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Night Market in harvard square

coookie | Dec 9, 201408:19 AM

a friend and i were heading to orinoco when we stumbled past this place. it's in the old tamarind bay spot and in fact the replacement of that sign is what caught our eye from the street. turns out they were doing their last soft launch night before their official open tonight, so we gave it a try. the premise is pan-asian street food with a modern twist. decor is pretty cool with graffiti-heavy walls that lend the subterranean space an intimate but fun vibe - like you've found a secret joint.

pic of the menu is attached.

we tried the following:

* brussel sprouts - good color on the sprouts, a nice vinegar glaze and very tasty chinese sausage
* curried cauliflower - simple but satisfying. apparently the veg that's offered in this dish rotates regularly
* pork gyoza - again, fairly ordinary prep but executed well with high quality ingredients. not a standout dish though
* filipino spring roll - excellent filling, with a great cashew pesto dipping paste.
* sichuan chicken wings - really delicious, though fairly mild in spice level, despite opting for "extra spicy" when offered to us by the server
* pork belly toast - my second favorite. excellent texture on the pork belly, and presented without excess adornment
* shaky shaky beef salad - this is basically cambodian beef loc lac, and was my favorite. very faithful rendition with high quality beef. could have eaten several of this
* dan dan mien - very tasty but a pretty broad departure from typical sichuan dan dan noodles

overall, a creative, modern and just incredibly satisfying meal, which is the true test of a place that purports to serve street food. i was sad to discover that tamarind bay is gone, but i'd go back to night market in a heartbeat.

incidentally, did some googling and night market is managed by the son of gerald chan, the billionaire harvard alum and real estate mogul who's been buying properties all over the square. if they bring this level of quality to their other future establishments, that spells good things for the area.

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