The Night Noodle Markets are back for 2017. From tonight, 22 eateries will take over South Bank’s cultural forecourt, peddling everything from kimchi fries to dessert ramen.
The event’s two-week tenure means restaurants that wouldn’t otherwise consider setting up a weekend market stall can get involved. This year, locals such as Harajuku Gyoza, Nom Nom Korean Eatery and Phuc Deli-Viet will line up alongside Bao Stop, Black Star Pastry and Hoy Pinoy from Sydney and Melbourne.
Here’s what to check out this year.
There’s no shortage of bao joints in Brisbane these days, but Sydney’s Bao Stop doesn’t limit itself to its namesake dish. As well as bao with various fillings you can also try duck fries – fries topped with shredded Peking duck and Bao Stop’s own Peking sauce.
Black Star Pastry and N2 Gelato
Black Star Pastry has a cult following in Newtown, Sydney. It’s perhaps best known for a strawberry watermelon cake with layers of almond dacquoise, rose-scented cream, watermelon, strawberries and dried rose petals. The delicate creation is on offer in its original form but also as a “cake smash”, where it’s beaten into N2 Gelato.
Harajuku Gyoza returns with its usual batch of weird offerings. There’s the Instagram-worthy raindrop cake of course, but also dessert ramen – a vanilla sponge set in orange jelly layered with custard and topped off with popping candy, fresh melon and blue noodles cooked in sugared water – and “long fries”: carefully pounded, super-long fries served with either house-made shiitake mushroom and katsuoboshi salt or Japanese mayonnaise.
A perpetual favourite at the Night Noodle Markets, Melbourne’s Hoy Pinoy returns to once again fire up the barbeque. Of all its Filipino skewers the inihaw na baboy – pork belly marinated in a banana-ketchup glaze – is the most popular. This year there’s also inihaw na manok, chicken skewers in a traditional soy glaze cooked over a charcoal fire pit, and boneless cebu lechon – roasted suckling pig chopped and served on rice with lechon (a sauce built from pig-liver paste) and pickles papaya.
Nom Nom Korean Eatery
The Valley’s Nom Nom Korean Eatery is making an appearance in 2017 with its tasty Korean-fusion street food. There’ll be kimchi fries (fries topped with cram cheese sauce and kimchi), a vegetarian kimchi ramen and Nom Nom’s popular bibimbap, available with chicken, spicy pork or mushroom, and topped with vegetables and gochujang sauce.
Brand’s Laira Cellar Door
What it says on the box – a cellar door pop-up where you can sample Coonawarra’s Brand’s Laira wines, including the winery’s Blockers range, a bunch of cellar-door exclusives and a limited amount of its multi-award-winning 2013 One Seven One cabernet sauvignon. This is your drinking destination.
Night Noodle Markets runs from July 19 to 30 at South Bank’s Cultural Forecourt. Visit from 5pm weekdays and 4pm on weekends.