This past Sunday I went to the Daytop Village Festival and NY Japan Street Fair on Madison Avenue in NYC. It was part of the Daytop Village Festival which spanned from 42nd street up to 57th street on Madison Ave. The Japan Street Fair was between 43rd and 44th street. We started our adventure at 42nd street and walked up to about 50th street. I always enjoy street fairs and festivals. The shish kabobs and sausages are always tasty. Crepes are a popular one, as well as, funnel cake and fried oreos. There were many lemonade stands, bubble tea stands, and fresh fruit and smoothie stands too. There were a good number of vendors selling things like handmade jewelry, bootleg designer sunglasses, summer dresses and pashimas as well as other goods.
The streets were pretty packed. The block between 43rd and 44th street was most crowded. There were vendors selling Japanese goods. There was a nice selection of Japanese foods, like gyozas (Japanese dumplings), misoyaki (msi-marinated beef),okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake), cold udon, Japanese curry, and more. I exchanged $5 into 5 food tickets and began looking for some tasty treats.
I managed to squeeze my way to the Cafe Zaiya stand. They were selling shaved ice, ice cream, and Japanese pastries. I treated myself to a cup of Kinako ice cream. Kinako is made from toasted soy beans that are grounded into a flour. It’s high in B vitamins and protein. It had a creamy nutty flavor to it. Very tasty!
I also waited online for some mochi (Japanese rice cake) from Inakaya, a robatayaki grill restaurant. They pound fresh mochi every 30 minutes. They ran out of mochi while I was waiting on line, which means there would be a mochi demonstration soon and I would be able to grab a plate of mochi from this next batch.
The steamed mochi rice is placed into a big stone bowl.
The sweet mochi rice is then pounded with these huge mallets.
After some intense pounding, then are molded into little mochi pieces. Here’s a plate with red bean paste, matcha (green tea), and kinako (soy bean). Looks and taste delicious!
While we watched up Madison Ave, I came across Wild Bill’s Olde Fashion Soda Pop Co. I’m not normally a soda drinker but I think it was the shiny mugs and fun choice of flavors that caught my attention.
For $10, I received a Wild Bill’s mug and unlimited refills to their selection of seven sodas. I think I enjoyed the Vintage Vanilla Cream soda the most.
The streets were pretty crowded at times and the weather was hot, but it’s always fun to wander around street fairs.