Exotic Night Market Experience in New York

By Peter Yang Zhao

On Friday, June 28th, I attended the Night Market event at the old Bowery Subway Station. This event was hosted and founded by Carson Yiu. The event featured outstanding food, drinks, and music up at 168 Bowery, at the corner of Kenmare and Bowery.

At first glance, there was a big and tall bouncer standing in front of the gate and a long line of people waiting to get inside. Easily mistaken for a club scene on the outside, it actually resembled more of a networking and eatery event. I first thought $50 for entry was a bit pricy, but I soon realized it was well worth spent. The ticket allowed me to get food samples from each vendor and two beverages. Not to mention, the overall atmosphere of the Night Market was welcoming.

Once I entered the doors, I was welcomed by an old school Kung Fu movie that’s projected against the wall. With bicycle props casting shadows on the movie, it created a particular experience I enjoyed.

The food served at this event was marvelous. The beginning of my food travel was Los Perros Locos, located on 201 Allen Street in Lower East Side. They are famous for their Colombian Hot Dog. I had a couple at that venue because they were just so delicious. No wonder why they are a NYTimes favorite.

Colombian Hot Dog from Los Perros Locos

There were other food vendors that allowed people to experience and indulge in Asian food culture. These vendors included EmpiesNYC, Mimi & Coco, Mamak Malaysian Cuisine, Hong Kong Street Cart, and Melt Bakery.

Korean Bulgogi and Kimchi fried rice empanda from EmpiesNYC

I made my way to the back of the room to EmpiesNYC, known for their tastiest Korean bulgogi and kimchi fried rice empanada. The combination of the savory sweetness of the bulgogi, the addictive spicy sour flavor of kimchi, and the smoky fried rice; this empanada was delicious (especially with the accompaniment of my beer).

Teriyaki Balls from Mimi & Coco

Mimi & Coco offers people a taste of Japanese Street Food specializing in their famous dish, Teriyaki Balls. These Teriyaki meatballs are filled with country sausage, juicy shrimp, and organic potato. The ingredients are stuffed into balls made in a special cast iron grill. Although the outside layer is fried, the inside remains moist. Mimi and Coco, the founders are native-born Japanese who lived in the states for years. After spending some time in the U.S., they have developed a cooking technique embracing both Japanese and Western style.

Beef Rendang from Mamak Malaysian Cuisine

Mamak Malaysian Cuisine gives the guests a taste of South East Asian Style Cuisine. Mamak is New York City’s first Malaysian street cart that has opened for almost three months serving lunch in Hanover Square and the corner of Noth Sixth Street and Bedford Avenue. This vendor serves the best beef Rendang, which is beef with spicy curry and coconut milk. The beef is very delicious and so delicate that utensils are unnecessary. Those who have savored the beef are able to taste the spices right away in their mouth.

beef noodle from Hong Kong Street Cart

Hong Kong Street Cart vendor offers you with their best and tastiest Chinese beef noodle. Don’t forget to drink water because its deliciousness might make you forget!

French Macaron from Melt Bakery

Melt Bakery serves the best French Macaroons in all sorts of different flavors for the guests to pick. The menus are unusually listed with unique names. They also make authentic ice cream sandwiches, which are perfect to ease the summer weather. I personally enjoyed the chocolate chip cookie flavor.

DJ JReamy

Throughout the night, DJ JReamy kept the party going. DJ JReamy brought an incomparable blend of hip-hop, smooth music, and upbeat music. She enjoys experimenting with different beats to create specific moods. This is the second time DJ JReamy played the music for this market and hopes to be asked to other events as well.

Carson Yiu

At the end of the event, I had the pleasure of interviewing Carson Yiu, the founder of the event. He told me how his visits to Taiwan and their night markets inspired him to create that concept in America. By doing so, Yiu expressed his love for these events. Night Markets allow people to taste different kinds of cultural food, provide networking opportunities, and most importantly, have a good time. Carson is quite a character. First, he told me how much he hated interviews, yet he loves getting involved with the community. He also believes in the traditional Chinese culture. Old Bowery Subway Station’s address is 168 Bowery and in Chinese, “168” represents good luck, “the road to richness”.

This second annual event has attracted many city-goers. Just like me, they appeared to have a blast. Don’t miss the next event, and see what interesting Asian cuisines they have to offer next year.

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