@ 5 p.m.
Montreal's China town has a new ephemeral outdoor square with Asian street food kiosks and ample seating to enjoy the festive atmosphere. Every Thursday to Sunday, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Montrealers can try dishes from Hoho Street Food (Chinese), Egina BBQ (Mongolian) and World Tea House (Chinese) restaurants.
The average cost of eats is under $10. You can munch on cold noodles ($7) or sip a fruity iced tea ($3-4) under a canopy of red lanterns. A central bar also serves beer ($5-7), sangria ($6) and non-alcoholic options, like lemonade ($2.50).
A central stage under the cover of trees features an extensive line-up with 70 performances booked on Friday and Saturday nights through the summer, until the space closes on October 2.
The square is decked out in modern Chinese designs by multidisciplinary artist Le Lin. Moon, sun, butterfly and dragon motifs cover the metal structures that give the place a tradition-meets-urban vibe.
Nestled in the site's central tree is an upcycled artwork made of plastic collected from Chinatown. The giant magnolia blossom by artist Wawa Li and space designer Sarah Tu made the piece, called Le Peigne, which lights up at night.
During two long weekends, July 28 to 31 and August 25 to 28, the Asian Market will turn into a Night Market. More than twenty restaurants in Chinatown and downtown will offer Thai, Vietnamese, Taiwanese, Japanese and Korean food.
"As a Chinese businesswoman, Montrealer, and active member of the Asian community in Montreal, I am proud to participate in a project that benefits the community. We have worked very hard to revitalize Chinatown and to give a platform to local merchants," said Yifang Eva Hu, Night Market founder and general manager.
"There is music, dance, food, drink, crafts — in short, a whole universe to discover," said Maxim Bragoli, general manager and co-founder of project partner La Pépinière Collective Spaces.
In addition to musical performances, the oasis will host Chinese calligraphy workshops, Cantonese lessons, tea ceremonies, Chinese opera, and traditional and contemporary dances. The complete program and schedule details are available on lecoeurdelile.com.