Ottawa’s Chinatown Night Market – A Feast For All

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Feature photo by Nickie Shobeiry

Come sun-down between Friday, July 28 to Sunday, July 30, Chinatown turned into a buzzing party, with all the greatest food vendors across Ontario filling the summer air with delicious scents. With its free admission and jolly atmosphere, people of all ages came to enjoy the sights, digging into old favourites or to trying something totally new (Squid on a Stick, I’m looking at you).

With the majestic Chinatown Royal Arch lit up against the night sky, hundreds of people lined up to get a taste of the aromatic foods, hand-made and cooked before them. From savoury items like glass noodles and fried eel to sweet treats like pancakes and banana rolls –the list goes on and on – it was hard to pick what to eat. Although the queues were long (especially for the Japanese Squid Teppanyaki – Squid of a Stick, I’m looking at you again), the wait was certainly worth it – especially if you were sipping on lychee Bubble Tea from the popular CHATIME.

Another often-spotted, long-sticked snack was the South Korean “twist potato” – deliciously deep-fried, with toppings such as cheese or buffalo spice. The spirals were so meticulously made that you almost – almost – didn’t want to eat it.

As all seasoned Chinatown Night Market-enthusiasts know, no party is complete without some dancing and some karaoke – which is exactly what took place in a nearby beer garden. And of course, it wasn’t all about tipsy renditions of old-time favourites; several performers came to participate in the celebrations, including award-winning singer Jane Lu, “Ottawa’s favourite Asian singer” Sandy Mah, acoustic musician JRabbit, and China Doll – Ottawa’s drag impresario Karaoke Queen.

As part of the Ottawa Asian Fest, the Chinatown Night Market was a joyous treat all-round, yet again delighting its many, many visitors. Here’s to next year!