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Suggestions for the Summer Night Market in Richmond 2010

Summer brings plenty of fun events to Vancouver—the Alcan dragon boat festival, the Illuminares festival at Trout Lake, and of course, the Summer Night Market in Richmond. Since its inception in 2000, the night market has become one of those perennial summer favourites that marks the arrival of finer weather and celebrates the diversity of Asian food in Vancouver.

Because the sun finally made its appearance on Saturday, I joined the hordes of other hungry food samplers who came out of hibernation in order to investigate the selection of food at the night market this year. I found that the old familiar standbys were still there: the crispy barbecued duck wraps, steaming hot balls of takoyaki, ears of roasted corn, and refreshing Vietnamese ice drinks. As always, the fun of the night market lies in not only hunting for your usual favourite stalls, but also in checking out the new tasty treats that are available.  For example, the Xin Jian Man BBQ stand now features tender shrimp on a stick and grilled buns for a vegetarian option in addition to its delicious beef, lamb and chicken skewers. From last year, those hurricane potatoes with different flavours are still a really popular option. My advice is to line up early… or late!

However, the best thing I found this year by far was at a stall by the name of Samurai bites—the only place in Vancouver where you can get rice burgers reminiscent of the Mos Burger in Japan. A rice burger is one of those brilliant inventions that makes so much sense that you are left thinking—why didn’t we have this earlier?  It starts with Japanese rice which has been compressed and formed into a “bun,” then barbecued and brushed with a savoury sauce.  It is then layered with meat and toppings exactly as a regular burger would be. 

Samurai Bites offers three flavours: teriyaki chicken, sukiyaki beef and pork sausage.  All of the sandwiches are stacked in the same manner. For example, the sukiyaki beef features tender pieces of sukiyaki beef sandwiched between the rice “bun” along with lettuce, fried onion and mayonnaise.  They all come with the option of add-ons like kimchi or extra vegetables. Because it’s a rice “bun,” which does come with the danger of falling apart, samurai bites are not as large as regular burgers are and they cost 4 dollars at the night market.

Samurai Bites also had with them a tempting ginger drink which they assured me was amazing and a sesame ginger noodle salad which looked very good too. However, there being so many diverse options at the night market, I’d be loathe to suggest spending all your money and your time at just one stall. 

Summer Night Market Specs:

When:    7 to 1 am on Friday and Saturday, 7 to 12 am on a Holiday Monday

Where:  12631 Vulcan Way

The Samurai Bites stall is at the beginning of the second alley of food stalls.  

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