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Tiny Bites: Tasty Taiwanese street food at The Night Market

EatPost Category - EatEat - Post Category - Family FriendlyFamily Friendly
Having heard good things about The Night Market, a restaurant based on famous Taiwanese street food and home-style dishes, I was excited to try it out with my 6 year old. Our last experience of Taiwanese food was in Taipei, when my son was 3 and unable to sit still for a moment. The only way I managed to get a proper bite was to eat snack food on the run, which meant a lot of indigestion! Eating out is a much more pleasurable experience now that he’s more independent and adventurous in trying new food, and (the big plus) able to entertain himself at a restaurant quietly.
The Night Market - Elements Mall - Exterior
With one restaurant already in Stanley Street, The Night Market has opened a second, larger space in Elements Mall, seating over 100 people. The decor is light and bright, in pastels and pale wood, with a variety of different-sized tables including a long trestle table for larger parties in the central dining area. The vibe is friendly and warm casual-dining, with tasty dishes to share. Despite the number of covers, the restaurant feels roomy and spacious, with plenty of space for strollers. The restaurant’s location in the mall makes it a perfect resting place if you’re waiting for a movie or doing a spot of shopping.
The Night Market - Elements Mall - Exterior 4
We came mid-afternoon thinking it would be empty, but it was bustling with diners, and many of them were families with small children. The whimsical, bilingual menu features many dishes, from home-style noodles in soup to classic meat and vegetable dishes to street food and dim sum. The recommended dishes are highlighted in blue font, making it easy to choose, but there are more distinct Taiwanese delights on offer. The tea set was available when we came, but I also had my greedy eye on the a la carte menu to taste some of the more unusual dishes!
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My kid opted for the tea set, and chose the sweet brown sugar buns to start, with a main of fried rice in omelette and the famous Taiwanese bubble tea. I chose the sweet peach tea with jellies, the three-cup chicken fried sticky dumplings, the famous fried, battered pork chop and the salted egg yolk bitter melon. Portions are large and made for sharing, perfect for dining en famille.
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The bubble teas, served in lovely large mason jars, were a big hit, sweet and refreshing after an afternoon traipsing round shops and probably the best I’ve ever tasted! We switched back and forth, sharing both drinks with equal pleasure. The three chicken dumplings were large — served piping hot and crispy — with a lovely, tangy sweetness, though I struggled to finish them with all the other dishes I chose!
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The main dishes were also a hit. The pork chop was crisp on the outside, and perfectly moist and tender within while the bitter melon was deliciously bitter and crunchy and coated in a batter made of salted duck eggs, rather like tempura. Big chunks of salted yolk were tossed into the dish, making it by far the most interesting one of the day. Even the boy gave it a thumbs up! The fried rice in omelette was the only disappointment out of the bunch. A watery ketchup was splashed over the top of the omelette, detracting from the appeal of the dish. Upon tasting it though, I can see why it was added. The rice was rather plain and uninteresting, though my kid was perfectly happy with it, so this is a dish probably best-suited for the youngest members of the family.
Thumbs up
Service and food is good. There’s a big selection of snacks and mains to suit all ages and diets. All the dishes are MSG-free. We didn’t have to wait long for our food either. The price is very reasonable and the servers are friendly and attentive, paying close attention to diners’ needs.

 

Thumbs down
No thumbs down. It was a great experience!

 

Stroller access?
Yes.

 

High chairs?
Yes.

 

Kids’ menu?
No but this is Chinese food made for sharing. There are lots of little snacks and dim sum dishes if children need to have their own portion, but most dishes can be shared between 2-4 people. The tea set was great value, with one starter, one main and a drink for $68. Children’s drawing kits are available to keep your munchkins busy.

 

Price range
Cheap. Prices for the tea set (from 3-5pm daily) start from $85. A la carte dishes start from $40 upwards.

 

Opening hours
11am-11pm daily

 

The Night Market, Elements Mall, Shop 1028, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2807 2292; www.thenightmarket.com.hk

 

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