This was my second time going to the T&T Night Market so I knew what to expect this time around. The first thing you get hit with when you enter the gates to the parking lot of the T&T store is the smell of smelly feet or something. It's a bit off putting if you don't know what it is. Luckily the first year that I went I saw a news report about it and knew to expect the Smelly Tofu scent that wafts around different stalls at the market. This year it was the first stall you walk by on the way in so you really couldn't miss it. There were also a couple of other vendors making it as well so you were bound to smell it a lot. I ran into my friend at the market and she kept saying "What's that smell", she didn't know about the Smelly Tofu I guess. I had tried it the last time I went to the night market so I knew exactly what it was. It doesn't taste the way it smells luckily. It's just fried Tofu and they add different sauces on top depending on the vendor.
What I like about this festival is that it's not like any of the other street festivals in the city and the only other street festival like it happens in Markham where there is a large Asian population. This event was brought to Toronto by the T&T market to duplicate Night Markets that happen in Asia where small street vendors have pop up stands selling all kinds of meats on skewers and all kinds of seafood and other small bites and a lot of hand held food. Seeing it in Toronto is a little shocking for the first time. The smells, the smoke, the food you see that you don't see anywhere else around town. You do feel a bit like you are transported to an Asian Street Night Market.
I really love these festivals because they are free to get in and you can sample as much or as little as you like. It's meant for the adventurous eaters. If you are looking for hot dogs and hamburgers you are in the wrong place. Because I was on my way to a dinner party I couldn't eat as much as I would have liked to try.
I had a chicken skewer, the Okanomiyaki pancake and I shared the Taro spiral with my friend.
These few things filled me up quite a bit but I was really enjoying taking these photos of all the food and the vendors. It's the kind of place that hits all of the senses.
The only thing that changed was the parking. Once again the getting there and parking was the difficult part. They had a parking lot right across and they charged $5 the last time I was there but for some reason I paid $10 for a different lot on the other side of the T&T lot but I could redeem the ticket for a fan at T&T but I didn't bother to do that. I guess there way of getting you to shop in the Store.
I am not sure why the other lot was closed but it created a jam up of cars looking for parking. I got there when it opened on the Saturday about 5pm and stayed for a couple of hours. By the time I left there were throngs of people getting off buses and huge family groups and friends walking towards the event. The last time I went I waited in long lineups for some of the foods so I knew to go early this time and get there before it gets crammed with people.
If you love seafood and things on sticks, this is the perfect event for you. The prices of most of the foods are fairly reasonable as well.
For people like me that can't venture over to Asian to experience the authentic Night Market this is the next best thing and saves on the pocket book and the packing. Look out for the Markham Night it Up or the T&T Waterfront Market next summer if you are a food adventurer.