Hello everyone! So last Friday, July 15th to the 17th was the “Night It Up!” event that was presented by TD Canada Trust Bank. It was located at the Markham Civic Centre, and featured an array of over 50 vendors. It was pretty much an Asian foodie’s dream as there was all sorts of fun treats to try from Thai milk tea (in an authentic plastic bag), rainbow water drop cake (?!?!), ramen fries, famous Hong Kong stinky tofu to bubble tea/boba in a baby bottle! I know right… it’s quite creative these food vendors. I’m seriously drooling thinking back about the amount of food and drinks offered at this night market.
Night It Up started at around 7pm and runs until I think 1am, but we left much earlier than that. Parking wasn’t so bad in that area, as they closed off the main intersection there was plenty of parking at a nearby school and we got there pretty early too – got lucky with parking (good sign for the evening). Compared to last year’s T & T Waterfront Asian Night Market, it was a disaster with parking and $$$.
The lineups weren’t outrageously long and the weather luckily wasn’t scorching either. As I waited in line for a drink as a starter, the smell of the stinky tofu quickly lingered the area in masses. The night market lot was fairly big but still contained pretty well, and there were several game vendors and a stage playing music on the other side. Overall ambience was pretty true to an actual night market in South East Asia.
These types of places are usually cash only – makes sense, especially when the volume of people is so high. Amongst the food vendors I tried, it ranged from $5-10, depending on portion size.
Thai Iced Tea (in a bag):
$5 per bag
It was really cute in the plastic bag and cost $5 (a bit pricey in my opinion, would’ve rather just opted for trusty Cha Time bubble tea, but they ran out of tapioca – so devastating). This was the first thing I got when I entered the night market, and was refreshing to drink whilst I walked through the strong odours and smokey air from all the things being BBQed and fried up!
Raging Ramen Fries:
$8 per tray
The lineup for this was pretty confusing, there was a long line for placing orders and then picking up orders – was complicated for people not paying attention! But I was set, my smarty pants sister pointed it out to me and that saved us a lot of time. Darn, I can’t recall the name of the ramen fries we ordered but it was the biggest hit the sweet lady at the counter said, so I gave it a try. They were quite good, but I was expecting more of a crunch from the ramen noodles, unfortunately they were a bit too soggy for my liking. Still was great to try, and it sounded unique!
Bao is Life:
$8 for 2 baos
This great spot was right next to the Raging Ramen Fries booth, and there was actually a really, really short line for it. There was like 3 people ahead of me waiting in line which was awesome, especially when you can’t go wrong with a good bao!
These were heavenly, and seriously satisfied my tastebuds. You really can’t go wrong with a good Bao for this Dao (get it, ’cause my last name is Dao.. and that was very cheesy x2)! Nonetheless, definitely if you haven’t tried these super trendy and great tasting baos, give it a try (check out Banh Mi Boyz, Mii Sandwich – just to name a few hot spots in the Toronto area).
Night Market Tips:
• Be sure to bring cash
• Non-bulky bags/purses (I’d recommend a cross body or a mini backpack, keep it close to you – never know with pick-pocketers 😮 [(true Asian Night Market style lol)]
• Sunglasses (since it’s summer, it doesn’t get dark until 9:30pm, also there can be tons of smokey air in some parts)
• A light sweater/jacket
• Comfy shoes (preferably closed toe; walking to the car and ain’t nobody want toes being stepped on)
I’d definitely recommend checking out a night market because there are authentic and worth-trying food creations, a very lively atmosphere, and a peak into a night market without the around the globe trip to Asia. I personally really enjoyed the food vendors that seemed like family businesses making the wait and the final result so worth it; from the heart and serious dedication! It was a great night out, got to try some new foods, and seriously satisfy some intense cravings! I was delighted that there was a wide selection of foods from all parts of Asia.
Let me know down below if you’ve ever been to a night market, wherever you’re from, and comment how that experience was for you! Thanks for reading 😀