In Asia, one of the more common tourist attraction that seems to be very popular with locals and tourists alike is the notion of night markets – the reason for this is night markets tends to offer up a food option that allows people to try many different little things in the form of snacks. Ms. Buddha and I were scouting around for what was available and decided to go with Lao MenDong (老門東).
First off, the surroundings of Lao MenDong is quite picturesque in the sense that if feels like you’re being transported back in time to older times China, quite suitable for the old capital of China.
That said, once you get a bit closer, you might find that there are elements which are slightly on the tacky side – and sometimes feels like you’re on a movie set instead of actually being in an authentic environment. It is pretty nice for photos and the ambiance was quite pleasant with people just enjoying themselves.
To me, one of the most important things for visiting a night market is the opportunity to have snack food and sample the local favourites. Being in Nanjing, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, so just decided to have what looked good – first stop was a savoury pastry!
Ms. Buddha and I got one each of differing flavours and the pastry texture was really good in the sense that it tasty and perfectly flaky – the filling was nice and peppery (I got mince with pepper) – but they were sadly not hot enough.
Next up we went further into the market and I was looking for something chilli (because Nanjing is also known for their spicy food) – and ended up with some chilli and numbing tripe and dried tofu.
Both tasted quite good but the spiciness that I was hoping for was somewhat disappointing given that I wanted something hot! The texture however was great – I think the sauce was toned down a little to accommodate for tourists’ tastes.
As we moved further, a smell caught my nose and immediately I knew it was stinky tofu! There was a line outside the store, but for the sake of stinky tofu – we lined up and waited.
First thing, if there’s a line, expect also that the food will take a while, we waited for about 10 mins – when we got our loot, the tofu looked amazing! After the first taste, whilst the texture and the flavour was good – my preference for stinky tofu is that it has to have a very “off” taste – but this version was much milder.
Next up was some meat balls! In Asia, meat balls cooked in broth is a great snack – we came across a store which offered up different sizes. The balls were cooked in a light broth and had an excellent texture to them. The fact that they were cooked to perfection and had a really nice meaty taste to it – both Ms. Buddha and I loved it.
Having snacked a LOT, we somehow were still craving for something a bit more substantial so we found ourselves at a noodle shop that was popular for their duck blood jelly noodles and also pork skin noodles. The broth for the noodles were excellent (not too salty) and the duck blood had a nice game taste to it – the pork skin were great too but I didn’t like the noodles as much.
With our bellies filled – we made our way back to the hotel – on the way, I found the cutest car ever!