One of Dallas' hottest food festivals returns to showcase the best up-and-coming Asian dishes in town. Asian Night Market is back at the Bomb Factory on July 21, with a dozen vendors that include revered classics as well as new restaurants or those that are opening soon.
The first Asian Night Market debuted in July 2018 and was an instant hit — so popular that the organizers held a winter version as well.
The event takes its inspiration from similar markets in other big cities around the world, says spokesperson Teresa Nguyen.
"The chefs and restaurateurs have longed for an Asian night market like those they've visited and grew up eating in Asia and other cities," she says.
They also wanted to make it central to Dallas.
"There are night markets with street vendors all over southeast Asia, and they have them in cities like Los Angeles and Toronto," she says. "We wanted to do something like this in Dallas. If you think about Asian food, it's mostly found in the outskirts in cities like Richardson, Carrollton, or Garland. We wanted to make it available in a centralized location."
The 2019 lineup is a vibrant collection that includes Indonesian, Filipino, Taiwanese, Chinese, Thai, Laotian, Japanese, Indian, and modern cuisines. Chefs and restaurants include:
- Açaí & Alchemy
- Bilao, marking the market's debut of Filipino cuisine
- DFW Indonesian Community Association
- Jeng Chi Restaurant and Bakery
- Khao Noodle Shop
- Niwa Japanese BBQ
- Ohashi, marking the debut of a Japanese concept
- Sushi de Handroll
- Kalachandji's Restaurant & Palace
Every food vendor will serve something that's completely different from what they serve at their restaurant, and just one special dish.
"Our first time, we learned that when vendors did multiple items, it resulted in longer lines, so we narrowed it down to just one item, so that guests can go and try everything, and the lines won't be as long," Nguyen says.
They also coordinated to avoid duplication. "We tried to orchestrate everything and think about which restaurants we're going to have and what they're serving it was definitely a conversation," she says.
Menu items include vegan Korean tacos, tenderloin skewers, Isan sausages, Koay Chiap (duck broth soup), Kakuni baos, tonkatsu ramen, shabu shabu beef, Laotian beef tartare, matcha lemonade, and snow ice desserts.
Khao Noodle Shop, which was recently named by Eater as one of the best new restaurants in the U.S., is doing a "Nam Khao corn dog." Açaí & Alchemy, which recently opened in Plano, is doing pineapple soft serve. Kalachandji's is doing vegetable pakora.
Everything is under $10. Admission is $12. Tickets can be purchased online at www.thebombfactory.com.
"It's an opportunity for us to showcase Asian chefs and Asian restaurants," Nguyen says. "Dallas has so many, we try to spotlight some veteran restaurants that deserve attention as well as the up-and-comers. We want to bring together all these great talents and let them make something they love."