Two weeks ago I had a chance to drop by The Night Market in South City for lunch to check out the buzz I'm hearing from the Hong Kong ex-pats.
Lo and behold, for real, a Hong Kong-style dai pai dong has been set up inside a stark warehouse space complete with folding tables and plastic stools.
Ordering is at the counter, then the food is brought to your seat. In addition to the online lunch menu http://www.thenightmarketssf.com/menu... , The Night Market also offers this list of inexpensive snacks kept ready on a steam table for quick service.
Customers are welcome to get creative on the art wall while they wait for their food. Another side of the space is a white wall that had been used for screening films and HK street scenes. However, I was told that they stopped because the space the projector occupied was needed for more seating.
I started with the day's special snack, five-spice tripe, $5, a bigger portion than I expected for the price. And actually more than just tripe, this also had turnips, liver and something spongey that might have been spleen. The HK milk tea, $3, served hot was excellent. So velvety and complex, if just a tad too sugary for my taste.
Roast pork belly ordered with soup noodles, $8, as a base was really good too. The crackly skinned slices of roast pork were served on the side with a dab of hoisin sauce. The skinny noodles were just a bit past optimal bite, but still a good effort, particularly for the full size bowl at that price. The soup stock was quite nice, not too salty, and topped with a crazy amount of tender greens.
It has a small lot for off-street parking. I also noticed a few planted beds with herbs and a section marked "okra". So maybe we'll see an okra special come summer.
Despite the name, The Night Market is currently only open for lunch 11am to 2:30pm. But it promises to have night time hours once it can staff up. I can't wait to go back.
The Night Market
230 B South Spruce Ave.
South San Francisco, CA