pork banh mi slider from the stall called Twisted. The tiny little slider was packed with flavour and piled high with tender and moist pork. Too bad it was so small.
Right by the Twisted stall was a stall selling lobster rolls. Who can resist juicy East coast lobsters? The lobster roll was one of the pricier items on the menu, clocking in at $10, most of the items we tried were between $3 to $6. But it was worth every penny, the lobster tasted fresh and tender, and the bread was soft and buttery.
My favourite stall was selling savoury and sweet items: deep fried spring rolls and ice cream sandwiches. We tried the cheese and avocado spring roll and the pulled pork spring roll. These spring rolls took forever to make, literally, we were standing there for 15 to 20 minutes. Good thing they served up the ice cream sandwiches first. They use Chapman ice cream and the deep fried ice cream sandwich tasted pretty normal, the cookie was kind of hard but the salted hazelnut cookie was definitely worth writing home about. The hazelnut cookie was soft and gooey on the inside, and nutty and sweet in flavour with just the right hint of salt.
All in all, we loved the night market but be forewarned, you may leave the market smelling entirely of stinky tofu.