The Night Noodle Markets are one of the most popular attractions of SMH Good Food month each October. From October 6-23 for 18 nights over the month, Hyde Park becomes a hub of action each evening, with smoke sizzling from stalls, aromatic flavours lingering in the air, and the newly brought twilight sunshine thanks to daylight saving, paving the way for gorgeously balmy evenings.Fairy lights and lanterns illuminate the park and cute trinkets can be found around the enclosure, such as the wall of gold cats greeting you as you enter from Park Street or the giant inflatable kitty waving to you sweetly. Each evening a traditional Chinese dragon dance erupts through the festival whilst music pulses from the various bars and stores.
There are great places to relax and devour your feast, such as the Yalumba wine bar balcony, the Mercedes Temporium, the Citi VIP area for Citi cardholders as well as the many tables under the glittering lights.Every year, the line up keeps growing with long-time favourites as well as a selection of newcomers. With such an extensive range of mouthwatering options, the choice has become quite overwhelming. This year,. the markets have become a cashless event running on a card basis making queues quicker and more efficient.
This year’s stalls include restaurants such as Daniel San, Din Tai Fung, Gelato Messina, Harajuku Gyoza, Mamak, Saké, Taste of Shanghai, One Tea Lounge, Mr Bao, Queenies, Hoy Pinoy, Bao Stop and House of Crabs.
The dish of this year has to be Harajuku Gyoza’s octo-dogs, a Japanese take on the classic Dagwood Dog. Here, deep-fried sausages are cut to resemble baby octopus, complete with tentacles coated in sweet ketchup spiced batter and eyes made using nori. Despite its cute appearance, I decided to save my calories for other eats.
Stop 1: The Bar
The queues can be overwhelming for some of the more popular stalls and I don’t blame you for being deterred by this! However the best tactic is to just grab a drink (or JUG!) to sip on whilst you line up, soak up the remaining sunshine and buzzing atmosphere whilst getting slowly tipsy. The drink offering is solid with Yalumba sponsored bars, Thatcher’s cider, Ice Tea, Coopers beer, Pimms and the odd cocktail. Our Pimm’s jug lasted us the evening very perfectly!
Stop 2: PORK LOL
Where to begin is a very tough choice, with so much on offer! Go hard or go home, I say! The humorously named PORKLOL was ever so popular with Kimchi Fries, Bulgogi Beef Tacos, Chilli Chicken Tacos and Chilli Pork Tacos on their menu. The fries were chunky and incredibly crunchy! Coated in a generous slathering of bright red kimchi sauce, drizzled with aioli, and finished perfectly with a sprinkling of fresh green shallots and fried shallots, they were incredibly addictive!
Bulgogi beef is available as a topping on fries or tacos. One member of the group had been craving a Halal Snack Pack all day, and lucky for her, she got her wish with this! Basically a glorified Snack Pack on steroids, with its creamy aioli dressing, Sriracha, crunchy fresh & fried shallots, she was in heaven! My bulgogi beef tacos were equally as good — dressed with chilli mayo, fresh carrot, cabbage, aioli, cucumber and shallots, the accompaniments really made the bulgogi beef shine.
Stop 3: Hoy Pinoy
Hoy Pinoy, a Filipino BBQ & Street Food stall is another favourite with flocks of raving fans! Having recently popped-up with Messina in one of their collaborative Messina Eats events, they are having their moment right now! If there’s two words to describe the offerings at Hoy Pinoy, they’re sticky and sweet! The Liempo is an adobo glazed 12 hour smoked pork belly with a sticky sweet basted coating served on a bed of steamed rice with crackling bits described as Asian bacon or Atchara. Accompanied by some fresh thinly ribboned carrot and radish pickles, this dish is a good meal in itself.I just fell in love with the Chicken Adobo Fries! Golden crinkle cut fries were the bed for some gooey sweet and sticky chicken in a soy, vinegar, garlic & pepper marinade. These are topped with little bits of delicious Atchara, again the Asian bacon pork crackling crowning the dish making them even more addictive.Meanwhile the ultimate crowd pleaser for everyone is their long generously meaty ‘Inihaw‘ skewers of either pork or chicken! They told Good Food that they cook the pork belly “low and slow directly over the coals, on the skewer with no grilled plate, rendering the fat down naturally and letting the sugars caramelise”. The Inihaw na Manok is a chicken skewer with soy glaze whilst the Inihaw na Baboy consists of pork belly with succulent banana ketchup glaze. Cooked over a flaming charcoal coals, the skewers have an incredibly smoky flavour, enhanced by their respective sweet bastes!
Step 4: Bao Stop
Peking Duck Fries at Bao Stop! Need I say more? If you love Peking duck pancakes or hoisin sauce, you really must order these babies! Crispy French fries, bits of duck meat, lashings of hoisin sauce and the welcomed addition of some fresh green spring onion! These were one of my beloved choices last year, and continue to be. They are just so great and soo moorish, I don’t know what else to say really!Whilst you’re here, you may as well invest in some of their namesake Baos, which went crazy at last year’s noodle market! I remember visiting on the final evening of the noodle markets previously and being so disappointed that they had run out of the flavour I wanted. There are three flavours on offer: Braised Pork Belly Gua Bao, with hoisin sauce, fresh coriander, roasted peanuts, pickled mustard greens & Taiwanese mayonnaise, Fried Chicken Gua Bao– topped with carrot spring onion, and signature Bao Stop chilli mayo, or Peking Duck Gua Bao with crisp cucumber, spring onion and peking sauce!This year they are also trying something new with the Singapore Chilli Crab Lobster Roll, with tender pieces of lobster claw prepared in garlic Singapore chilli sauce in an Asian inspired hot dog bun! I mean, considering you’ve made it to the front of the line, you may as well go all out here right?!
Step 5: One Tea Lounge
At the green tea matcha emporium, that is One Tea Lounge, you can find a trio of sliders, with Ramen, Rice or Matcha buns housing delicious fillings! I was always sceptical of the ramen burger trend, but the noodle bun is in fact really delicious, with a sweetness in the noodle mixture proving really tantalising.
Ice Cream baogers are good for a sweet treat come dessert time! With golden deep fried buns filled with either taro or matcha ice-cream and red bean filling or caramel sauce – the contrasting textural sensation of cold meets sweet is refreshing and ultra scrumptious!One Tea Lounge is also serving their newest creation of matcha filled Cookie Shots. These chocolate cookies are moulded into a cylindrical shot glass shape and then coated in white chocolate. Inside is a thick matcha infused white chocolate shot! Like pure liquid gold, you can feel a little healthy (right?!) about this one because matcha is jam packed with antioxidants!
Stop 6: Queenies and House of Crabs
These newcomers on the Night Noodle Market circuit are sure to be a hit with their famous restaurants! These two eateries can be found in Surry Hills at the Forresters Hotel and Norfolk Hotel respectively, as part of the Drink n Dine hotel group portfolio. House of Crabs delivered a Vietnamese inspired roll filled with soft shell crab in a sticky sweet sauce and some XO mayo. This is big and filling, perfect for the gents out there with huge appetites.The Lobster fries were a playful combination of French fries, cheese, bacon, corn and lobster gravy. Whilst minimal on the lobster component, which is understandable considering the price, the corn was a welcomed addition with the sweet little kernels bursting in my mouth!
Stop 7: Trang’s Kitchen
This a new Vietnamese eatery offers up some of the best Pho across the entire Night Noodle market. Made with high quality ingredients, they take great care in their product with tasty specialties such as Banh Mi rolls and Pho. Spicy Beef and Pork Noodle soup was a flavorsome pho, filled with pork sausage and Wagyu beef meat in a rich aromatic broth. Also pick up some Spring rolls or deep-fried Vietnamese rice paper rolls to accompany your Vietnamese soup with their spiced dipping sauce.
The Wagyu Beef Banh Mi was a white roll filled plentifully with shavings of rich marble-y wagyu beef meat. The roll is simple, finished with some mayo on top! If you’re after a big satisfying dish- this would do the job perfectly!
My favourite part of every meal! The Night Noodle Markets have some of the best dessert dishes you can find, all in one destination. By all means, visit just for sweet treats if you’ve got an indulgent sweet tooth as I, or go for an after dinner dessert! This allows you to stop by when the queues have died down — because trust me, there are seriously some great gems here!
Stop 8: BlackStarPastry X N2extremeGelato
BlackStarPastry’s legendary Strawberry Watermelon Cake with Rose Scented Cream is a beautifully elegant piece of bliss. Two layers of almond dacquoise cake, rose infused cream, a layer of watermelon, is finished beautifully with a topping of watermelon, strawberries, pistachios & dried rose petals. The BlackStar X N2 collaboration has been a huge success since it first began. The nitrogen gelato sent Sydney into a crazy frenzy when it arrived on the block a few years ago! Two of their all time most popular ice-creams feature on the menu. The Ferrero Reveal with nutella & hazelnut gelato made, coated with a rice bubble Choc Top & warm chocolate ganache syringe is deliciously smooth and chocolaty. The Strawberry watermelon cake smash is BlackStar’s famed watermelon cake, blended and whipped into frozen vanilla gelato, topped with fluffy rose infused whipped cream, rose petals, pistachios and a strawberry liquid syringe! It’s almost too pretty to eat!
Stop 9: Gelato Messina
Messina have really outdone themselves this year, with what I think are the best desserts they’ve ever created! Adopting an Asian fusion approach through the flavours, I couldn’t pick a favourite from the cups of goodness they had on offer!The Turron Not is a tantalizing dessert cup home to deep fried banana & brown sugar gelato. The gelato is wrapped in filo pastry, topped with bright purple ube cream, dressed with some zingy kalamansi puree & toasted coconut crunch. The gelato was fried to golden goodness, with the richness offset by the refreshing tropical puree and added texture from the sweet coconut crunch!The Only on Sundaes was the most interesting out of all, with Messina’s amazing salted coconut sorbet on a bed of black sticky rice. The generous addition of cool beads of lychee tapioca and a gorgeously crispy slice of caramelised puff pastry added a brittle texture. Below, the gloriously rich sweet lemongrass and white choc ganache completed things perfectly.
For anyone who loves fried ice-cream (hello Mr Wong’s deep fried ice-cream!) the Fryer and Ice is for you. A huge ball of deep fried caramel & coconut gelato sits alongside summery mango pudding all drizzled with passionfruit caramel! This is a crowed pleaser and fail safe choice, with the hot and cold elements uniting in a fun mix of flavours!At I Ate My Way Through we looveeee, matcha. The Matcha Do About Nothing is a glorified Matcha Choc Top. A soft serve swirled with milk chocolate and green tea gelato sits in a green tea waffle cone. The cone’s insides are coated with Matcha white chocolate, and the whole thing is dipped and coated in matcha white chocolate and topped with pistachio crunch.
Stop 10: Nutie Donuts
Sydney has going donut crazy with donut shops popping up everywhere; first we had the attack of the cronut, then the donut cakes and donut walls, and now, hoping to lessen their chances of diabetes, Nutie donuts have hit the market with their gluten free, baked and organic (yes you heard right!) donuts! With a daily rotation of flavours, the range includes Lychee, Coconut & Yuzu curd, Rosewater & Cardamom Belgian white chocolate, Chocolate Bounty, Vegan cherry ripe, Raspberry delight, Vanilla & sprinkles icing, Double dark choc and more! The doughnuts have a light airy, crumbly texture, and come without the usual deep fried donut guilt.
Stop 11: Waffle on a Stick
Good Food deemed the food trend of the Night Noodle Markets as ‘anything on a stick’ from Hoy Pinoy’s Filipino BBQ skewers to Harajuku Gyoza’s ‘Octodog’. The waffle on a stick, has a name that says it all. These dessert style waffles are made fresh to order, coming in four different flavours to leave you with a sweet ending to the evening. We sampled the Nutella Delight consisting of a freshly baked waffle, warm gooey Nutella, finely diced strawberries and creamy vanilla ice-cream. The waffle texture was perfectly crisp on the outside yet soft within, with lashings of Nutella, satisfying any chocolate craving!
The Lychee Delight was enchanting and a little lighter, with caramel sauce and fresh bits of meaty lychee fruit! Other variations include Sesame Maple Delight and Chocolate Delight! The Night Noodle Markets are a great night out for families, dates or catch ups with friends. Try to go once, twice if not more! It’s not often that so much good food unites in such close proximity!
Night Noodle Markets
October 6 – 23
Hyde Park, Sydney NSW
Mon & Tues 5pm – 9pm
Wed & Thurs 5pm – 10pm
Fri 4pm- 11pm
Sat 4pm – 10pm
Sun 4pm – 9pm
I Ate My Way Through dined as guests of Good Food Sydney Night Noodle Market