Sorry for dropping out of the blogosphere for a bit. These past few weeks have been busy, and I expect the busyness to continue up until my last day of classes (April 8th, if you were wondering). Exam season will, of course, follow, but what “exam season” really means is “no classes and therefore more time to focus on the blog, because I can’t really spend all that time studying.”
But let’s talk about the point of this whole post.
This evening I went to Hawkers Market’s one year anniversary.
From Hawkers Market.
Tickets were available online for ten dollars a pop, which I went with, or you could spend fifteen at the door. I was told tickets would sell out–and they did–so I’m lucky I got mine beforehand. I’m pretty sure they took more people later on through the night, but having the ticket printed already meant easy access.
Hawkers Market was set up at 870 East Cordova, which was a smallish space for a market, and packed full of people. Right by the entrance was the much-hyped Electric Jelly, where foodies could decorate their own donuts with an assortment of icing glazes and toppings. It looked quite busy, so I squeezed past and went deeper into the market.
Our Intention is to create a space where vibrant and exciting local food can be discovered. Hawkers gives local food entrepreneurs a place to conduct commerce, rapidly test ideas and meet their customers face to face.
Along with the food there is always a selection of wine and craft beers made locally in Vancouver.
The main room had a high ceiling, which made a cool contrast with the crowded floorspace.
First stop was Living Lotus, a healthy living treats booth.
Blueberry macaroon, chocolate macaroon, and chai tea brownie bite.
I purchased a few treats and immediately started nibbling away. While most of you know I love macarons, I’ve never actually tasted macaroons, the light baked confections for which macarons are usually misnamed.
They were tasty, in a crumbly, coconut-y kind of way. The chai tea brownie was decent as well.
Of course, I prefer the bad-for-you stuff. I like my brownies on the eggier, milkier, fattier side of things…
I also taste-tested Emijoy’s polvorons. Polvorons are a Filipino delicacy locally known as pulboron. It’s made mostly of flour, powdered milk, sugar, and shortening butter. It’s slightly different from the Spanish version, which is baked; the Filipino polvoron is made by mixing and toasting the ingredients before refrigeration and moulding.
One of my favourite things about Hawkers Market’s one year anniversary Vancouver setup (aside from the upbeat atmosphere) was that there was a variety of culturally unique foods to sample from. The food tasting experience became so much richer because of it.
Outside were three food trucks. I picked Flip Tops, which was situated at the back–though both the mac ‘n cheese and thai food also looked delicious.
I ordered the BBQ Pork Skewers, decorated with a delicious signature sauce–just the right punch of flavour–and roasted garlic aioli, grated daikon, cilantro, and nori seaweed. The pork was very fatty, too.
The best kind of food truck food.
I was lucky enough to get my order filled just as the clouds broke once again. Vancouver weather, you know how it is. Rain rain rain.
Inside again, I ordered one of each kind of wonton from Wonton Girl. I didn’t really care for the texture or taste of any of them, but they weren’t horrible. My disinterest towards them might have been because I’m not a fan of lotus root or taro, which featured in two of the wonton types.
Personally thought the most traditionally made dumpling was the best–I’m not a huge fan of the other crunchy, rough wrappers.
Next I stopped by Sweet Petite Confectioner, run by Cindy Tran. She had on sale HEAVENLY flavoured marshmallows (I immediately purchased a small bag of the raspberry rose after taste-testing), as well as several kinds of cake pops.
Cindy packaging a gluten-free chocolate cake pop.
I also picked up a few cake pops for my sister, who’s returning from a two-week long spring break vacation in Tokyo & Shanghai tomorrow. I’ve missed her, and I know she’ll like the treats.
After SPC, I turned to Brown Paper Packages, an artisanal ice cream sandwich company. They’re the kind of snack food I wish was sold in a food truck or something at UBC (hello, summer school). I picked Tropical Thunder and was super pleased with my sammich.
And finally, because I was running out of cash (though I should note that most places also took credit cards), I headed back down to the entrance, to Electric Jelly.
They did a 2 for $5 deal, so I covered one with dolce de leche glaze, sprinkles, and malted milk crisps, and the other with milk cereal glaze, fruit loops, and bacon bits. Yes, fruit loops and bacon bits. It was great.
A few steps away, they had a foodstagram photobooth, where attendees were encouraged to snap photos of their food. You could even enter your food pic into a contest through Instagram.
Some pro food photographer. Or: man who can fold a piece of cloth in an artsy way and also happens to possess a much nicer lens than I do.
One girl saw the cute goodies I chose to pull out of my little brown shopping bag and commented, with a laugh, that I had picked my treats specifically for the photo contest, and that I was sure to win. I assured her that this wouldn’t be an issue because I didn’t have Instagram. Also, I’m not a photographer.
But I still did my best to put something nice together for the blog!
My uneaten treats.
The Vancouver Hawkers Market was a fun, casual event that I would also say is still in its early stages. I certainly hope it gains popularity over the years and grows a bit more, both in terms of size (at least, in Vancouver–I can’t speak for its events in Calgary and Edmonton), as well as professionally. I enjoyed trying out all the locally made food in a chill, packed setup with perfectly loud music, and a good-natured crowd. Food & foodies are always great.
The walk back to the Canada Line was admittedly a bit of a sketchy one, but a nighttime traipse through a rain-muted Gastown was actually a soothing way to wind down from the bustling food fair.
It was a nice reminder that if you look for it, there’s always something interesting to check out in Vancouver.
All the best,