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Toronto Night Market ---> Night It Up! night market??

m
meowx2 Jun 30, 2009 08:40 AM

It seems that the organizers of the big night market held at Metro Square (Steeles & Warden) every summer has a new night market called Night It Up!

According to their website www.nightitup.com this event is held at Metro Square, July 10th (7 pm - 1 am) and July 11th (1 pm - 1 am).

Any CHers interested in going?

  1. Muffin__Top Jun 30, 2009 10:21 AM

    Yeah maybe!! I heard its really expensive though?

    1. g
      Gary Jun 30, 2009 11:02 AM

      Is there going to be more stuff there than during the normal daytime market? Because when I went it was mostly takeout lunch type food (not bad, but nothing too exciting) and a few stalls of radically overpriced fruit and veg (I guess the farmers think those city folk'll pay anything).

      The best food in the vicinity is the Caribbean place in a booth close to Wellington (it's called "Lemonade" or something like that) which is open every day in the summer, nothing to do with the market. They have good doubles, jerk chicken wraps, and lemonade/lime-aid drinks.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Gary
        e
        elrik Jun 30, 2009 11:19 AM

        Hi Gary.. I think you are thinking of a different place, as this is Metro Square at Steeles and Warden, and is nowhere near wellington. It's a take on the Taiwanese night markets (oh how I loved thee) and has a bunch of the surrounding restaurants and businesses setup stalls in the parking lot.

        I've been to previous ones and there has never really been much outside of the realm of what you can get from the individual restaurants on a daily basis though, and you have to deal with huge crowds and higher prices, so I will probably end up passing. If you don't mind crowds (which I really really do) and if you've never been to a real asian night market, it can be a fun experience and I would recommend it to others.

        1. re: elrik
          g
          Gary Jun 30, 2009 04:45 PM

          Ha! Yes my apologies, I thought the park beside Metro Hall in downtown TO was called Metro Square. I need to read more carefully before replying, sorry about that.

      2. c
        CarNut Jun 30, 2009 11:17 AM

        Just so everyone is aware, this Metro Square is at Warden and Steeles in Markham. I was excited at first, because I thought it was going to be downtown by Metro Hall.

        1. jlunar Jun 30, 2009 11:22 AM

          I went last year. Stinky Tofu always had lines, even in the downpour! There are several places that had Takoyaki, none of them very good IMO. The food is more interesting than superb, though there was a Malay stand with Murtabak which I thought both tasty and of value.

          Sampling of what I had: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jlunar/s...

          I may go back again this year - it was fun to hit all the stalls. It's not quite the same, but other than returning to Asia, it's the closest we get to true night markets!

          8 Replies
          1. re: jlunar
            m
            meowx2 Jul 6, 2009 09:06 AM

            Stinky tofu does seem to always have the longest line-ups. But it really is an item I normally wouldn't find or eat in Toronto...

            They seem to have more variety of food this year, some really interesting ones like "Coffin Board Cake", "Car wheel pastry" and "Stir Fry Ice Cream" which I found on their latest blog update: http://nightitup.com/?p=134

            And it's true that they're the closest thing Toronto has to Asia's night markets. For those of us not lucky enough to go back to Asia that frequently, this is a summer event that should not be missed. I should be going just to reminisce Asia =)

            1. re: jlunar
              duckdown Jul 10, 2009 04:42 PM

              what does stinky tofu smell like? and why is it stinky?

              1. re: duckdown
                aser Jul 10, 2009 04:47 PM

                It's just a smell, the flavour is actually quite mild. It stinks because it's fermented. You actually get more flavour out of the sauces you put on top.

                I grew up with it so it doesn't smell strange to me at all.

                1. re: aser
                  t
                  tjr Jul 10, 2009 08:43 PM

                  I didn't grow up with it, but I enjoy it. It doesn't smell as bad as people make it out to smell. Also, I was a bit disappointed the first time I tasted it. I was expecting it to taste strange, but it doesn't.

                  1. re: tjr
                    skylineR33 Jul 10, 2009 09:00 PM

                    Hi tjr, it can actually be very stinky. The one in the night market is a relatively mild one. There is a stall (one of the best one) get sued in HK because it is too stinky and was ordered to tone down the 'smell'! haha.

                    1. re: skylineR33
                      aser Jul 10, 2009 09:24 PM

                      It actually had a good proper stink tonight, no doubt helped by 3 separate booths selling them. I didn't bother since the stinky tofu lines were consistently the longest, up to an hour.

                      I had a murtabak ($8).....not very exciting, same stall as the pics on the nightiup site. The spicy squid ($4) on the other hand was quite tasty. Didn't try anything else as the murtabak took up too much stomach real estate.

                      I parked on a side street in the residential area south of the plaza, did not even want to attempt the madness that is the parking lot. All night I heard the mc's on stage reading off license plates of illegally parked cars. They were ticketing apparently. Another tip, bring small bills and change, quite a few vendors were low on change.

                      For the person asking for updates, people are tweeting (dumbest word ever)....

                      http://twitter.com/Night_It_Up

                      http://twitter.com/TheTofuPress

                      1. re: skylineR33
                        t
                        tjr Jul 10, 2009 11:46 PM

                        I'll have to try it at some point; I'm planning a week in HK next time I visit Japan!

                  2. re: duckdown
                    w
                    warlock Jul 11, 2009 04:14 AM

                    It smells like garbage left out to rot for a few days.......a familiar smell for Toronto residents nowadays.....but when you eat it,it just tates like normal fried tofu....atleast thats my interpretation.....

                2. hippotatomus Jul 6, 2009 07:25 PM

                  If you go, you should go early.. It's a complete zoo there when it gets busy. People are literally shoulder to shoulder and it's hard to even move an inch.

                  I waited 45 minutes for "bing tong wu lo" and ended up getting nothing. the vendor kept telling me 5 minutes, 10 minutes on top of another 5, 10 minutes and so he continued and alas they couldn't produce anything....

                  But I absolutely love bing tong wu lo and will try to brave the crowds again this year to see if they have it - or if more vendors have it this time..

                  Food is okay priced - cheaper than rib fest at least. The normal and most reliable foods will probably be lamb skewers and stinky tofu.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: hippotatomus
                    j
                    jtamin Jul 7, 2009 08:39 AM

                    I'll be going to try the stinky tofu and takoyaki. Does anyone know what are the prices like?

                    1. re: jtamin
                      hippotatomus Jul 7, 2009 03:21 PM

                      Can't remember.. either $3/4 bucks for the sitnky tofu? Think it was 4 last year....
                      I would say around $3-4 bucks an item

                    2. re: hippotatomus
                      i
                      intothesky Jul 9, 2009 06:19 AM

                      i actually love the crowds and line-ups, even if it the wait is a little long. if you've been night markets in asia, it's the same, if not worst. haha, it's not so bad if you go with friends

                    3. fogducker Jul 7, 2009 12:53 PM

                      Same market, same site - just different name.

                      I am not sure why Toronto cannot have a night market similiar to the ones in Vancouver - either the downtown one or the one in Richmond. Surely this place is big enough.

                      The Richmond night market runs every weekend from June to October in a 400,000 sq ft area and even on Sundays close after midnight.

                      1. i
                        intothesky Jul 9, 2009 06:14 AM

                        I'm very interested to try the "stir-fry ice cream" that will make its debut at night market!!!

                        P.S. Great post about what food to expect at night market: http://nightitup.com/?p=134 I'm hungry just looking at the photos

                        1. m
                          meowx2 Jul 10, 2009 10:16 AM

                          If anyone's actually going today or tomorrow, mind posting back on this thread with pictures and reviews?

                          Thanks!!

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: meowx2
                            aser Jul 10, 2009 04:37 PM

                            I'll be going, but so you know the lineup will be very similar if not the same as last year. Check the blogs from last year and you'll get a good indication of what to expect.

                            Parking is HELL btw, just a warning. We Asians and driving etiquette do not go well together.

                            1. re: aser
                              duckdown Jul 10, 2009 04:44 PM

                              you can say that again

                            2. re: meowx2
                              l
                              lsk Jul 12, 2009 05:03 PM

                              Here are some photos (less food, more stalls): http://www.flickr.com/photos/kskl/set...

                              I've gone to the night market two years in a row and with the parking situation, the crowds, the quality of the food, the lines, the etiquette of the crowd I'm disinclined to go again next year.

                              If they bring in more of a variety of food vendors (Some gei dan jai a.k.a. egg puff waffle might have been nice), I might brave the parking, shoving, and line-cutting again. The food didn't seem worth the effort, as I've eaten better takoyaki, okonomiyaki, and smelly tofu elsewhere. Yes, quality is difficult to maintain in these kinds of quarters where you're only hooked up to propane stoves/grills with less than optimal lighting, water, and waste setups and the lines are hungry and long. The carnival-like atmosphere may be a plus for some, but personally, it's about the food, and it ranged from blah to ok.

                              Next time, if I go, I'm going to get there before they open to snag a parking spot and to grab what I want before the sight of the lines start to deter me.

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