Last night Sydney’s greatest Asian culinary fiesta launched and will continue heat up Hyde Park as part of Australia’s largest food festival, Good Food Month.
Spices and herbs are expected to pervade the air at Night Noodle Markets till late October as forty sizzling hawker-style stalls showcase Asia’s best cooking techniques. So who’s who and what’s what? Let us give you a rundown.
To start, may we present Good Food Month’s way of celebrating their 20th birthday: Lucky 3 Asian Eating House. It’s a one-time only, not-to-be-missed rotating pop-up restaurant within the market near St James Station Elizabeth Street entrance. The first to take the reigns will be Sydney staple Spice Temple, serving up high-end modernised Chinese cuisine in a zen-like setting between October 4-9. And then, between October 10-15, the Malay masters at Mamak will tantalise revellers with the bold and bright flavours of their signature roti and sambal. The finale will be hosted by Masterchef winner Diana Chan, with her restaurant Chanteen, permeating the eating house with her modern Malaysian street food from October 16-22.
While you can expect the whole of southeast Asia to be very much covered at Night Noodle Markets, there are some stalls doing a bit extra. Mr Miyagi will bring their truffle wagyu beef Japa-dawg with panko crumbed Wagyu beef-cheek, burgundy onion jam, potato puree and black truffle mayo in a soft bao roll. Or perhaps Hard Style Kitchen can tempt you with their ’12-hour wood smoked pork belly cubes coated in Chinese five-spice rub, marinated in a plum BBQ sauce and served with shoestring fries’. Some have been inspired by unmistakable tastes of fast-food joints: POKLOL is spicing things up with their Mac N Goreng – Mac N Cheese with a Mi Goreng twist – and Puffle is serving their ‘KFC Cheese puffle’ – Korean fried chicken stuffed inside a cone-shaped egg-filled cheese waffle, topped with Japanese mayo and shallots. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, check out Little Turtle which boasts an entirely-vegan menu. There are also gluten-free options served at many of the stalls.
This year, Gelato Messina have conjured up some delightfully Asian gelato: There’s ‘The Jolli P’ – mango salsa, mango jellies, peach jellies, and condensed milk Chantilly cream topped with Graham Cracker crumb; ‘Brazo De Messina’ – layers of Pandan gelato, baked meringue & condensed milk custard sandwiched between a Graham Cracker crust; ‘Thrila from Manila’ – brown sugar banana gelato & banana bread wrapped in filo pastry, deep fried then topped with custard and chocolate peanut butter crumb; and ‘Allo Allo’ – Caramel leche flan, caramel syrup, caramel sauce, toasted milk crumb, caramel shaved ice, evaporated milk & dulche de leche gelato. Looking for something a bit warmer on the lips? Go and taste Black Star Pastry’s cult classic Strawberry Watermelon Cake or Donut Papi’s traditional yeast-raised doughnut, rolled in sugar and filled with homemade custard is available in both jam and Nutella.
With great food comes great opportunity, like matching it with wine or beer. South Australian winery Brand’s Laira will bring the best of Coonawarra to Sydney with a pop-up ‘cellar door’. For an experience with a more creative twist, Brand’s Laira will host a series of exclusive Paint and Sip sessions. Guests can sip some wine in one hand and create a lavish masterpiece with the other hand. For those who prefer the nectar of the gods (hops!), head over to the James Squire Night Terrace to tipple through one of Australia’s greatest craft brewers on tap. And for a taste that’s a little more Asian, the Amplify Kombucha Bar is offering revellers bottomless brewed Kombucha on the house.
Lastly, if you’re a Citi customer, treat yourself to the best seats in the house with Citi VIP. Citi customers have the opportunity to pre-book a table in the Citi VIP space. Table bookings will be available for Citi customers 72 hours in advance of each night of the Night Noodle Markets, and places will be available for walk-ups on the night. The popular Citi concierge service is also returning this year, enabling Citi customers to avoid the queues and enjoy food delivered right to their table.
So with all that instagramable food and seriosuly drool-worthy treats, where else would you want to spend your October evenings?