Monday, August 24, 2009

Sunday, August 23rd - Richmond Night Market

If you have ever travelled in Asia or like easy Asian street food, you will like the market. We don't have enough of these type of venues here. It sorta reminds me of the Camden market but all Asian. Well the food side. The crafts are replaced by rows upon rows of miscellaneous asian junk. You can find t-shirts, cartoon socks, asian DVD's, phone covers, Hello Kitty anything.... it's pretty cleaned up though over the years. You won't find bootlegged DVD's anymore. I go for the food. I try to go twice. It runs from 7 to 11 from May to October.

There are a few dozen stalls selling Korean, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and even Mexican food. The prices are pretty good but have a walk around before you dive in. Prices do vary as do the portions. As well, if there is a line, there is usually a good reason. Regulars tend to come back.

I always get Takoyaki, the Japanese pancake balls with seafood, topped with a hoisin type sauce, mayo and bonito flakes. I meant to take a photo but my camera died just as we arrived. Boooo! Stupid Casio Exilim piece of shit. It's new and it's crap. Barely focuses anymore. I try to take D's Nikon if we can but the shitty Casio is smaller. D always gets duck pancakes. He noted that there was slightly less filling this time. The takoyaki on the 'main' row. There is another one on the row by the wall. Their balls are smaller. I also bought some steamed shrimp dumplings. You'll often find these in dimsum restaurants. They look like clams but are white and slightly translucent and stuffed with chopped shrimp. mmmmm D got a massive Pork bun. The best one is the first chinese place on the 'main' row on the right. They're bigger than the other stalls and the filling ratio is quite good. I also got a 1 dollar thai green onion pancake that I probably should of passed on. It was basically fried dough and not tasty dough. Just fried dough. Oh well, it was a dollar and it was fresh. D got a lobster ball skewer at this one place that always has a big line that sells all things on a stick. The lobster balls were just okay. I highly doubt it was real lobster. It had the texture of the fake crab you get in sushi.

I finished off with a classic Korean street treat. Darn it if I can't remember the name. I'll have to ask Dad. It's a pastry in the shape of a small goldfish. It's very light waffle-like batter filled with redbean traditionally. They also do custard and chocolate now. The batter is poured in a double sided fish mold and a dollop of filling spooned in and topped with batter. The molds flip in place or as a whole.

I only had one for the first time a few years ago. Dad and I were at a huge H-Mart in Toronto and they have a kiosk selling them out front. Dad told me that when he was a little kid during the war they were broke. They were living well in Osaka but had to flee back to Korea. So having left everything behind, treats like street sweets were a pure luxury for his large family. There were 8 kids. So there was a stall that used to sell the fish that he and his closest brother used to sit and watch all day. He told me they hoped that the owner would either feel sorry for them or a patron would buy one. They cost the equivalent of a nickle or less back then. I think he said it worked once but most of the time the kiosk owner would shoo them away. He chuckled as we bought a couple musing that he could buy them by the dozen now if he wanted. It's funny. You can't get my dad telling stories like that by plan. He'll just randomly start reflecting on something, something as random and as simple as a fish waffle.

They're yum.

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