After last year’s Night Noodle Markets were cancelled and this year's winter event was put on hold, they make a long-awaited return this spring (from September 22 to October 3). But things are a little different this year. Instead of taking over South Bank’s Cultural Forecourt, it will move into the idyllic and leafy City Botanic Gardens.

This year there are 17 eateries involved, including locals Hashtag Burgers & Waffles, Nodo and Stone & Copper. They will be joined by national stallholders such as Bao Brothers, Hoy Pinoy and Gelato Messina. You’ll find everything from Filipino skewers to roti canai with curry sauce, and mango pancakes.

As always, entry is free, however guests will need to register online for a ticket. It will also be cash-free so remember to bring your card. Here’s what to look forward to this spring.

Bao Brothers
Newcastle’s Bao Brothers are back. This year, the food truck is once again crossing the border, serving its legendary bao (pork, chicken or tofu) alongside loaded sweet-potato fries (with plum ketchup, mayo, sesame and shallots).

Debuting at the markets this year will be Brisbane favourite, Nodo. Its enormously popular gluten-free baked donuts will be on offer, of course, as will special-edition sundaes. Expect creations such as the Berry Blossom Donut Sundae (raspberry white-chocolate doughnut, Nodo whip, native strawberry-gum sauce, cherry blossom pearls and fresh berries); Hot Apple Yuzu Crumble Sundae (apple cinnamon doughnut, yuzu custard, Nodo whip, freeze-dried apple and biscuit crumb); and the Pineapple Peanut Caramel Sundae (caramelised pineapple vegan doughnut, Nodo whip, peanut caramel, wattle-seed peanut brittle).

Hoy Pinoy
Always a Night Noodle Markets drawcard, Melbourne’s Hoy Pinoy returns to fire up its giant barbeques. The menu this year sticks to the food truck's tried-and-tested Filipino street food favourites: inihaw na baboy (pork belly skewers in a banana ketchup glaze), inihaw na manok (chicken skewers in a traditional soy glaze), pak pak inasal (smoked chicken wingettes with garlic, lemongrass and ginger; and lechon (adobo-marinated pork served with rice, pickled cucumber salad and adobo glaze).

Gelato Messina
This year, Gelato Messina will be serving Asian-inspired gelato and desserts. Expect to see innovative creations like HK French Toast (dulce de leche and peanut butter French toast with maple syrup gelato and condensed milk); Milo Fry Club (deep-fried milo gelato, Messinatella pudding and Oreo crumble topped with warm Messinatella); and Mango Pancakes (mango sorbet and vanilla chantilly wrapped in a mango crepe).

Stone and Copper Curry and Snack Bar
Fortitude Valley restaurant Stone and Copper will be serving classic dishes such as rendang beef, chicken biryani and yellow curry alongside okra fries with house-made tamarind and mint chutney; roti canai with curry sauce; bang bang butter chicken with basmati rice; and a chicken satay dog (grilled chicken marinated in lemongrass, spices and peanut sauce and served in a brioche roll).

Flying Noodles
The Night Noodle Market’s star dish returns in 2021, making a play for noodle lovers and die-hard Instagrammers alike. Seemingly airborne, gravity-defying noodles come with seasonal veggies and either pork belly marinated for 48 hours in Korean japchae sauce, chicken with sweet soy sauce, or a prawn cutlet with tom yum.

The Brisbane Night Noodle Markets will run from September 22 to October 3 at the City Botanic Gardens. Visit from 5pm weekdays and 4pm on weekends.