Asian Food Fest
|What:||Sample Asian Cuisine, support Asian Food Fest, & aid in building a medical center in Pleiku, Vietnam.|
May 19-20, 2012 |
Saturday: 11:00 a.m. – Midnight
Sunday: 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Freedom Way between Elm Street and Rosa Parks Street at The Banks in Downtown Cincinnati.|
|How Much:||No entrance fee, but donations are encouraged. Vendors will be selling sample size portions from $2-$6.|
This year’s Asian Food Fest is possibly the biggest and definitely the best yet. Featuring thirteen restaurants from around Greater Cincinnati, visitors can sample some of the finest Asian dishes around town. Several other local businesses also have booths and live entertainment sits at the heart of the festival.
Unlike previous years, the Asian Food Fest is located along Freedom Way in-between the Paul Brown Stadium and the National Underground Freedom Center. The location is easily accessible and parking is plentiful thanks to all the parking lots nearby. Booths are set up on either side of the street with a few open tables and the stage is located in the center of the event.
One booth in particular had me excited – Quan Hapa (pronounced Wang Ha Pa) and its Korean Tacos. Owned by the same fellows who opened the amazing and extremely popular Pho Lang Thang, Quan Hapa opens later this year and is going to serve street food from all over Asia. The food is served in small portions, designed to be eaten with a drink such as beer, sake or Asian-inspired cocktails.
I love Korean food, and I also love tacos, so of course when you combine the two I’m going to have to try it. The taco shell was filled with Korean-style barbecue pulled pork, homemade kimchi and napa cabbage and was topped with crème fraîche. The kimchi and crème fraîche weren’t overtly noticeable, but the juicy pulled pork and gochujang were strong, savory and delicious. It was only very mildly spicy and a little sweet. The thickness and savoriness of the sauce on the pork paired well with the Plantation Tea, also from Quan Hapa, which is a sweet tea with mint and pineapple juice. A dance of sweet and sour, the tea was both thirst quenching and satisfying.
Care2Share also had a booth serving Vietnamese street food such as fried spring rolls, meat kabobs, Yuca root puff bread and noodle bowls. All sounded delicious, but we went with the Bánh Xèo. Served with lettuce and cilantro, Bánh Xèo is a crispy crepe with pork, shrimp and beansprouts. It also came with a small cup on the side of optional dipping sauce. The rich and crispy crepe was tasty on its own, however the sweet sauce with it was too delicious to not dip it in.
There is no entrance fee to get into the Asian Food Fest but donations are suggested. Food and drinks are for sale and all cost between $2-$6. For alcohol visitors have to purchase tickets from a special booth. Proceeds from the event go to supporting future events as well as assisting in the building of a new medical center for the people of Pleiku, Vietnam via Care2Share.
Whether you’ve never been to the Asian Food Fest or want to go again, today’s the final day and it’s open from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. You can find a booth map, entertainment schedule and vendor information all at the Asian Food Fest’s website.
While you’re at the Asian Food Fest, don’t forget to check out the beautiful Smale Park that just had its opening celebration last night.
What Did You Think?
Did you go to the Asian Food Fest? What did you get? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Want to see more photos? Check out our Asian Food Fest 2012 Facebook photo gallery to see not only more pictures of the festival, but also some photos of the nearby Smale Riverfront Park that just opened the day before the festival. While you are there, be sure to like us too!
Verdict: A Must-Visit Event In Cincinnati
In its best event to date, the Asian Food Fest celebrates and shares food and culture while also supporting a good cause. Visitors can sample food from around Asia thanks to the many great participating restaurants and can participate in games and watch live entertainment.
This year the proceeds and donations from the Asian Food Fest go to supporting future events as well as assisting in building a new medical center for the indigenous people of Pleku, Vietnam.