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It’s like stepping into another world.
Girl eating a bowl of noodles. Right: Entranceway with colourful strainers hanging from ceiling.
Toronto’s latest opening will whisk you away to a whole different place. Superfresh is a new Asian night market located in the Annex, and if you’e looking for a unique experience, it’s worth checking out.
Boasting 4,000 square-feet of immersive decor, vendors, and more, the venue has tons of dishes to try as well as drinks and entertainment. But there’s more to this spot than just the cuisine.
Superfresh was born from the desire to create an “unapologetic space” that celebrates Asian culture. The market features Asian-owned and led businesses and pays tribute to the first Korean-owned 24-hour grocery store that was once located in the Annex.
“The opportunity was to come together and build something that was a showcase of Asian culture,” says co-owner James Lee.
“There was a stigmatism of being Asian during COVID,” co-owner Trevor Lui adds. “What people don’t understand is, you have a regular business that suffered from COVID, and you have a business that is in the food industry. Then you have an Asian-owned business in the food business. There are layers that made it compounded for us.”
Exterior of Superfresh in Toronto, Ontario.Madeline Forsyth | Narcity
“We need to see a shift in how Asian culture is depicted, including our food, including what we charge for food, […] and the stereotypes around Asians.”
Open six days a week, Superfresh offers traditional food, drinks, and events in an authentic environment, and here’s a look inside.
Everything at Superfresh was designed to transport you to a different place. From the brightly coloured strainers that hang from the ceiling to the neon signs and canvas bags, the market is bursting with nostalgia and authentic aspects of Asian culture.
“We welcome our customers not to just come in and sit down and eat. We want them to walk the space,” Lui says.
Entranceway with colourful strainers hanging from ceiling. Madeline Forsyth | Narcity
“There’s a lot of personal touches in here. A lot of the design elements are actually items that we brought from our homes and from our grandparents’ homes,” Lee explains. “We wanted a certain familiarity in the space that would resonate with people and bring them back to either their childhood or a trip that they took a few years back to Asia.”
Dining area inside Superfresh.Madeline Forsyth | Narcity
The wide-open interior features a bodega where you can shop for traditional snacks and food items, as well as a large dining area and a bar lit by glowing signs.
The food vendors are located along the side of the market, and you can breathe in the smell of meals being prepared, as well as watch the unique process that goes into some of the dishes such as the hand-pulled noodles.
Bodega serving unique and authentic snacks. Madeline Forsyth | Narcity
In the back, you’ll discover a secret speakeasy where you can order boozy drinks. You’ll need a password to get in, and it changes weekly, but you can find hints to what it is on the Superfresh Instagram page.
Moving fortune cat wall and bike display.Madeline Forsyth | Narcity
The design and decor create a transportive experience, and you’ll want to take some time to explore the space. The moving fortune cat wall, bicycle display, and graffiti by Asian artists are some of the aspects you’ll come across.
“Please Remove Your Shoes” prop.Madeline Forsyth | Narcity
One notable prop that’s caused some discussion is the “Please Remove Your Shoes” sign at the front.
“That has been a really big thing online,” Lui laughs. “There’s been arguments, and we love it because it’s created a bit of a buzz.”
The market is home to seven vendors and brands that represent different regions of Asia such as Northern China, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Korea.
The menu celebrates Asian cuisine, and you can order all sorts of authentic dishes, from hand-pulled noodles to dumplings and cheesecake.
Prawn Sando from Katsupan.Madeline Forsyth | Narcity
One popular item to try is the Prawn Sando from Katsupan. Packed between fluffy slices of bread, this sandwich will take you to flavourful heaven.
Braised Beef Brisket Bowl from Big Beef Bowl.Madeline Forsyth | Narcity
Another notable dish is the Braised Beef Brisket Bowl from Big Beef Bowl. Loaded with hand-pulled noodles, this steaming bowl will warm your soul, and the noodles are made fresh with every order.
Satay Ayam from JaJan.Madeline Forsyth | Narcity
If you’re looking for next-level flavour, give the Satay Ayam from JaJan a try. The skewers come with a side of warm rice, and the peanut sauce is deliciously memorable.
Steamed Baos from Bao Bird.Madeline Forsyth | Narcity
The Steamed Baos from Bao Bird are always a good option, and the fluffy, soft buns will melt in your mouth. You can get a variety of flavours including pork belly and sweet potato.
Popcorn Chicken from Bao Bird.Madeline Forsyth | Narcity
Bao Bird also serves delightfully crispy Popcorn Chicken that’s perfect for sharing amongst friends.
Conceptualized by beverage expert Evelyn Chick, the Superfresh cocktail offering is inspired by Asian flavours and puts a modern twist on classic drinks.
White and blue teapot. Madeline Forsyth | Narcity
The main bar features four “crushable cocktails” on tap that pair with the various dishes available at the market. In the speakeasy, you’ll discover cocktails with more adventurous ingredients, such as the Tahini Cashew Orgeat.
You can sip the Superfresh Spritz, which comes with lemongrass-infused Northern Keep Vodka, a house Pomelo Ginseng Cordial, and sparkling wine on tap, as well as the Punch Punch Peach made with Brugal 1888 Premium Rum, Chum Charm Peach Soju, and fresh lime juice.
Cocktail from Superfresh.Superfresh
Drinks like beer, sake, soju and Baijiu are also available to order from a menu focusing on Asian-owned and local businesses.
Dining area and bar at Superfresh.
Madeline Forsyth | Narcity
Address: 384 Bloor St. W., Toronto, ON
Why You Need To Go: This Asian night market will transport you to another world, and you can enjoy authentic food and drinks.
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
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