This year at the night noodle markets there are some new stalls and some oldies. I have literally been everyday this weekend because there is so much amazing food in the one place and so why not. I couldn’t possibly have eaten everything in one day but I certainly wanted to. I dragged people out on Friday after work, went with my family on the Saturday and pulled some friends together for a Sunday session. Each time was as drool worthy as the last. So much deliciousness in one spot.
The pretty lanterns. Purple this year.
These skewers are great to start with. Hoy Pinoy serve Phillipino BBQ and they do it well. They have a big charcoal bbq area where they cook bbq chicken and pork belly skewers and whole roasted pig (lechon). The pork belly skewers with banana ketchup are my fave. They are juicy and have that charcoal flavour, marinated in a sweet sauce. Delish.
Delhi streets had their pani puri on the menu, which is one of my fave dishes from their restaurant. They are little lentil crispy puffs filled with chickpeas, tamarind chutney, yoghurt and herbs and spices. The way to eat them is to pour the spiced water half way and then eat the puff in one mouthful. It’s spicy and sour and crunchy and soft and fresh all at the same time. They are amazing.
Red Spice Road do an awesome pork belly. Squares of crispy five spice pork belly with sweet and sticky chilli caramel. It’s served with a fresh asian slaw. Delish.
At Charlie Dumpling we had the chicken and goji dumplings w spiced black vinegar caramel. They were tasty, the skin was thin and soft and the filling had lots of flavour. They were nice.
Lady Carolina is one of the new comers and they had a Nikkei dog, which is like a hot dog with a Japanese twist. It was tasty, the Wood BBQ Huachana sausage was spicy and the bread was soft. It was topped with nori, French fries for crunch and Amarillo salsa (like a chilli sauce). It was yum.
We had the soft-shell crab from Mantou which was five spice battered soft-shell crab with sriracha mayo and deep-fried mantou. Mantou is a small sweet bun that is soft and fluffy and crispy on the outside. It is generally used to soak up all the juices of the meal.
A whole wall of the Chinese lucky cats.
At wonderbao we had the fried bao filled with three types of mushroom, tofu and vegies. It was tasty, they make delicious baos that are soft and fluffy. A good vegetarian option. Yum.
Another veg/vegan GF option is the lentil poppers from Overdosa. They are little bite-sized balls made of lentils and fried. It comes with a lovely tamarind and date chutney. They also make dosa of coursa.
We tried the pumpkin and ginger noodle balls at Chilli Tuckshop and they were delicious. They had deep-fried crispy noodle on the outside and soft cooked noodle in the middle. They were flavoursome and pumpkin and ginger is a great combo. They had a bottle of green sriracha sauce that I hadn’t tried before. It was hot and had a sourness to it. It went perfectly with the noodle balls. Delish.
At Poklol we had the chichi fries which was crunchy potato fries with spicy pork bulgogi, kimchi and kewpie mayo. It was tasty but definitely a dish to share, it was quite filling.
Hawker hall stands beside its renowned sister counterparts Chin Chin and Kong as a new addition to the Ben Cooper area. They serve a Malaysian beef rending which is a signature dish at the newly opened restaurant. And it is extraordinary. The flavours are intense, in your face and complex, absolutely sensational. The meat is slow cooked and falling apart and it’s topped with toasted coconut, which adds freshness and texture and all of that delciousness is sitting on a bed of fluffy rice. Definitely one of my faves at the night noodle markets this year.
The Chin Chin pulled pork slider has been around since the dawn of night noodle markets and it’s delicious. It’s a little bun filled with pulled pork, slaw, pickled cucumber and sriracha mayo. It has the perfect balance of flavour and freshness and is a good little snack.
Mr. Miyagi has a range of nori tacos available as well as their popular MFC (miyagi fried chicken). We had the soft-shell crab nori taco, which had a light tempura batter and a zingy curried mayo sauce with crispy garlic on top of sushi rice in a nori shell.
The nori taco shell holds together really well. It is covered in tempura batter and fried and doesn’t break and fall to pieces when you bite it. We also had the grilled salmon one, which had chunks of beautifully grilled salmon with kim chi, Japanese mayo and chilli oil on sushi rice. Super delicious.
The entrance to the whisky bar was whimsical and had a nice set-up.
They were serving Singleton maple whisky, which I hadn’t tried before, it was sweet and it came with a yummy momofuku maple cookie. Winning!
From the brulee cart we had the salted caramel and ginger crème brulee with sesame caramel popcorn and pistachios on top. The custard was thick and eggy and it had a crispy bruleed top.
The Sugar Prawn x Luxbite creation was great. Firstly it was served in an actual coconut, wow. Then there was a refreshing coconut & lime sorbet sitting on top of sticky rice and caramel. It had peanuts on top, a chocolate covered pocky stick and a mini Luxbite salted caramel macaron. It was full of surprises and fun to eat.
At Harajuku Gyoza they had fried gyoza filled with banana and nutella. They were yummy little sweet dumplings served with vanilla icecream.
Every year Gelato Messina come up with new creations for the night noodle markets. This year they had fried gua baos, which were almost like fried doughnuts with the fluffy bao centre filled with gelato, dipped in chocolate. I love the names they come up with too. This was the bao chikka bao bao, which was a deep fried gua bao filled with peanut gelato, dipped in milk chocolate sauce and rolled in crushed peanuts.
We also tried the David Bao-wy, which was a deep fried gua bao filled with salted coconut sorbet, dipped in white chocolate mango ganache and rolled in crushed cashews. Delish.
The deep fried ice cream balls were filled with thai custard gelato and were sitting in ‘messina tinned fruit salad.’ There was chocolate and salted caramel sauce to put on top.
They also had a gold bullion bar, which was layers of gulamalaka gelato, condensed milk gelato, passion fruit jelly, a nut crunch, and banana bread.
Black star pastry is from Sydney and when I heard they were bringing their famous strawberry and watermelon cake to the night noodle markets in Melbourne I was super excited. I had high expectations and it delivered. It was delicious. It had flavours of strawberry, watermelon, cream and rose. It was delicate and the fresh watermelon pieces were refreshing. It was a beautiful cake.
So since I liked the cake so much I tried the cake smash too, which was a Black star pastry x N2 gelato creation. Basically it’s the strawberry and watermelon cake in a gelato version. It was delish.
They have bars around the place to grab a beverage alcoholic or non. Although my mum really wanted a can of coca cola and there was none to be found. I’m happy that this festival goes for a couple of weeks because there is so many great food stalls. It’s a great space to hang out, bring the people you love and be surrounded by lots of amazing food.
I heart the night noodle markets!
The Age Good Food Night Noodle Markets 2015
Event dates: 12th November – 29th November 2015
Address: Birrarung Marr, Melbourne (behind Federation square)
Trading hours: Mon-Wed: 5pm-9pm, Thu-Fri: 5pm-11pm, Sat: 2pm-10pm, Sun: 2pm-9pm