HOUSTON

6 Tips for Attending Houston's Asian Night Market

grilled rice paper (bánh tráng nướng)

At night, we rise! Asian Night Market Chợ Đêm Houston is a free event celebrating street food and live entertainment. Houston’s chợ đêm, Vietnamese for “night market,” is located in the parking lot on the backside of Hong Kong City Mall. The market operates on a weekend Friday through Sunday from 6-11 P.M. The dates for the market are not on a set schedule; historically, it pops up once every 2-3 months, maybe a few times a season. At this particular night market, the majority of the vendors serve Vietnamese cuisine.

It used to be difficult to find out when the market would be held since the organizer’s mainly advertised through word of mouth, but now it’s growing even more popular thanks to the power of social media. They seem to be hosting them more frequently now due to the growth. As it keeps growing, the crowds may seem intimidating, but have no fear. Here are my 5 tips for enjoying your experience:

  1. Bring cash

    Cash is king. Very few booths will have a card reader (if any). $25 per person is a good amount to bring if you’re interested in trying multiple items.

  2. Share with friends

    Maximize the number of dishes to try by splitting them with your friends or family. Not only do you get to share food, but you’ll also share some memories with them!

  3. Arrive early or late

    The best time to go is right when the event opens around 6-7. Parking will be ample around that time and it won’t be too crowded. During the peak hours of 7-9, the crowds make it hard to navigate to each booth and the food quality may suffer since vendors are feeling rushed. Arriving later than 9, the crowd starts to fizzle out, but you run the risk of items being sold out.

  4. Wear earplugs

    The elderly Vietnamese people love cranking up the volume to the max. It will be loud. There will be a lot of singing. You will have to yell at your friends to communicate.

  5. Bring a chair

    The market provides tables, but if you’re not prepared to fight a family of 5+ for seats, you can always bring a portable folding chair. You can also move the food to eat inside the mall building.

  6. Stay hydrated

    If you want to save a few dollars for more food, bring a bottle of water! There is always at least one bubble tea booth, but nothing beats the hydration of good ol’ H2O. Plus, it will help dealing with the smoke from the grills.

Expect a good selection of street food to choose from ranging from meat on a stick to noodles to grilled seafood to traditional Vietnamese foods. Each market will have different booths, but some of the repeat booths include Tanuki Go, Ngọc Lan Bánh Bao, and The Bep Teahouse.

Those are my tips for enjoying the Houston’s Asian Night Market! The next one will be held next weekend October 18-20, 2019. For the latest date announcements, follow the vendors above or the official organizer’s Facebook page linked below. Be sure to check it out when you have a chance!

grilled meat skewers

grilled clams, snails, prawns (ốc, tôm nướng)

sugar cane juice (nước mía)


Follow Asian Night Market

 

Asian Night Market Chợ Đêm Houston
11205 Bellaire Blvd.
Houston, TX 77072
(Market is located at the backside parking lot)

Facebook

Powered by Rice HTX: At Home with a Japanese Chef

poweredbyrice_soufflepancake_2.jpg

The jiggly pancakes that took social media by storm are here; Japanese souffle pancakes have finally arrived in Houston! Powered by Rice HTX is a private chef service that started serving the fluffy dessert in June 2019 as part of a dining experience. At the beginning, it all started at his own home.

About Powered by Rice

Powered by Rice consists of two members: Owner-Chef Yusuke Motozawa and Chef-Consultant Ryota Matano. Owner-Chef Motozawa was born in Sanuki City, Kagawa Prefecture, Japan and moved to the U.S. as a teenager. As an adult, he spent 10 years working in Japanese restaurants in Houston and Dallas. Chef-Consultant Ryota Matano consults the joint project remotely while running his own izakaya restaurants in Japan. Together, they develop recipes for this project. To them, Japanese food is so much more than just sushi; their desire is to share the diversity of Japanese cuisine with the multicultural city of Houston!

The Menu

poweredbyrice_soufflepancake_1.jpg

Powered by Rice serves authentic savory Japanese dishes you won’t find in your everyday Japanese restaurant such as okonomiyaki, omurice curry, hamburg steak, and authentic Sanuki udon. They are planning to add classic izakaya dishes to the menu in the future. 

The standard pancake course comes with 2 pancakes topped with homemade whipped cream, original hazelnut cream and berries. Chef Motozawa says that now that the base is perfected, they have room to experiment with different toppings. 

Powered by Rice has quickly attracted the eyes of Instagrammers by being one of the first to serve souffle pancakes permanently on their menu. Chef Motozawa spent the last 6 months developing his original recipe for the pancakes. He states he spent countless nights tweaking, cooking, and eating the pancakes himself. “I thought they would be easy to make; I was wrong. I’m embarrassed to even show you what the first batch looked like. It makes me appreciate the craft even more now.” The process was tough, but it drove him even further to be able to produce the quality of the food that he is happy with.  

How to get a Taste

Powered by Rice will post an Instagram story announcing time slots and menus. If you are interested you, send him a message on Instagram or fill out the application form on his website. After confirming, chef will send you the location which will be in Houston.  Carpooling will be recommended since he only hosts the event at a private residence with limited parking.

Customers have the option of selecting a brunch, lunch, or dinner when the option is available. Chef Motozawa has planned menus from friends wanting to try souffle pancakes to anniversary dinners and is also available to bring the dining experience to your home or venue as a private chef. Powered by Rice will work with you to accommodate the needs of your party.

Book your party today! Whether it's a casual get together with friends, birthday, or anniversary, Powered by Rice is waiting to serve you. Currently, openings are only available on the weekends, but they are aiming to accommodate more guests. Business has taken off much faster than expected and was surprised to have people reserving a month in advance. Follow their Instagram for the latest updates and availability.


Follow Powered by Rice HTX

Celebrate Pride at Some of Houston's LGBTQ+ Owned Eateries

Heads up, Houston! Celebrate Pride this month with these local LGBTQ+ owned eateries! Houston is known for its diverse population and is home to the largest Pride Celebration in the southern United States. This year’s Pride takes place June 22, 2019, but you don’t have to wait until then to celebrate; celebrate now. We Texans are known for our pride and what better way to spread the love is there than to support our local queer-owned businesses. This list focuses on highlighting eateries other than bars to be inclusive of all age groups.

1. La Sicilia Italian Bakery and Cafe

lasicilia_1.jpg
lasicilia_2.jpg

La Sicilia Bakery and Cafe is located in the heart of Montrose the epicenter of Houston’s LGBT community. La Sicilia is owned and operated by the couple of general manager Antonio Rios and pastry chef Diego Chiarello. When you walk in, you’re greeted by a display filled with beautiful pastries. Their breakfast and lunch items are equally beautiful as the dessert. This year’s Pride month limited treat include a rainbow-shaped shortbread cookie and box of rainbow colored macarons. Both are available now to purchase.

La Sicilia Italian Bakery and Cafe
515 Westheimer Rd. Suite C
Houston, TX 77006

Website | Instagram | Facebook

2. The DoughCone

doughcone_1.jpg
doughcone_2.jpg

Founded in 2016, The DoughCone serves up a sweet vanilla bean ice cream inside a cinnamon sugar dough cone also known as a chimney cake. Owner Avi Oberoi strives to train the staff to be welcoming and inclusive to all customers. You can find the truck at Buffalo Bayou Cistern on most days, but make sure to check their social media for the most accurate business hours and location. At last year’s Pride Festival, they created a special rainbow cone to celebrate.

The DoughCone
105 Sabine St.
Houston, TX 77007

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


3. Michael’s Cookie Jar

michaels_1.jpg
michaels_2.jpg

Started in 2006, Michael’s Cookie Jar serves hand-crafted cookies made from scratch with real ingredients and natural flavors. The bakery has 3 locations around town with the main location located at West University Place. The other locations are located in downtown and Tanglewood. Cookies can be ordered online and shipped anywhere in the U.S. They can also make custom cookies for any special occasion.The Pride themed cookies will be available starting June 13 through the end of Pride.

Michael’s Cookie Jar
5330 Weslayan St.
Houston, TX 77005

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


If you are an LGBTQ+ owned restaurant interested in being added to the list, please contact me.