Thursday, October 14, 2010
Night Noodle Markets
Part of the Sydney Food Festival here in Hyde Park they are setting up for this annual event. A great way to have a taste of a variety of food Sydney has to offer.
The Wall Street Journal says: For Sydneysiders interested in eating like international jet-setters, but not ready to use their strong Aussie dollars to travel the world to do it, the annual Night Noodle Markets in Hyde Park offers a taste of Asia and the Middle East this week.
The park’s sprawling lawns have been converted into an open-air, Asian-style night market, with red lanterns lining the food stalls and white holiday lights dangling from above. Part of the Crave Sydney International Food Festival, this year’s noodle market differs from previous ones with the addition of Middle Eastern fare. True to the Sydney culinary scene, Thai is the most dominant cuisine on offer. But there are Turkish, Malaysian, Japanese, Chinese and even Himalayan specialties to try, too.
In an effort to sample the rarest dishes we could find, we started with a mixed plate at Himalayan Yummy Kitchen (price: 12 Australian dollars, or US$12), a combination of barbecue chicken, savory potatoes, veggie noodles, relishes and steamed rice. Himalayan barbecue chicken looked just like Tandoori chicken and the noodles had a lo mein quality to them — but the mountainous dishes had unique flavors and a mild spice that was all its own. Nearby, Efendy Modern Turkish restaurant sold koftes (A$10.50), a smoky-tasting lamb roll NOT A MEATBALL? my companion called “delicious.”
Further down in yet another sets of stalls, the cafe New Shanghai offers a selection of dumplings — try the steamed vegetarian (A$5) drizzled in vinegar. At Lees Malaysian, a char kway teow (A$10.50) plate of flat noodles with shrimp and chicken seemed at first like a standard Asian noodle dish, but mix in the chili paste, and the noodles grow spicy, the flavor more robust.
With tables and chairs dotting the lawn, there’s no shortage of seating for those arriving early. But lines develop fast at some venues. By 6 p.m. on the evening of our visit, for instance, beloved Chinese restaurant Din Tai Fung, which now has shops in seven Asian countries plus the U.S. and Australia, had a long queue, while others had none. Bring your own wine and other beverages, too: Drinks are for sale but beverage vendors aren’t nearly as ubiquitous as food sellers.
The Night Noodle Markets are open all week, Oct. 18 to 22, from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., rain or shine.