For those living in Brooklyn or Manhattan, travelling to Queens (sans cars) can amount to quite a journey – a roughly 40-50 minute commute by the 7 train (if it is operating during the weekends), or a sequence of transfers between trains and buses. Towards the end of the line is Flushing, a “truer” (and cheaper) Chinatown than that in Manhattan, and one stop before that, between Corona Park and the New York Hall of Science’s outdoor rockets and spaceship fixtures, is the Queens Night Market, which opens for a few short months during the NYC summer season. Unlike the more crowded and more expensive Smorgasburg Food Market popping up every Saturday (daytime only) along the Williamsburg riverfront in Brooklyn, Queens Night Market pops up weekly on Saturday evenings. Reflective of the borough’s famed internationalist demographic, it offers a more diverse array of food bites, mostly at the $5 mark. We recommend visiting early, around 5-6pm when the gates open, to avoid the crowds, and also to find a spot on the surrounding grassy hillside to watch the sunset dip behind the space rockets. In this round-up review, we focus on the desserts encountered at the Night Market, and which we have not seen previously in other Manhattan or Brooklyn-based food markets.
Mochi Waffles @ Moffle Bar
- Short and sweet story: What looks like a corn dog, albeit covered in chocolate drizzle or cinnamon showers or rainbow-hued Fruity Pebble cereal, is served somewhat warm, tastes like a fluffy yet crispy waffle at first bite, and then a chewy mochi further in? A curious invention called a “Mochi Waffle.”
Halo-Halo Cup @ Kanin KYC
- Short and sweet story: Taking the ubiquitous Bubble Tea a few steps crazier is the “Halo-halo Cup” – an assortment of black and white tapioca pearls, green pandan and rose agar jelly cubes, swirled with condensed milk into a very, very, very sweet ice slushi.
Langosh @ Bohemian Bakery
- Short and sweet story: If you cannot pass up fried dough in any form, look no further than this lump of dough vaguely resembling a red blood cell, smothered in cinnamon sugar and laced with sauce. Don’t think of your arteries.
Indonesian Cakes @ Moon Man
- Short and sweet story: We adore tropical flavours, and South-East Asian desserts will always have a special place in our hearts. Moon Man’s sampler of three desserts was a delight – a green pandan cake, a chewier cassava cake cube, and a coconut-flecked tart/pancake hybrid.
Persian Love Cake @ Joon
- Short and sweet story: Beckoning with one of the longest lines at the Night Market, this storefront offered one of the more substantial $5 meals at the Night Market, of Persian meat stew plopped on a mound of rice. A less-advertised offering is the Persian love cake, a tiny bundt cake, with hints of pistachio and rose.
Chinese Sugar Painting
- Short and sweet story: When you want to be a child again, don’t bypass one of the seemingly “non-food” stores near the entrance of the Night Market. Here, you can ask for an amazingly intricate dragon or koi fish to be painted for you. And then, lick all that sticky sugar away!