The Night Noodle Markets are returning to Brisbane for 2019. Starting tonight, 25 eateries will take over South Bank’s Cultural Forecourt and dish up everything from authentic Filipino barbeque to tacos piled high with bulgogi beef, chilli chicken and pork.
The longer-term nature of the event (it runs until August 4) means that restaurants that wouldn’t otherwise consider setting up a market stall tend to get involved, including a slew of southern superstars. This year, locals such as Chu the Phat and Gelato Messina will line up alongside Bao Brothers, Poklol and Hoy Pinoy from Newcastle, Sydney and Melbourne, respectively.
This is what to check out in 2019.
Always a Night Noodle Market highlight, Melbourne’s Hoy Pinoy returns to peddle its authentic Filipino barbequed skewers, including inihaw na manok chicken and the immensely popular inihaw na baboy (pork belly marinated in a banana-ketchup glaze), along with inihaw na mais (grilled corn, cheese, glaze and kornik) and kanin (steamed rice topped with green papaya pickle).
Messina is back at the Night Noodle Markets for 2019, dishing up a bunch of Asian-inspired treats. Think brown-sugar-and-banana gelato wrapped in banana bread and filo pastry, then deep fried and served with custard and chocolate-peanut crumb. Or pandan-coconut-and-condensed-milk custard sandwiched between shortbread crust and baked meringue. Dessert sorted.
A celebrated New South Wales favourite, Bao Brothers made a name for itself at the Hunter Valley markets before opening a bricks-and-mortar outlet in Newcastle West in 2017. This year it’s once again bringing the food truck across the border, serving its legendary bao (pork, chicken or tofu) alongside sweet-potato fries and tom-yum tots (tom yum crunchy potatoes with mayo, chilli and coriander).
Sydney’s Poklol is back in Brisbane dishing up barbeque tacos piled with bulgogi beef, chilli chicken or pork, and topped with pickled carrot, cucumber, kimchi slaw and spicy mayo. If that doesn’t hit the spot, order the chichi fries: super crunchy beer-battered fries, bulgogi beef and melted cheese finished with smashed kimchi and fried shallots.
Chu the Phat
Celebrated South Brisbane local Chu the Phat is taking its pan-Asian night-market-inspired menu to the streets, dishing up two different bowls of broth: there are wheat noodles served with spiced smoked brisket, and freshly made wakame noodles topped with pickled and fermented vegetables. Steamed duck buns are also available if you want something one-handed.
Wonderbao has been steaming its signature bao buns for loyal Melbourne followers since 2012. For the Night Noodle Markets it’s serving chicken bao with sweet-and-spicy sauce, pickled daikon and roasted sesame; roast-pork-belly bao with pickled cucumber, spring onion and hoisin; vegetarian choi bao with shiitake mushrooms, tofu and veggies; and a nai wong (custard) dessert bao.
When noodle dishes have names like Big Boss, Way of Dragon and Fist of Fury, you know your food is about to get interesting. The Night Noodle Market’s star dish returns in 2019, making a play for noodle lovers and die-hard Instagrammers alike. Stand-up (literally) noodles come with grilled pork belly, honey soy and seasonal greens, or chicken and red wine, honey and house soy sauce. Can’t decide? You can order a mix of the chicken and pork, if you insist.
The Brisbane Night Noodle Markets run from July 24 to August 4 at South Bank Cultural Forecourt. Visit from 5pm weekdays and 4pm on weekends. More information here.