Is it just me or did Summer come early this year? June just arrived and it’s already broke heat wave records this past weekend, according to Vancity Buzz. Besides hitting up the beach, summer also calls for Summer Night Market fun! My friends over at ChineseBites rounded up a few of the top food bloggers in the Lower Mainland and invited us to pig out at the International Summer Night Market. I came with the fiancée and here I met up with old pal EdEats.
For those who are unfamiliar or confused about which night market this is, here’s some info:
- a truly diverse night market (near IKEA Richmond)
- one of the first and largest night markets in the Lower Mainland (if I’m not mistaken)
- 30,000 visits each weekend (according to Summer Night Market)
- FREE admission
- $4 Parking / FREE Street Parking
Without delay here’s just some of the things you can find at the night market this year…
Halal BBQ skewers, if not mistaken, are the only skewer place here this year! Yet, they serve up piping hot skewer selections (chicken, lamb and wings). We wanted to try all of them but they only allowed us to sample one.
We tried the lamb skewer. It was absolutely delicious. You can opt to have it spicy or not. This was not. The wings looked really good too, will definitely need to go back next time.
There were at least 2 or 3 stalls of these twist potato, very popular in Korea. These are potatoes cut into twirls and deep fried on a stick and then you get to pick from a selection of powder-typed or sauce-typed toppings.
We had the white cheddar with garlic mayo. Delicious! It’s $4.50 per stick, quite a hefty price tag for potato if you ask me. They also have samples to lure you in cause they’re just that good! But don’t afraid to grab a bite-sized sample.
This place did not have a stall name yet, but promised it is coming. But you will not miss this. They have a pretty clear sign that says “Yuja Ade”. You heard it right, not ‘Lemon-ade’ but ‘Yuja-ade’. Yuja (as they say) it’s a type of Korean Marmalade with 3 times more Vitamin-C than a lemon. Great for skin care and to get rid of flu or the cold. Since my fiancée is getting rid of one, we decided to give it a try. It was very refreshing, especially on a hot night out. It’s mixed with soda so you get a fizz taste to it.
I loved this Takoyaki (squid ball) place. It was crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Most importantly, it was piping hot! They also serve up Yakitori (Japanese style BBQ wings).
I’m not sure if this was strategically placed but two of the most popular BBQ squid places are across from each other (just in case, you can’t make up your mind which one to have). I’ve always tried “Lao Er BBQ Squid”, but today I’ve opted to try something different.
The squid here did not disappoint, it was the right amount chewiness and crunchiness. Drizzled in their slightly sweet sauce and a bit of their hot sauce. I couldn’t imagine how full I was after this plate.
Next, we found something out of the ordinary. A Turkish stall that sold Tantuni. Originally, we wanted to try lamb but they only had chicken left. So we opted for the chicken.
The chicken tantuni was interesting, as it was my first. Cooked with cotton oil wrapped in crushed chicken, tomato slices, and mint/parsley. It’s pretty heavy and I found the chicken to be a bit dry.
The corn here are served piping hot, plain or dipped in butter. And you have about half a dozen of toppings to sprinkle on top. Corn is very sweet.
We could not help but stop at Sugar Twist. It’s definitely cotton candy with a twist. You get to pick from 2 to 4 layers of cotton candy and it’s artistically made into the shape of a flower.
Definitely bring your date or anyone that loves flowers to this and they’d be so pleased!
If you want nothing fancy, Happy Lemon provides sugar free and 100% fresh lemonade.
All About Ice Cream is really not just about ice cream. They offer soft served ice cream with a few flavours like honeycomb, mango, blueberry, and waffle. I opted for something healthier their fresh juice series ($8). It’s a choice between pineapple or watermelon juice. I picked the watermelon to quench my thirst. And yes, you get the entire watermelon. They pick out all the meat, blend it and pour it back into the fruit. Quite creative!
The one thing you will find no shortage of are seatings at this night market. There are fewer food stalls or rather stalls in general compared to previous years, and less people in general compared to the Richmond Night Market down the street. So if you are like me and don’t like lineups this is the night market for you.
EWRL Disclaimer: I was invited by ChineseBites to try the food stalls at ISNM. Opinions are my own.