Why I miss the Night Noodle Markets.
This year’s annual pilgrimage Hyde Park for the noodle market was one to remember, says Diana Bui, noodlies Sydney food blog contributor.
A week has passed since the final bao, noodle and skewer was devoured at Sydney’s iconic Night Noodle Market. With the closing of the stalls, Hyde Park has been left wanting delicious food, good company and a great atmosphere. Here at noodlies, Sydney food blog we’re feeling wistful about the plentiful bounty that was shared amongst hungry Sydney locals, and are still yearning for that authentic taste of the East.
…the Night Noodle Market has evolved from a pop-up party, to a cultural staple for Australians
As with many things, the noodle markets had humble beginnings in its inaugural opening back in the late 90s – now a nation-wide event hosted in 5 major cities, the Night Noodle Market has evolved from a pop-up party, to a cultural staple for Australians. We were honoured to attend the VIP Opening Night hosted by the Good Food Month peeps in partnership with the Singleton Whiskey and Sugar Bar, and with much excitement, I was given a special glimpse into the diverse array of specialty dishes offered by the vendors.
The VIP Event had much to entertain, and visitors were offered a curated menu of fluffy pork bao from Mr Bao, caramelised pork skewers from Daniel San, egg noodles from Chat Thai, all washed down with a smooth Singleton whiskey served with salted caramel. With each dish seasoned to perfection and prepared with the loving delicacy reminiscent of mum’s home cooking, I was left dreaming of when my next Night Noodle Market adventure would hold.
My second visit to the market held the promise of exploration – with the anticipation of revisiting some old favourites and joy of discovering new ones, I was itching for an expedition around the park. Following my nose, I was led to the iconic Din Tai Fung stall that held the best selection of its dumpling and rice dishes. I opted for their fluffy combination fried rice that glistened with just enough oil, but had all the right flavours of a traditional fried rice dish.
…if there is anything to be missed from the Night Noodle Market, it should be their sweet and sticky pork
Continuing my olfactory-led hunt, I re-visited the Daniel San stall for another sneaky skewer – if there is anything to be missed from the Night Noodle Market, it should be their sweet and sticky pork, charred with that smoky BBQ flavour that keeps you wanting more. However, a close contender for BBQ goodness was East Ocean’s glorious peking duck pancakes – each serving held a succulent piece of BBQ duck drizzled with special sauce and accented with a punchy spring onion.
A more trivial highlight of the market was my discovery of the Korean Twist Potato – titled in the most literal sense, the aptly named “Chips on a Stick” were a crowd favourite – and casting my OH&S fears aside – the droves of skewer-clad patrons from their stall assured me that it is often the simple flavours that are the best.
To top off the evening, I made the rounds to retrieve some of my favourite dishes of all time – from the Mizuya stall, a buttered and charred corncob, and takoyaki relieved my craving for that traditional Japanese taste. To quench my thirst and fill my dessert stomach, a fresh coconut from Mini Pancakes and Coconuts was the perfect way to rehydrate, and their mini pancakes were a syrup-y delight.
I don’t believe that any single visit to the Night Noodle Market will ever do its incredible menu justice – as a frequenter of the Sydney Asian food scene, I cannot express how amazing it is to have such a diverse and well represented culinary forum that delivers Asian cuisine in such a digestable and relatable way. I’m sure we all have that one dish we miss, so which is yours?
Leave a comment below and be sure to vote for your favourite Night Noodle Market stall at www.topchopsticks.com!
Editor’s note: We also LOVED the Cathay Pacific stand at the Night Noodle Market. A visual highlight was the impressive hologram-like light display. When you took a photo of it and tagged #lifewelltravelled it changes colour, clever Cathay! Thanks so much for the invite.
— Thang Ngo (@ThangNgo) October 14, 2015
And of course, the culinary highlight for us was more delicious baos from Mr Bao, how amazing do they look?!
Night Noodle Market
Hyde Park, Sydney, NSW