Friday, May 30, 2014

2014 Richmond Night Market @ River Rock Casino

May 30, 2014

Chef James Xin Jiang Man BBQ

Lamb skewer - 2+

Chicken skewer - 2

Beef skewer - 2

J's comment > the lamb was easily the juiciest and most tender protein; beef was a tad chewy and chicken not even close to just how juicy the lamb was; nevertheless, all three left the Georgio Pinoy's pork skewers far faaar behind in the dust; FYI, I came across this food stall vendor back in Sep 2012 @ the Taiwan Fest, and although the quality now wasn't as superb as back then, the signature lamb is still pretty good

Original Oktoberfest Style

Roasted Pork Hock - 2

J's comment > not bad; very tender and juicy meat; the meat is chopped up into bite sized pieces which is much appreciated, w some amt left on the bone for some awesome photo ops; one complaint though was that at least 50% of the skin wasn't crispy, a real shame

Shaka Shaka Deep Fried Squid

(top to bottom)

Sweet Seaweed - 2

Spicy Seaweed - 2

Shaka: Original Salt and Pepper - 2

J's comment > the batter on the squid is definitely crisp, and the squid had none of the stinky smell that other BBQ squid joints usually have (surprisingly, none of the BBQ squid joints stunk at all today); the main concerns though, were:

1) I just wish there was more batter to balance out the portion of squid, texture-wise, it was about 20% batter / 80% squid, personally, I'd prefer at least a 40/60 ratio, but the batter (I reiterate), was pretty well done, not soggy like some places have it

2) the squid was just the slightest bit overdone, borderline chewy, but not bad

as the only deep fried squid stall at this night market, the quality of the squid itself is on par w the other BBQ squid food stalls (I sampled one other just to compare properly)

flavor-wise, the star is definitely the sweet seaweed which came highly recommended by one of the founders Alex (FYI, I was approached by Shaka Shaka to review their product line, to which I am most grate'full' for the opportunity (haha... the corny joke(r) strikes again), the seaweed flavor was present and the sweetness was just a touch enough to make you pause and then dig in again; the spicy seaweed was mildly spicy, seaweed flavor not too strong here; the original salt and pepper didn't really have much 'oomph'; definitely go for the sweet seaweed

on a 'non-food' side note, there's a lot of energy at this stall and the smiles are free (and samples too if you ask nicely!)

end note, all in all, not bad at all as deep fried squid goes, definitely better than the BBQ versions, but I've been spoilt w the best @ Golden House


Roasted Garlic - 2

Bacon - 2

J's comment > texture of the potatoes were more soft than crisp; flavor of garlic trumped bacon (which had a really subtle connection w actual bacon flavor and was more like some weird savory flavor); oh I could just cry now that Like Kitchen from the Chinatown market is gone since there's no more Chinatown night market; it was the ONLY food stall that had a consistent rating of 3 on their hurricane potatoes

Pretzel BB

Choco-mellow: Melted marshmallow topped w chocolate ice cream (half order) - 2

J's comment > unfortunately, the highlight of this was the ice cream, which is not the signature item, so that tells you something... marshmallows and pretzel bits were OK (FYI, I didn't realize there were actual pretzel bits in this dish, I was informed by the staff that it was ice cream, mochi and marshmallows, but there was definitely no mochi and a whole lotta pretzel - hence I got the stick below... the staff genuinely were nice though, so I don't think it was a scam, just one of those lost in translation moments)

Classic butter & sea salt (half order) - 2

J's comment > texture of dough not bad, has the slightest puff of air in the center which was fun, but in the end, too much dough, not enough flavor (I expected a LOT more butter)

Pretzel Twist

Parmesan cheese - 2

Original - 2

J's comment > got samples of the above to try; the texture of the pretzel was good, but nothing spectacular, certainly a step below Pretzel BB's and definitely below Auntie Anne's just so you know; flavor-wise, the parmesan was just a touch better cause it added something to an otherwise 'meh' piece of dough

Ice Cane

Mini cane - 2

J's comment > meh... reminded me of a McDonald's soft serve vanilla ice cream but in a really crisp and hard cone (I think it has to be this hard to prevent the ice cream from leaking everywhere - smart, but alas not tasty); FYI, these come in three sizes, mini, ice (regular) and duo (large)

Mango Yummy

Fresh mango sago: Fresh mango, coconut milk, grapefruit, sago - 2

J's comment > a real real shame; Mango Yummy used to have a straight 3 record (here and here), but it definitely dropped the ball today; mango was on the sour side (still fresh, but not even close to how sweet it used to be);grapefruit and coconut milk flavors absent

Mango tofu ice drink: Fresh mango, tofu pudding, coconut milk - 2

J's comment > mango just as sour; tofu was bland; coconut milk flavor absent, just a sweet syrup in its place

Georgio's Pinoy BBQ

Pork skewer - 2

J's comment > not juicy, slightly overdone

Pancit noodles - 1

J's comment > noodles were soft but broke (yes, broke) easily, kinda like a dense gelatin in the form of noodles

Taste Good BBQ Squid

BBQ squid tentacles - 2

J's comment > texture of squid slightly rubbery, but not stinky as in the past (a HUGE improvement)

Tenryu Hashim

Curry crepe on a stick - 2

J's comment > kinda like a mushy, non-ball form takoyaki without the octopus; curry flavor not present in the least

Treasure Cafe

Siu Mai - 2

J's comment > juicy, not too dense (despite appearances) but it looked a bit undercooked on the inside

Kim's Malaysian Delight

Nyonya Pulut Tatal - 2

Nyonya Kuh Talam - 2

Penang Fried Kwai Teow - 2

J's comment > got samples of the above to try; all failed (miserably) to impress; the Kwai Teow (noodles) were slightly oily, not much flavor; both desserts were of the avg supermarket quality

Singapore street Style

SOO pork jerky - 1
J's comment > got a sample of the above to try; wow... what a difference from the Hot five spices beef jerky which has not (yet!) fallen below a 2+; this pork jerky had a really nasty non-meat flavor that was at the same time slightly sweet and just plain weird

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Labels: 2014 night markets, festival, food stands, richmond

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