Last year, I wrote an extremely comprehensive food guide (which took me several days btw) to the Illumination Summer Night Market and many of you seemed to enjoy it. My hope in writing these guides is for you to get a preview of the food stalls available at the Richmond Night Market before going, because trust me, there is no way you can sample them all. Hopefully seeing some pictures and getting an idea of the variety here will help you make better and more informed decisions in the midst of the chaos!
This year, there is only one Richmond Night Market and it is The AMAZING SUMMER 2018 Richmond Night Market by Bridgeport Station. I was invited by Chinese Bites along with many other media to sample over 30 food stalls at the night market (I know… dream come true right?). I was there from 6:30 – 10pm and even though we ate non-stop, we couldn’t get through all 30 stalls. But either way, below is a very very detailed guide on all of the unique and cool food items you can expect at the 2018 Richmond Night Market.
Icy Bar is a well known Taiwanese shaved ice cafe in Vancouver and there are locations in Richmond and Burnaby. My favourite item to get is their Mango Icy which has an abundance of fresh mango chunks, mochi balls, condensed milk, and ice cream all on top of shaved ice.
We got two of the Summer Special Icys ($6.50) and even though I was not feeling the flavours at first, it actually turned out to be quite refreshing. It had a combination of different fruits like strawberry and mango, as well as coconut milk, crushed ice, and sago.
Mr.Crabzy is a stall that focuses on, guess what, crab! Their signature item is the Stuffed Crab Claw with Shrimp Paste ($5 ea/ $13.98 for 3).
If you’re Asian, you are probably familiar with these deep fried crab claws because they’re often served at fancy multi-course Asian dinners or weddings. This combined with melted cheese (+$1), Japanese mayo, and tobiko…. heaven. Very very well done and juicy.
Big G Large Fried Chicken
I’ve had this a few times before at their permanent location in Richmond and it’s always delicious. Granted I’ve never had legit ones from Taiwan before so I don’t have anything to compare it against.
If you’re in the mood for a giant piece of crispy, juicy, deep fried chicken at the night market, then you’ve come to the right place. One piece of large fried chicken is roughly $13 but it’s legit the size of your face. Don’t be worried if you encounter bones. They butterfly the entire breast and thigh in one piece of chicken so they’ve kept some of the thigh bones to retain its juiciness.
The longest food line at the night market has got to be the Rotato stall. It’s super popular and they essentially sell potato (chips) on a stick. They spin a potato into a billion spirals on a stick and deep fry it till it’s crispy. Add some
crack, I mean flavouring, and you’ve got yourself a delicious rotato!
We got the seaweed + salt, the curry, and the roasted garlic pepper flavour. My personal favourite is the seaweed.
Honestly, I don’t think it justifies the $7 price tag (it’s pretty absurd if you think about the cost of a potato and what their margins are). However, it is undeniably delicious so if you’ve never had it before, I would recommend giving it a try.
The Taiyaki is a stall at the night market that serves up Taiyaki ice-cream ‘cones’. Taiyaki is essentially a Japanese sweet fish shaped cake. Usually it’s filled with red bean, custard, or chocolate, but this one is filled AND topped with a scoop of ice-cream and two pocky sticks.
The taiyaki ($5.50) came piping hot and you get a really cool sensation of hot and cold when chowing down on this. Surprisingly the waffle was really fluffy and light, and the ice-cream was just small enough to not melt all over the place. Two thumbs up!
Even though this popcorn chicken was quite good with a yuzu sauce, I found the portion a bit disappointing. I expected at least double the amount for $8!
Fries & Things
Fries & Things are back for another year and they’ve kept their signature fry creations like Cheese Fries, Garlic Butter Fries, Pho Fries, and Truffle Fries. I believe the Spicy Kimchi Fries Challenge is a new thing and they are challenging people to eat it within a certain time frame to claim insta-kimchi glory.
This is the Garlic Butter Fries ($8.50) and it was packed full of mayo, deep fried garlic, parmesan, and parsley. Some of the people in my group thought the fries were a little limp. I personally was okay with that but I wish the garlic was raw because then the flavour would be super super pungent.
One of the more unique items I found at the night market included this multi-colored gyoza from a stall called Dumpling Master. The had black gyozas that were Black Truffle Pork flavour, red gyozas that were Red Kimchi Beef flavour, and green gyozas that were Green Spinach Vegan flavour.
The colours were incredibly vibrant and interesting. You get 6 gyozas in one dish and they range from $6.50 to $8.50. This mixed dumpling set is $7.50.
They add additional toppings like mayo, bonito flakes, sesame seeds, seaweed, as well as a side of spicy dipping sauce. I found these gyozas to be really tasty and quite true to flavour. The kimchi beef gyoza indeed was very aromatic with a lot of spice coming from the kimchi. The truffle flavour from the black truffle gyoza was light but noticeable. The spinach vegan gyoza was refreshing and was understandably the lightest of them all.
Senbei Brother sells Japanese seafood crackers which is supposedly a famous street food from japan. I’ve seen them at other festivals and the way they make these crackers is SUPER fascinating. They actually compress whole prawns and whole squids into the cracker!
This is the Super Jumbo Ebi Senbei ($11) and contains four large prawns. Make sure you have a large party when ordering this because it’ll be really hard to finish! Not only were the prawn crackers crispy and fresh, you could taste the actual prawns in it with shells and everything (which is a good thing if you ask me). I would recommend getting it if you’re into those traditional Japanese shrimp crackers and want something not processed.
Teppan Bossam is a super famous food stall at the night market and they sell Korean style pork belly called Bossam. It’s super juicy, FATTY, and will likely give you diabetes. 😀
The bossam comes on a bed of cabbage and a side of kimchi. We chose the garlic flavour and thought it was actually quite subtle compared to the ones we had last year. I think if I were to get it again, I would get the spicy or barbeque sauce.
If you go to the night market, you MUST get the meat skewers. There are various stalls that sell it but the most famous one is undeniably Chef James. The skewers are generously rubbed with a dry spice that has lots of cumin in it so the end result is a delicious, nutty, aromatic meat skewer.
Aw yeah, those grills marks….
3 skewers cost $8.75 and 5 is for $13.50. My favourite is always the lamb because cumin and lamb just go together so incredibly well.
In addition to meat skewers, they also sell corn for $3.50! Corn is corn. 😛 Nothing fancy.
Asomi Mochi sells Daifuku which is a fresh mochi wrapped around a whole strawberry and red bean (azuki). They sell 1 for $4 and 2 for $7 which is very reasonable as it is roughly the same price as the ones in Japan.
They have four flavours: original, green tea, purple yam, and chocolate.
I actually didn’t have high expectations for this because I just came back from Japan and had some ridiculously good daifukus there. However, this was really really tasty. The strawberry was sweet and it was enhanced by the thin layer of red bean and super soft mochi. Highly recommend!
Sippy Tea sells a variety of milk tea and coffee drinks in their seal-able pouches and I thought it was more of a novelty item than anything. Funny enough, this Roasted Milk Teafee (coffee + milk tea) with coffee jelly was really really good and not too sweet! I would gladly get it again for sure.
Churros in Ice Cream
If you have an Instagram account, you probably have seen their Unicorn churros popping up all over your feed in the past couple weeks. Churros in Ice Cream sells exactly that, churros in an ice-cream cup. Except it’s dipped in chocolate and sprinkles and is served in an inflatable floaty cup holder.
I believe this is 14 bucks and honestly, it’s awesome for the photo but it tasted really generic. Definitely don’t get this for the taste because you’ll be disappointed.
Waffle Tower sells really unique waffles on a stick. From Bamboo Charcoal to Torched Cinnamon and Brown Sugar, they have a lot of interesting flavours that will surely tickle your fancy.
The Bamboo Charcoal (with gold dust I might add) is undeniably the coolest flavour out of all the ones available so we had to get that. We got it drizzled with maples syrup to add a bit of sweetness. I personally really enjoyed it but I know a few of my friends thought it was a bit too soft and lacked the crispy exterior they were hoping for. Either way, it looks friggin cool!
Cookies N Cream
Cookies N Cream sells ice-cream sandwiches and we got the chocolate cookie with taro ice-cream. The cookie was done well with just the right about of bite and not too hard on the teeth. I felt like the cereal was a purely aesthetic thing as it did not complement the ice-cream.
We are Difference
This stall is called “We are Difference” (yup…its true) and they take the traditional Chinese fried doughnut and create different sandwiches out of it.
This is supposed to be the Mushroom & Cheese but I didn’t taste any mushroom or cheese. I only had a small bite but it was really not my cup of tea. The sauces tasted really weird with the Chinese doughnut and it wasn’t what I expected at all.
Sugar Cane Juice
The Sugar Cane Juice stall sells… you guessed it! Sugar cane juice! It’s a very popular stall and I can see the hype as sugar cane juice is incredibly thirst quenching and in that heat, boy you need it.
We opted for the Coconut Water in real Coconut and it was very refreshing and sweet. Even if you drink bottled coconut waters not from concentrate, the real thing tastes really different and it just cannot be beat.
I got the Cloud 9 ($8) virgin cocktail from the stall “Virgin Cocktail” and it’s made with Green Apple and Calpis (yogurt drink). The drink also comes with dry ice so it’s Instagram worthy! Make sure you get a cool boomerang shot with this drink. 😉
Roasted Pork Hocks
One of the booths that many loved from the Vancouver Christmas Market is here at the Richmond Night Market! The Oktoberfest style roasted pork hocks are sold here for between $15.50 to $17.50 depending on whether you want sauerkraut with it or not.
Pork hocks are essentially pork knuckles and they have tremendous amounts of fat on it. It’s roasted in their rotisserie until the skin is nice and crispy, and it’s given a rough chop and served with mustard and BBQ sauce.
To me, this is another version of the Korean bossam and both are equally delicious in its own way. This is just as juicy and fatty as the Bossam, and one might argue you get more meat here so it’s worth a try if you have a big group. Be warned, it gets really heavy really fast so I would only recommend getting this if you have 3 people or more in your group.
I’ve never tried Jalapeno Mac and Cheese Roti before and I was surprised at how good it was! Granted it was really oily, but yummy nonetheless.
BBQ Satay Chicken Roti Cone. Due to the shape of this, we were unable to share it amongst 5 people so I didn’t get to try it.
G8 Taiwan Kitchen
If I’m not mistaken, authentic Taiwanese stinky tofu should not be really stinky and pungent in smell, but really pungent and fragment in its taste, and this had that. Every bite was ‘stink’ and you can taste the fermentation of the tofu. Dipped with the sauce, it was heaven. I would definitely recommend this to all you stinky tofu lovers out there!
That’s it for this year! I hope you enjoyed my extensive food review of the 2018 Richmond Night Market! Let me know in the comments below what you’re most excited to try this year at the night market. 🙂
Disclosure: I was invited by Chinese Bites for a media tour of 2018 Richmond Night Market. All food and drinks were comped. All opinions are my own.