Night It Up 2014
DISCLAIMER: These samples were provided free of charge by Night It Up and their vendors
Nelson @NightItUp: By far my favourite food event of the summer, this annual Taiwanese style Night Market in Markham is a wonderland of food. I joined the food blogger tour to get a taste of what was on offer this year, so let's begin!
|We start in Malaysia at a booth called Mamak Satay. Their specialty are their skewers; pork, chicken and beef from left to right. Also their peanut sauce which combines saltiness, sweetness and spiciness. These skewers had really strong flavours to them with a nice spiciness. My favourite was the pork and chicken and the beef surprisingly last. It seemed like the pork and chicken took on the flavourful spicy marinade better than the beef. The sauce was great too adding even more flavour. This was one of my favourites!|
|Next we stop by a booth simply called Teryaky ricecake and spicy chicken bites. These were chicken knuckles (cartilage) that were extremely spicy, much more than I expected. You can put even more spices on and/or cumin.|
|These rice cakes were really unique because they were crisped on a flattop grill, but combined with refreshing sauces and ingredients that remade it. Despite them being named teriyaky, the sauce actually had a lot of sesame flavour along with a realy fresh taste due to the fresh scallion and parsley. Perhaps the most surprising and unique dish I had.|
Next up is a bubble tea booth called ShareTea. They had some really unique drinks that I have never had before or heard of before. On the left is a wintermelon and lemon tea. Weird right? It was really really refreshing with strange mix of tastes that actually works out. For some reason I thought it tasted a bit like butter popcorn. Weird, right?
On the right is Oolong tea Creama ($5) with crema on top and green tea matcha sprinkled on top. In an interesting twist on how to drink this, they make a cut in the top for you to drink the crema directly if you like. Or you can mix it up and drink it through the straw. The crema was very heavy and rich, yet the taste of the tea really comes through. First time I've had crema and tea together and it worked!
|Back to food, Stuffed & Co (@stuffedandco) were serving STUFFED chicken wings ($5 for 2)! They would not reveal the secret of how they were able to stuff chicken wings, but they were definitely stuffed full. Among the three choices, I was able to try the cheesy mac (with spicy ketchup) and the Wonton Bomb (dumpling filling and sesame vinegar sauce).|
The wonton bomb on the right was so surprising. When I bit in, I was expecting a chicken wing, but it tasted completely like a wonton! Albeit wrapped in chicken skin :) The wonton filling tasted exactly like a true wonton with a ginger flavour to the pork. Yum!
The mac and cheese chicken wing was gigantic and this one had heavier flavours that go well with a deep fried chicken wing.
|Returning from last year's tour is Me.n.u (@meNuFoddTruck) serving up their signature rice balls (2 for $6). This one is the 1-Up with sliced white button mushrooms, portobello mushrooms, shitaki mushroom w/ sexy (?) veggies and topped with roasted garlic tomato sauce.|
|This is their creatively named Angry Birds with Singaporean chicken, shitaki mushrooms, roasted red peppers, spinach caramelized onions topped with sweet chili sauce, sirracha aioli, pineapple. I didn't get to try this specific one.|
|Lastly this is the porkzilla with marinated pork butt, chinese sausage and broccoli, roasted corn, shitaki mushrroms adn topped with sweet soy reduction, sirracha aioli.|
|This is a shot of the insides with the porkzilla on the left and the 1-Up on the right. I thought it tasted way better than the time I tried it last year as it was a bit smaller but better fried and most importantly came hot on the inside. Both had very different tastes even though the rice ball outside was the same. I think the pork was my favourite with the mushroom one very close behind.|
|Time for dessert! We stopped by Ice Volcano Ice Cream (@IceCreamVolcano). There were several booths doing the liquid nitrogen ice cream thing, but it is always fun watching ice cream made in front of your eyes. If done right, liquid nitrogen ice cream is very smooth because there are no ice crystals. Ice Volcano's ice cream is really ice cream as well using only milk, cream and sugar instead of the ingredients used in "frozen dessert".|
|This is the mango ice cream. The best part is their neat presentation. They put some dry ice in water in an outer cup and a smaller cup with the ice cream on top. The effect is smoke coming out of the ice cream. Neat! Pictures don't do it justice. so check out a short video of the dry ice in action.|
|They also make frozen yogurt and this one is the strawberry version. Just like the ice cream, very smooth and creamy with excellent taste. Plus the cool effect of the dry ice!|
|That was the end of the food tour so we tried a few of our favourite items before leaving. Kitty's really likes the Teppanyaki squid so we ordered a small portion of only tentacles ($6). The delicious Asian bbq sauce was slathered all over the squid and made it extra delicious. Looks so alien, yet it tastes so good!|
|What is a night market without stinky tofu? This time I tried some from Wei's Smelly Tofu ($6) and it was a revelation. This was the best stinky tofu I have had in Toronto. First, the pickled vegetables were delicious with the right amount of vinegar to sweetness ratio for my liking. The tofu itself is fried well and there is a cut slit at the top of each one where they pour extra sauce into. This made it even more delicious. This was so so very good,|
Last, because it was hot, we had to get another drink. From Pinapple Prince, we picked a watermelon juice served in half a watermelon with FREE REFILLS! It did cost $16 though and we refilled 3 times, so I'm not sure if we got value out of it. The fresh watermelon juice was delicious, but they did add a bit of sweetness. Walking around with half a watermelon was very heavy.
I love the Night Market, so keep up the good work Power Unit!
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