Night Market isn’t the best restaurant in Harvard Square, it’s the only restaurant worth going to for dinner if you’re over the age of 21. The food is a refined, focused, playful mix or array of pan-Asian small dishes that are vegetable driven and rely upon grilling and steaming.
You won’t find a lot of fried food nor pork here. No ears, tails, or feet. And it’s not faux. Not naming names, but certain restaurants call themselves Italian and are about as Italian as Chico Marx. Same goes for Japanese and French. Whatever sells. Truth in menus, you’d call these places: Bob’s or Sally’s or Biff’s. The food isn’t regional, it’s not drawn from knowledge or experience with cuisines. It’s from a chef’s collection of fantasies that occasionally taste good and occasionally don’t.
Night Market, on the other hand, sells a plate of pea shoot greens with garlic and a pinch of oil that is so fragrant, crisp, and flavorful that the taste wakes up buds and has you ready for the bowl of delicious noodles in a vinegary sauce. Or steamed chicken.
The vibe at Night Market is confident and laid-back, sort of Alphabet City via Hajuku via Hong Kong. Smart and well-informed. Dinner will set you back between $50-60 a couple.