South Wen Shin Rd Night Market, a set on Flickr.
Fifty by fifty yards of total gastronomic orgy. Pulling into the parking lot is an assault on the senses like no other activity can. This is it. This is what I came across the pond for…..what is the big deal about this night market culture?
No guide book or TV shows could have prepared me for this. I am thankful to my host, who was breaking me in slowing. This particular Night Market features a very happening Mongolian BBQ stand. My host advised to try this first and get accustomed to the sights and sounds then venture onto other things. So I took the advise. The Mongolian BBQ line was long. I stood patiently all the while taking in the scene.
As my eyes got adjusted to the smog or smoke, or call it what you may, it was very evident that there could have easily been more that 300 stands plying their products. There was food, drinks, clothes, candy, snacks, toy, if you can imagine it they were selling it….or so it seems.
As I got closer to the Mongolian stand, I was beginning to enjoy the wait but hungry enough to throwdown. The attendant asked what meat we wanted, the choices were pork and beef. We ordered one of each. She handed us a bowl each with the marinated and meat and motioned us to the vegetable bar. There could have easily been 30 different choices. After pilling on the veggies, we handed off to the attendant, who handed us 2 tokens with numbers.
Soup, rice, and drinks are complimentary. The Grill Master placed our heaps of food on a flat round grill and went to work. Continuously moving the food while sprintzing with water is the key. Then an attendant brought the steaming goodness over. All of this is happening in a matter of minutes. The food was cooked to just the right doneness, exposing the various added vegetables.
I will confess that after stuffing this in my mouth, there was no way I could fit anything else. So I walked around with a fully belly and took in the experience. Now I understand why I was encouraged to fill up. I am able to look and smell, and get samples of other food without wanted to eat everything.
Amongst all the food were rides and children toys. There were also games for adults. This being my first Night Market experience, I walked away with a clearer insight as to what is potentially offered, how to pace my self, and above all how to just enjoy the wonderful variety of food available in Taichung, Taiwan.