Event

Night Noodle Market 2015, Sydney

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Another year, another Night Noodle Market, another chance for me to empty my wallet on various Asian street foods.

The annual Night Noodle Market kick started last (last) week, lighting up (or fogging up with all the furious meat sizzling) Hyde Park once again from Thursday 8 October to Sunday 25 October. As a part of Good Food Month, Sydney, the Night Noodle Market brings together Asian restaurants from all over Sydney and Australia to bring us an experience that we sorely lack in Australia, night markets.

The joys of late night food runs, where you’re not just stuck with fast food chains or kebabs (don’t get me wrong, I adore kebabs), where you can wonder down the streets at 11pm on a weeknight and it’s bustling with people sizzling skewers, ladies scooping piping hot soup noodles or icy cold sweet treats into plastic throw away containers while lights, sounds and amazing smells waft from every corner. That to me, as someone who loves food a bit too much and midnight snacking, is what dreams are made of! It is also probably the main reason why I want to live in Hong Kong for a year, instead of doing London, like a normal person does when they get that overseas working holiday urge.

The Night Noodle Market tries to recreate that exact experience, but in our own backyard, where there’s even a little bit of greenery to go with it!

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I must say, in the last few years the Night Noodle Market has come a long way from its humble beginnings. I admit, I wasn’t a massive fan after experiencing the Night Noodle Market in its first year. To me, it was just a poor attempt at gouging at people’s pockets and charging festival pricing for meals that could be easily obtained just five to ten minutes down the road. In the first year, Good Food Month, just brought together a bunch of restaurants from around the CBD. These restaurants seemed to just serve their standard dishes in smaller quantities and at massively over inflated prices and don’t forget the 30 minute or more wait for anything even remotely good and the lack of seating because it was so darn popular. I wasn’t going to pay that much and wait that long for something I could get down the street. So during the first Night Noodle Market, instead of waiting at the Mamak’s stall, I decided to just go to Mamak, at their actual store in Chinatown instead. In hindsight it was a pretty good night.

Ever since then, I haven’t been super keen on the Night Noodle Market. That, and me now being a three hour drive away probably contributed, instead of a stop over after uni. Flash forward thee years and it looks like things have changed! I now have to walk past the wafting smells of barbecued meats and other fantastic goodies each night to get home. So naturally, instead of eating dinner at home, I’ve been dropping by and getting a different treat each night.

The Night Noodle Market has definitely gotten a lot cooler over the years. There are now fantastic eateries from around Sydney and even some interstate and festival only stalls showing up as well! Plus, you’ve got eateries doing goodies that you can’t really get at their standard store, like Messina and Wonderbao, N2 and Black Star Pastry and Miss Dipity and Mr Bao doing awesome collaborations. Then there’s One Tea Lounge offering miso caramel and Everyone Loves Ramen’s ramen tacos. Pretty awesome right?!

So what caught my eye at the Night Noodle Market? This is the bit where I post pictures of things.

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Well, who can go past the dessert lovers dream? Messina meets Wonderbao with the David Bao-wy ($12), deep fried bao with salted coconut sorbet dipped in white chocolate mango ganache and rolled in crashed cashews. This tasted a lot better than it looked. Actually, it looks quite nice in real life, we just take horrific photos. So don’t let this put you off, just check it out on Instagram.

If I had to describe this bao in one word, it would be ‘rich’ but not necessarily in a bad way, especially if you like decadent desserts, then this is going to be right up your alley. But it’s definitely not for the faint hearted or I guess anyone with heart problems to be honest. This bao brings together a super fluffy while crisp deep fried bao with creamy sorbet and a splash of ganache to top it all off cos it wasn’t already flavourful and sweet enough.

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Although I wasn’t able to finish this whole bao myself, purely because it got too much, I actually enjoyed the bites that I did have. The bao was probably my favourite part. It was super fluffy, airy and light, as you would expect from the amazing people at Wonderbao. Thanks to the deep frying, the bao had a lovely crisp shell which contrasted the fluffy interior. Inside the bao, there was a lovely and smooth coconut sorbet. Finally there was the white chocolate and mango ganache which I thought brought the majority of flavour to this little bao. Finally cashews because no one ever said no to cashews right?

After having this David Bao-wy, I definitely think I’ll be dropping by Messina again to try the Great Balls of Fryer. Not a massive fan of peanut butter ice cream but fried ice-cream, I’m all there.

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After having the super sweet David Bao-wy from Messina on my first night, I was back but this time for something savoury and who can go past Ramen tacos ($18 for 3) from Everyone Loves Ramen. With the set, you get a miso beef with iceberg lettuce taco, a terriyaki chicken with spring onions and baby radish taco, and a pork belly with coriander and Sriracha mayo slaw taco. I’m not sure if you can buy these separately, I didn’t really notice an option for it on Everyone Loves Ramen’s menu but if it’s your first time trying these ramen tacos, all three are worth it, each are quite different in flavour and taste.

I really didn’t do these ramen tacos justice with my ‘amazing’ photography skills (this seems to be a running theme so far. I swear, I’ll improve). Nevertheless, they were tasty. It’s a simple concept, deep fried egg noodles with flavoursome meats and some veggies for garnish. The ramen taco shells tasted exactly like what you get in a chow mein but a lot crunchier, you also get that mildly eggy flavour and that deep fried flavour that I know I’ve described so well. I know that sounds totally gross but if you like fries, fried chicken or the baos from Messina than you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Although tasty, I must say like anything made out of ramen noodles that isn’t actually soupy ramen, where it be a ramen burger or these ramen tacos, the structural integrity just isn’t there. Expect meat, iceberg lettuce and pieces of red cabbage everywhere.

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As for which combination I liked best, it was definitely between the chicken and the pork. The beef just didn’t stand up to the others at all. Too stringy and combined with the iceberg lettuce it was just all a bit too boring. Now the chicken and the pork, those were just packed with flavours. For me, I would have to say the pork. Awesome fatty and crispy cubes of pork coupled with creamy and flavourful red cabbage slaw. The perfect combination of big flavours and contrasting textures. The pork is what I’m going back for next time. If you can buy them separately. Which I’m not sure I can.

Well, thats it for now. Stick around, I promise there will be more. Well I’ve already got the pictures, now I’ve just got to write them up before the event ends this Sunday. If you haven’t been already, head over soon.

In the meantime, feel free to read our post from the Enlightened Night Noodle Markets in Canberra, 2015. I notice a few of the stalls that we ate at and wrote up are the same like Hoy Pinoy, Daniel San, Roti Road, Teppayaki Noodles, Span Thai and etc.

 

Enlighten Night Noodle Market, Canberra

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I absolutely love Enlighten, its almost my favourite event in Canberra (with the Multicultural Festival just barely in front). There is just something about pretty and bright lights, I just can’t handle how much I love them. I’ve been attending Enlighten ever since I first came to Canberra a couple of years back. Being from Sydney, I had no idea Canberra had such an event, I’ve always loved Vivid Sydney, which is a really similar event that happens in late Autumn, early Winter. I have been braving the winter cold to attend Vivid every year since it began in 2009. When I heard that Canberra had a similar event early on in my grad year, in the height of my missing homeness, I just had to go! Canberra’s Enlighten definitely focuses on projections instead of light fixtures but that completely makes sense, since Canberra has so many magnificent buildings to project on to. Vivid Sydney on the other hand has a lot more installation art, which I like equally as much. There, avoided a bit of a state versus state thing there. Phew.

This year, Enlighten has teamed up with Good Food Month to bring the Night Noodle Markets to Canberra. I must say, its almost like a dream come true, pretty lights with fantastic Asian street foods. The Night Noodle Market has been a regular food festival that happens during Good Food Month in Sydney. It has recently also expanded to Melbourne and Brisbane as well. I’ve always enjoyed the Noodle Night Markets, for a couple of weeks, Hyde Park is filled with various Asian restaurants from all around Sydney selling lovely snack dishes at “wonderful” festival prices. I was being sarcastic there, but seriously, I love the event despite festival pricing, it’s just a really fun night, and the convenience cannot be beat. Its the perfect place for all things dumplings, stir fries, skewers and more. Its also sees other much loved restaurants from Sydney coming out, like Messina with its ice cream burgers and treats, various bao stores and heaps more.

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Here in Canberra, the Noodle Night Markets combines bright lights with 15 eateries from around Australia, including plenty of restaurants from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. As well as a single restaurant from Canberra, Morks. I did find that it was a little weird that only one stall was from Canberra, especially with the Multicultural Festival having just finished, I mean come on, they’ve probably barely packed the tents away! I guess this will give Canberrans plenty of exposure to these other fantastic restaurants from across the country. I also noticed that the Noodle Night Markets had a heavy focus on Thai food, Japanese food and skewers. There was also a Malaysian shop and Let’s Do Yum Cha, which I guess is Chinese but there was no Korean food or Vietnamese food which was a bit of a shame but that means next year can only get better!

The Enlighten Night Noodle Market will run over the 10 nights of Enlighten (27 Feb to 8 Mar), starting from 5PM on weekdays until late and 4PM on weekends. Since it started last Friday, I’ve headed out to the Night Noodle Markets which is located in Reconciliation Place next to Questacon twice. There is plenty of space with some chairs and tables around. However, word of warning, on both Friday and Saturday, and from what I’ve been hearing from friends who have been heading out during the week, the Night Noodle Markets is completely going off! People were waiting over an hour to get food and the lines started stretching all the way to the end of the park. It was crazy. Knowing Canberra and its love for events, I got in early both days and hoarded my food as quickly as possible, then grabbed a table and settled for the afternoon. So I never really had any issues with crowd. Though I did see a lot of people complaining on Twitter about it, which I enjoyed because 1. I wasn’t in the crowds, and 2. They sometimes had puns.

Anyways, here are all the goodies I’ve sampled from the Night Noodle Markets so far. I think I’ve pretty much tried out all the stalls, except two or three Thai ones. I’m not a massive fan of getting full dishes or meals at festivals and those few Thai places were offering pad thais and etc. So that’s a no sale from me.

Morks Restaurant

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Here is the Boat noodle beef soup ($10) from Morks. Here at the Night Noodle Markets, Morks has brought something straight from home. This classical Thai dish is quite different to any of the dishes that Morks’ offers at their restaurant on the Kingston Foreshore which focuses on contemporary Thai food. After having this dish, I totally reckon they should introduce more traditional and less well known Thai dishes to their menu because this was delicious.

For the Night Noodle Markets, Morks’ offered two versions of this dish, this soup one and a dry version which has the exact same ingredients minus the beef broth. I opted for soup, since I figure why not. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from it, it was just some noodles and soup in the end of the day but it ended up blowing my mind. The dish came with a variety of meats including beef balls (like in pho), brisket, crispy pork skin, tripe and noodles. The crazy thing, everything had a weird “home made” feel to it, the beef balls were odd shaped, and didn’t taste as processed as the ones you get with pho, the brisket was just absolutely divine, chopped thick and pulled apart easily with fat hanging off the edge, the tripe was, well it was just normal tripe. The soup was super flavoursome and really meaty, the noodles were soft and silky, while the crackling pork skin added some great texture and crunch to the noodle soup. For me though, the brisket was the god of this dish, and I bowed down to it an appropriate number of times I believe.

Sadly, while we were hoarding this dish, we waited awhile and a lot of the soup got sucked up into the noodles, making them all bloated, but worst of all, removing our precious soup! Word to the wise, eat this as soon as you get it, because it doesn’t age particularly well.

This noodle soup reminds me of all the Thai two minute noodles I had while I was growing up, now I know what the true dish taste like!

Morks Restaurant on Urbanspoon

N2 Extreme Gelato

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N2 Extreme Gelato is also in town, offering their amazing gelatos and ice cream made out of nitrogen oxide. They’ve got the Kitchenaids out and everything, its great seeing clouds of white smoke go everywhere around the N2 stall. Though, it should be said, this is in between Roti Road and another place (I forget) and they were both just pumping smoke out on account of their BBQ’s roasting up skewers, so yeah there’s just a lot of smoke, nitrogen style and otherwise.

I could talk about N2 for ages, I love this place. I remember when it first opened up in Sydney while I was in uni. N2 became a regular meet up place in our last semester. Anyways, no life story this time. But if you do want a life story and want to see more goodies from N2, check out my N2 Extreme Gelato, Sydney review.

Here at the Night Noodle Market, N2 is offering two ice creams. I don’t know if they’ll be changing the flavours throughout the festival but if they do, that would be totally awesome! The below picture was really awkward to get (there was no way to hide that I was taking a picture) so I hope this is useful to someone out there.

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Currently, the two flavours are a Ferrero reveal which includes nutella gelato with crushed hazelnut with a rice bubble chocolate top and chocolate syringe. The second flavour is the Brokeback moment which includes vanilla gelato, bits of honeycomb and a chocolate top with a caramel syringe and a sprinkling of honeycomb. Both flavours are $8 each. I quite like that they have one chocolate base and one vanilla base, it nicely accommodates everyone, chocolate lovers and non chocolate lovers.

I did notice that N2’s ice creams here at the Night Noodle Markets are smaller than their standard cups in Sydney. They’re also the same price. Not too much of a complaint or anything, seeing as it is a festival and everything is more expensive at festivals as I mentioned earlier. There should be a term for it, like ‘festival pricing’. Where everything is just stupidly expensive yet we’re still all suckers for it. Oh well, at least it was as tasty as Sydney.

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On the first day, I went for the Brokeback moment ($8), vanilla gelato mixed with bits of honeycomb and a chocolate top with a caramel syringe and a sprinkling of honeycomb. When I first got to the Night Noodle Market, I knew I had to get this as quickly as possible. I figured as soon as people realised there was a place making gelato out of nitrogen, the lines were going to be insane, and while I love festivals, I’ve been to enough to know that the lines at them suck.

Anyways, this Brokeback moments totally caught my eye, I’m not much of a chocolate person and thought the nutella Fererro reveal flavour was going to be too rich. Plus, who doesn’t like honeycomb?! This totally lived up to expectations. The ice cream itself was silky smooth and really delicious and creamy. It did melt quite quickly and sometimes it makes me wonder what’s the point of the liquid nitrogen, I mean, if you’re freezing something in a cool new way, and that makes it more prone to melting then I don’t know, I guess it’s obvious where I’m going here. Though I should mention, since the crew at N2 dipped the vanilla ice cream into a warm milk chocolate, it froze up and created a delicious and crunchy chocolate top, at the expense of maximum freezicity.

The chocolate top added just the right amount of chocolate to the vanilla ice cream and when I mixed it up, it reminded me of stracciatella. I didn’t really notice any honeycomb within the gelato as the descriptions states but there was a sprinkling on top that was enough to introduce that lovely golden syrup flavour to the ice cream. Finally, to top it all off, there was some gooey caramel sauce that could be drizzled all over the ice cream and really added to that honeycomb flavour.

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Second time around, I couldn’t fight the allure of more N2, and tried the Ferrero reveal ($8), nutella gelato mixed with crushed hazelnut with a rice bubble chocolate top and a chocolate syringe. I must say, this was a lot nicer than I was expecting. When I first saw the menu I just assumed it was going to be this really rich chocolatey ice cream. Turns out, it had a really strong hazelnut flavour and replicated a Ferrero Rocher really well! After having both flavours, I think I actually prefer this one, which is weird because I normally prefer non chocolate options.

The nutella ice cream was absolutely delicious, it had a really strong hazelnut flavour with only a mild chocolate after taste. To top it off, there was the rice bubble chocolate top which perfectly replicated the nutty and chocolatey outside section of a Ferrero Rocher. This Ferrero reveal was perfectly nutty and chocolatey with just the right amount of crunch and texture to remind me of a Ferrero Rocher.  It was the perfect treat for the super warm weather we’re having here in Canberra. Oh, there was also a syringe with some chocolate ganache in it. Side note, squeeze it out quickly, otherwise it starts to solidify since its in the cold ice cream and becomes a bit of a pain.

N2 Extreme Gelato on Urbanspoon

N2 Extreme Gelato on Urbanspoon

Let’s Do Yum Cha

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We also grabbed some Pork bun, vegetarian spring roll, har gow, siu mai ($2 each) from the Let’s Do Yum Cha stall. There was also a truck on the other side of the park selling the same things, so good news if you’re into dumplings! I think they were $2.50 each if you got less than five and $2 each if you got more than five. I’ve had food from the Let’s Do Yum Cha food truck once at Vivid in Sydney and wasn’t overly impressed. Nevertheless, being the only Chinese food stall at the Enlighten Night Noodle Market, I decided to give it a second chance.

I must say, this time the dumplings were a lot tastier (and tasty enough for me to definitely come back in the future!). Last time when I had them at Vivid, the baos and har gow skins were really tough and unpleasant, the inside was also pretty average and quite meh to me. This time, it was a lot better. The har gow and siu mai skin were all really soft and glutinous like they should be, while the inside was firm, bitey and meaty. The skins actually aged really well, because we took a bunch home with us and I ate one of the har gows about three or four hours after I purchased it, it was still pretty soft and delicious. Though one thing I should mention, I noticed that the skin of the har gow and bao was a lot thicker than you’d normally find elsewhere, which was a bit of a dampener, because nobody likes thick skins on their dumplings. At least I don’t think. This was especially evident with the pork bao, which I probably wouldn’t get again if I came back here, it’s roughly 5cm thick, and the white fluffy skin takes up probably 3cm of it. Not great if you’re a fan of pork. Nevertheless, pretty good considering its coming out of a truck. I thought the vegetarian spring roll was also really tasty and flavoursome, it had a really strong Asian flavour to it, which was nice. As opposed to the usual cabbage filling that you find in cheaper spring rolls.

Lets Do Yum Cha on Urbanspoon

Daniel San

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This is the first of many many skewers that we ate at the Enlighten Night Noodle Markets. So get ready for some skewers galore! Apparently Daniel San is from Sydney, I have never really heard of it or seen anything about it but that might be because its a bar and its in Manly, not really my scene to be honest (mainly due to the fact that its too far away). Anyways, here at the Night Noodle Markets, Daniel San brought down two different skewers, a pork one and a chicken one. Nothing else, I guess they’re specialising which isn’t a bad thing because it’s probably the only thing I would’ve ordered anyway. The skewers at Daniel San were $6 each or 2 for $10. Also, they were called ‘giant’ skewers, and whilst the sticks were absolutely massive, the actual meat sections on them were pretty comparable to the other skewers on offer at the Night Noodle Market. Pretty smart advertising to be honest, I completely got sucked into it, and hence this was the one I went for first! So if you’re into really big sticks, then this is the stall for you.

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We opted for one of each flavour, the Chicken yakitori and pork belly with maple skewers ($10 for 2). I’m probably just going to talk about both of these skewers at once, mainly because I couldn’t really tell them apart, flavour wise or texture wise but you can put that down to skewer overload and everything becoming a bit of a blur. I thought these skewers were quite nice, they weren’t my favourite from the Night Noodle Market but that is more of a preference thing.

These skewers from Daniel San were quite firm and a tiny bit chewy. I couldn’t really put my finger on it, but I think the toughness came from the meat that Daniel San was using, and I know it sounds like I’m about to crap on the meat, but it’s actually the opposite. It seemed like quite high quality meat where each chunk of meat on the skewer was lean flesh. There was no filler fat like you would find on a cheaper skewer where its all dark meat with fat everywhere.

In a sense, its great value for money, it’s just a stick of pure meat but maybe it’s because I’m a terrible uncultured swine, but I actually seem to prefer cheap terrible meat for some reason. I guess this is why I preferred some of the other skewers. This just wasn’t as fatty and delicious as I would have hoped. Outside of that, the skewers were cooked nicely and had a lovely charred smokey flavour.

Daniel San on Urbanspoon

Hoy Pinoy

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So, we got some more skewers, Chicken and pork skewer ($10 for 2). These were from Hoy Pinoy, like with Daniel San, skewers were the only thing on offer at Hoy Pinoy. They also offer a chicken and pork option like Daniel San. Unlike Daniel San, you had to buy two, they didn’t give you the option of one which is kind of weird actually, but I didn’t mind because these were fantastic!

I’ll talk about the chicken one here and the pork skewers below. Seeing as I ended up with three pork skewers, you can imagine what I’m going to say about the pork skewer from Hoy Pinoy! But before that, the chicken skewer. So, you know how I said the skewers from Hoy Pinoy were delicious about two seconds ago? Let me just clear something up. The pork skewers from Hoy Pinoy were delicious. These chicken ones on the other hand were a bit average. Flavour wise, it was fine. The chicken skewer was flavoured in a sweetish soy which was rather pleasant. Where the pork pulled away from the chicken was purely on texture. They were pretty dry and just stuck on the skewer and it was pretty hard to get the meat off, and it suffered from much of the same problems as Daniel San, tough chewy meat that I didn’t seem to enjoy as much. Chicken is probably one of the more temperamental meats and cooking on a hot and unpredictable BBQ isn’t ideal, so I sort of understand, but lets just move onto the pork.

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While the chicken skewers from Hoy Pinoy were rather average, these pork ones were amazing. So much so that I went back for seconds (or thirds, I guess). I mean, they weren’t even massive or anything and $5 isn’t cheap when it comes to a skewer but none of that mattered at the time because these were so fantastic! That should say something about how much I enjoyed them. These skewers were the perfect combination of meaty and fatty goodness. At Hoy Pinoy, it was pretty much a piece of meat, followed by a piece of fat etc. This meat every bite (or second bite, depending on how small your bites are) was a combination of delicious pork meat and fatty goodness). The fat added the perfect amount of softness to the tougher pork meat. To top off this fantastic texture, the flavouring of this pork skewer was super tasty. It was covered in a thick layer of plum sauce or that BBQ sauce they use on char sui, which gave it that smoky and sweetish flavour. Just fantastic. If you’re going to try one thing from the Noodle Night Markets (and you’re not a vegetarian) this has got to be it. Absolute favourite from the whole event.

Hoy Pinoy on Urbanspoon

Roti Road

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So that wasn’t the last of our skewer overload, I also grabbed some Chicken skewers ($10 for 2) from Roti Road. Outside of these skewers, Roti Road offered some other Malaysian goodies including chicken wings and a sugar cane drink. These were some solid skewers, Daniel San may have called their skewers ‘giant’ but these ones from Roti Road were just as large and for the same price too.

These were pretty good, not quite as good as the pork ones from Hoy Pinoy but that’s pure flavour preference. These chicken skewers from Roti Road were really soft and cooked really well, the chicken was actually tender, it might have had something to do with this interesting spinning contraption they had going on at Roti Road, where the meats were in with upwards grill that rotated really quickly as it cooked. Then again that may have been for the chicken wings, I couldn’t really see on account of all the smoke. Nevertheless, good texture for chicken! Crazy! Flavourwise, it had this satay sauce on it, which gave it that whole sweet and sour flavour you find in a lot of Malaysian food, which I’m not the biggest fan of. I should have know before getting these skewers but for everyone else, I’m sure you’ll love the chicken skewers from Roti Road!

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I also decided to grab the Sugar cane drink ($5). There wasn’t much choice when it came to non alcoholic drinks (not including standard soft drinks, because man, what’s the deal with festival prices on soft drinks?!). So with soft drinks out, there was only this sugar cane drink, and the Ribena and longan drink from Pasar Malam but more about that later on because of course, I ended up with both.

I absolutely love sugar cane drinks. I grew up on these things. Every time we went to Cabramatta in the middle of summer, my mum would reward us with a sugar cane drink for behaving and not running around like crazy kids or begging for various candies, sweets and treats. Fond memories. Sadly, this drink wasn’t quite what I was expecting. Not sure if its a style thing, seeing as this was coming from a Malaysian shop, maybe they do sugar cane drinks differently over there? I know at Vietnamese shops, they normally mix the sugar cane juice with orange juice to add some tartness and balance out the sickly sweetness. It works surprising well as I’ve learnt. Here, it seems like they’ve tried to balance it out with water. The end result was a watered down drink that was really sweet but had little flavour. Not the best I’ve had but nevertheless still refreshing. By the way, sugar cane drinks are like $3 for a cup like this in Cabramatta, just saying *shakes fist* to festival pricing!

Roti Road on Urbanspoon

Teppanyaki Noodles

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I promise these are the last set of skewers I got! Fanta chicken skewers ($10 for 3). I didn’t really care for these to be honest when I saw them. They just don’t look as good as the others on offer at the Night Noodle Market but after seeing the name I had to try it out. Were these skewers flavoured using Fanta or was it some other crazy thing?!

I guess when they say Fanta, they don’t mean what I think they mean. These skewers definitely didn’t have a sweet orange flavour to them, instead it seemed like they were flavoured with a light soy. I’m assuming its not soy and instead some interesting and weird Japanese condiment but to me, all things salty and dark in colour taste like soy, must be in my head.

I quite enjoyed this skewer. It was a nice change from all the other skewers that I had at the Night Noodle Markets. Everything else was really heavily flavoured in either a sauce or had been marinating for a long time hence the flavour had seeped throughout the meat. Here the meat itself wasn’t heavily spiced at all with the sauce doing all the heavy lifting. The meat itself actually had a really nice texture, another win for chicken on a stick! They were really tightly packed, so was actually quite good value for money and you can buy one for $4 or 3 for $10 making these skewers the cheapest at the market.

Teppanyaki Noodles on Urbanspoon

Zagyoza

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Next up some Japanese gyoza, Pumpkin & fetta and ocean’s catch gyoza ($12 for 8, +$2 for ocean’s catch). I must say, by far Zagyoza had the most complicated menu of the Night Noodle Market and really, they were only selling dumplings. At Zagyoza, you could get 5 dumplings for $8 or 8 for $12. With these two options, you cannot mix and match the flavours. However, on their signs, it also states that you can also get 4 pork dumplings and 4 chicken dumplings for $12 but there’s no indication that you can do half and half with there other options. Nevertheless, we decided to give it a shot and asked if we could get half and half for $12, they happily said yes.

On a more food related note, the gyoza here were okay. They had a couple of flavours including: pork, chicken, vegan black bean, pumpkin and fetta and ocean’s catch. There was also an additional $2 charge for the seafood option. I thought the two flavours I got were okay but by no means delicious or value for money to be honest. I found the dumpling skin quite tough, especially where the skin joins up at the top and the filling inside was rather average. The filling inside was like a puree for both flavours, this was fine for the pumpkin and fetta gyoza but I was expecting more from the ocean’s catch, especially when I’m paying $8 for 4, that’s $2 a dumpling!! Although it had some nice flavours, it tasted like prawn with ginger, it was just complete mush, I was expecting something more like the filling of a har gow, with texture and biteyness. Nevertheless, I did appreciate that they had a vegan black bean version and I do wonder if the pork and chicken flavours are also texturally the same.

Zagyoza on Urbanspoon

Pasar Malam

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This was hands down by far my favourite stall from the Night Noodle Markets. Everything I had from here was delicious. I guess it could be a combination of a couple of things. 1. I like Malaysian food quite a bit. 2. I don’t really care for Thai food much and didn’t try any of the pad thai or the likes from Thai stalls, which made up a large portion of the Night Noodle Market. Having had that said, Pasar Malam probably had the most choice compared to the other stalls at the Night Noodle Market, it offered five dishes and one drink. Most other stalls only focused on two to three things. Plus, they had a combination of savoury dishes and sweet dishes as well as a seafood dish. In hindsight, I don’t recall anyone else really serving seafood (minus the ocean’s catch gyoza which wasn’t super tasty or anything)

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As you can see from the menu, the choices from Pasar Malam are probably the most modern and hipster of the Night Noodle Market. Most of the other stalls that were selling real food, that is, not just skewers and had lots of full on stir fry dishes, which I’m personally not a massive fan of since they just fill me up needlessly. I’ve got to try as much as I can and getting full is just one of the most depressing things ever. Here at Pasar Malam they instead offered a selection of snacky foods like deep fried chicken skins, delicious chicken drumsticks, and a soft shell crab dish. There were also two sweet treaties, including deep fried bread with condensed milk and sweet potato balls. Finally, they also had a longan and Ribena drink.

I pretty much ended up sampling Pasar Malam’s whole menu!

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First up, the Chilli soft shell crab ($14), this included half a soft shell crab with two pieces of deep fried bread. Since I was keen to try the mantou dessert as well, which is pretty much the deep fried bread served with condensed milk. I asked if I could have the bread that came with my soft shell crab to be served with considered milk and they were more than happy to help out with my request. Hence, the little tub in the left back corner.

The soft shell crab itself was really delicious, it was fried perfectly, giving you that crispy soft skin while not being overly oil. The crab was covered in a sweet sauce with a slight bit of spiciness to it and bits of a white sauce which seemed to add a lot of creaminess. The rich crab flavours and sauce went really well with the deep fried bread which was dense and had a hint of sweetness to it. There was also plenty of fresh coriander, which gave the crab that strong South East Asian flavour.

I do agree this dish is a bit pricey and definitely small but I enjoyed it so much, I got it twice. I’m a glutton for punishment. And probably just a glutton.

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We also grabbed a serve of the Nyonya chicken lollipops ($10). These are definitely not the prettiest chicken drumsticks around but they were very tasty. These were probably my favourite non skewer thing from the whole Night Noodle Market. The chicken here was really soft with plenty of moisture within it. I wasn’t really expecting these chickens to have good texture when I got them. Look at them!! They look burnt to bits and very overcooked. Nevertheless and to my completely surprise, pretty fantastic texture.

To accompany the great texture, the chicken had a lovely smoky and slightly sweet flavour to it. You could definitely tell that this had been marinated overnight, as there was a slight fruity sweetness throughout the chicken meat as well as on the fried skin. The chicken also came with a mayonnaise sauce but to be honest, I didn’t even touch it. The meat was that good on its own that I never felt the need to add to it. But I did end up dipping my deep fried chicken skin into it!

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If you like chicken skin, this is the snack for you. Chicken crispers ($6). This is essentially deep fried chicken skin, nothing more, nothing less. Okay, maybe there is some salt or seasoning but you won’t find any meat or anything in this little treat. Yet somehow, its still super duper delicious! If you’ve ever had the deep fried chicken skins from Pappa Rich, this is pretty similar. I honestly think I prefer this one. I found it a lot more enjoyable on its own, whereas the Pappa Rich one I find gets a bit salty and I need to eat it with something else like rice or noodles. Here, I was just munching on these on its own, a bit like eating chips.

These chicken skins were awesome, they were super crispy but still soft and fatty on in the inside. The chicken skins were seasoned slightly giving them this really great meaty and savoury flavour as well. On the side, there was also this chilli sauce that didn’t really have much spice to it, rather it had a slight sweetness to it and gave the chicken skins some extra flavour and some moisture as well. As delicious as it was, pure deep fried chicken skin can get a bit much after a while, so I really appreciated the addition of this sauce.

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For our final goodie from Pasar Malam, we grabbed the Sweet potato balls ($8). I actually had no plans to get this originally. I don’t really care for sweet potato, I much prefer taro to be honest. Plus, it was tiny and $8! But one of our friends tried it and said it was absolutely amazing, so I came back on Saturday to try it out. Boy am I glad I did. This was one of my favourite things from the whole Night Noodle Market! When I first saw them, I just assumed they were deep fried balls of actual sweet potato, pretty unappealing right. Well, they were nothing like that, instead these were glutinous balls of dough with a lovely sweet potato flavour to them. Okay, not the best description but they tasted fantastic. It was like squishy, slight chewy, sweet with this strong sweet potato taste to it. The coconut also added some texture to the sweet potato balls and some creaminess as well. Its probably not the best value for money, you only get about eight or so medium sized balls but I would definitely get this again. If you want something sweet and snacky, this is a must. MUST!!

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Finally, the only other Asian style drink from the Night Noodle Market. the Ribena with logan ($5). This was nice. I don’t know how much I can talk about Ribena and logan to be honest, especially if you already know what these two things taste like individually. I guess I never thought about combining them myself. These things together gives you a drink that is really tasty, fruity and refreshing. The Ribena wasn’t too strong and sweet which is always a positive thing. The addition logan added bits of extra sweetness here and there. I probably won’t get this again, simply because its $5 but I still reckon its better than the sugar cane drink. Maybe I’ll just stick to water for these Night Noodle Markets, which is a bit of a shame to be honest. Asian countries have heaps of really tasty drinks like herbal jelly drink, coconut water, Vietnamese iced coffe, Thai milk tea, Calpis, lassi and heaps more. Bit sad none of these were at the markets. Maybe next year!

Pasar Malam on Urbanspoon

Spanthai

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Finally, the Sticky rice with mango ($13) from Spanthai. Like with the drinks, this was one of the few Asian desserts available at the Night Noodle Market, outside of this there was the deep fried bread with condensed milk and sweet potato balls from Pasar Malam. I really enjoyed this dish. It was a simple dessert but one that is greatly loved by South East Asian countries. Nothing quite beats sticky rice and creamy, delicious coconut milk. I think mine may be missing a sprinkling of crushed peanuts over the sticky rice but no biggie. The sticky rice on this dished was cooked exactly how I like it. The rice was sticky but with a slight dryness on the outside for some texture and crunch. The sticky rice was covered in a creamy and slightly sweetened coconut milk sauce. Then it was paired with half a mango which brought all the flavour and tartness that this dish needed. It looks as good as it taste. Well, I think it looks great, something about contrasting colours.

Questacon

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So this wasn’t quite a part of the Night Noodle Market but I totally reckon it deserves a mention, for pure tastiness and awesomeness. Outside of Questacon, they had a couple of different cool things going on, all within the colours, lights and lit up Enlighten theme. They had a table set up where the crew were doing different experiments and what not, then there was this table. Here they had various glow in the dark and light themed toys and what not for sale, this included things like glow in the dark hats, sparkly light up rings, hair clips and bands and other cool stuff like that. Big plus as well, most of the things on sale from Questacon were pretty reasonably price, I don’t think anything was over $10. Good for all the parents out there with kids who want cool sparkly lights!

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But by far, the coolest thing that Questacon had on sale was the rainbow light up fairy floss ($5). For $5, you get a stick that lights up in various different colours and styles. The crew at Questacon then wrap it up with some light blue coloured fairy floss and the end result is this really awesome looking thing. Probably not going to talk much about the taste. It was at the end of the day just a standard fairy floss but with the addition of lights! Word of warning, the line for this thing was insane and this was day one, when people probably didn’t even really know about it. Oh, plus there is a line to buy the ticket for this, then there is a second line where you have to wait for it to be made. I think I spent a good 20 minutes waiting in that line to get this. But totally worth every single second. I still have the light up stick somewhere too.

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So there you have it, pretty much all the goodies from the Enlighten Night Noodle Market. I think I did skip some of the Thai places but I’ve never been a big fan of full dishes at festivals, so do let me know how they taste! I know when I come back over the next couple of days, I’ll be aiming to get more of those delicious pork skewers from Hoy Pinoy, the rest I can probably skip, especially for $5 a pop. Other things I would definitely get again, include all the goodies from Pasar Malam but I’m biased, I’ve never been a massive fan of Thai and there were a lot of Thai stalls.

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Oh and since its Enlighten 2015, here are some more pictures of various things lit up. It doesn’t quite feel right to just talk about food and not post a couple of pictures of the pretty lights. I’m pretty sure the lights are what the actually event is about. So here’s some lights. You’re welcome.

The Forage, NewActon

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Last week we battled with the cold Canberra winter and headed down to Hustle & Scout and The Forage to check out the awesome Canberra fashion and food. There is no fashion in this post but there is plenty of food! This was my second time at The Forage. The last one back in April was the first time they introduced food to Hustle & Scout and I absolutely loved it. Last time there were only a couple of food stores but this time The Forage has really expanded to include heaps of different goodies to try including Mr Papa with their awesome Peruvian treats, Mocan & Green Grout making Vietnamese banh mi, Cherville with their French goodies, Little Oak Sanctuary fundraising with super tasty vegan dogs, Nookie with coffee and sweet treats, Hardcore Carnivore from all the way in Bega with meaty goodness, Poachers Pantry with their smoked goods, Lindsay & Edmunds doing hot chocolates, the Canberra Cake Club feeling yummy sweet treats, Bing Bang with their mulled wines or other alcholic goodies and other awesome food stalls that I’ve probably missed.

Last time, I only tried a couple of goodies including Mr Papa’s pork belly bun. This time we were determined to try out as much as possible and I think we did pretty well! Onwards to the food!

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First up, I grabbed a Vegan hot dog ($8) vegan dog, tofu cheese, vegan sour cheese and avocado from Little Oak Sanctuary. Little Oak Sanctuary is an animal sanctuary based a little out of Canberra. Apparently they take in all sorts of animals and care for them while they’re healing up, on the night they were at The Forage selling these goodies to fundraise. I’ve never had a vegan hot dog, actually outside of fake meat, I’ve never really tried imitation foods before, I find that they don’t really taste exactly like they’re supposed to be imitating, they’re similar but delicious in a different way.

Though I don’t usually do imitiation foods, this dog was amazing! The vegan dog was flavoursome with hints of herbs and tomatoes to it, it was also really nice and moist. The cheese was super interesting! You could definitely taste tofu but the texture was similar to shredded cheese but just a little softer and it was super creamy. The sour cream and avocado added extra creaminess to the whole dog and really balanced out the flavour of the dog. If vegan food tastes this good all the time, I could totally stop eating animal products! Ouk probably couldn’t give up meat though.

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Next up, the Beef and ricotta meatballs ($9) from Dinner Rush. These were yummy, a little cold but I can’t blame them, everything just froze up the minute it hit the chilly air, even my soup was lukewarm! As for the meatballs themselves, super tasty! they were super flavoursome but with no overpowering tomato taste to it which is a risk that I tend to find with meatballs. There were big chunks of ricotta cheese that was just sitting amongst the sauce which I really appreciated, instead of having it melted into the meatballs or sauce. This way you could just take bites out of delicious cheese if you wanted, and could see the quality ingredients going into it. The bread was from Silo and it was fantastic, it had garlic baked into it and just really complimented the strong flavours of the meatballs really well! This was a really messy dish to try and eat like a burger, things just kind of fell apart as soon as you tried to grip it, no structural integrity to the bread sadly, but regardless of how annoying it was to eat it was extremely tasty!

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Couldn’t go past the Braised BBQ chicken wings ($5) with mushroom ketchup and almonds from Cherville. These weren’t huge, we joked about where the wings came from because when I look at a chicken wing, I don’t see anything that looks even remotely like this, we wonder if it came from like a quail bird or something. Not great value for money but absolutely still worth it because they were really tasty. The chicken wings had a really strong satay flavour and the meat itself was really moist and tender, it was great. Also, I need to give props to whoever thought of the concept of a mushroom ketchup! Absolutely wonderful! It was really creamy and really balanced out the richness in the satay flavours, it was like a strong mushroom soup but a lot thicker. The almonds were also a nice touch, giving the wings texture and nuttiness.

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Next up, a Pulled pork bun ($10) with Southern style smoky BBQ sauce and aioli dressed slaw on a panini roll from Hardcore Carnivore. Apparently these guys are based out in Bega! I either overheard someone say that or saw it online somewhere, can’t really remember. Nevertheless, pretty cool to be getting treats from outside of Canberra as well. This pulled pork bun was on the sweeter side with a touch of acidity to it. The pull pork was nice and tender, and also quite sweet and acidic which made me think it had been through some apple cider vinegar, the slaw was really creamy and added tanginess to the richness of the pork. The bread was quite dense and helped balance out the rest of the rich pork flavours. Overall, this bun was really quite sweet and sour, which some people might be into, if you’re one of them, then this is for you! 

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Another plate from Hardcore Carnivore, the Greek lamb and goat meatballs ($10) on a feta, white bean and rocket salad with Tzatziki and flatbread. These were really nice, the meat was really heavily flavoured in Mediterranean spices and flavours. As with most Mediterranean dishes the spices took centre stage and this was no different! Lamb was a perfect choice for these balls as the spices went perfectly in balancing out the naturally strong lamby flavours. These balls went perfectly with the tzatziki sauce with fresh diced cucumbers, though in the cold weather, we were lamenting any sauce that pre-emptively cooled down a hot dish. There was also a lovely fresh salad of feta, rocket and pine nuts which really freshened up the whole dish and made it feel really light in the mouth. Really summery, I wish the weather complimented the food more!

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Something to warm up from the cold, a Celeriac and truffle soup ($6) from Cherville. This was amazing! I wish it was a little warmer but everything got cold the moment it hit the cold Canberra air. The soup was super creamy and savoury. I’ve never really had celeriac much before so I’m not quite sure what it is meant to taste like, but if everything with celeriac in it tasted as good as this, I would definitely be happy to add celeriac into my veggie routine! There was a generous shaving of truffle which added a lovely smokiness and earthiness to the soup. I wonder if I can get this soup anywhere else in Canberra, so tasty and warming.

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Finally, something delicious and sweet, Egg tart and lemon meringue tart ($3.50 each) from Street Bites. Apparently Street Bites is a collaboration between the guys at Nookie and someone who owns a couple of cafes in the Parliamentary Triangle area. The sweets are from the first half, the Nookie half. There was a delicious egg tart which was warm and oozing with eggy goodness. The pastry was fluffy, light, flakey and buttery, absolutely delicious! The egg was creamy and just perfect. For $3.50, its quite an affordable egg tart and much tastier than the stuff you get from Bread Top and etc. The lemon tart was great, the lemon curd was quite tangy but this was nicely balanced by the very sweet meringue topping.

Totally wished we got to check out Poachers Pantry, they had an awesome looking dish with flat bread with some meat. Or Bing Bang bar, some warm mulled wine would have been an awesome way to warm us up that freezing night. Well, there’s always next time. Absolutely cannot wait to see what you’ll have installed for us next time at The Forage and Hustle & Scout.

Handmade Market Canberra

Over the long weekend we went out and visited the Canberra Handmade Markets. I’ve been in Canberra for a while now but I never knew about this market! I only found about it while browsing the various Canberra events and tourism websites while I was bored. I normally don’t stay in Canberra over long weekends so I was pretty concerned about finding something to do and luckily I stumbled across this awesome event.

The market was massive with plenty of different stalls selling all sorts of things from clothes to crafts, jewellery, food and other bits and bobs in between. There was really something for everyone. I also noticed that the clothes store also had very decent sizing, they went from small to pretty large sizes. You would think that only the big commercial companies cater for larger people but nope its actually the little guys who make something for everyone while the big companies just cater for ‘normal’ people. So very happy to see that at the markets.

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After browsing the different stalls for a while, we finally stumbled across the food section, now this really caught my attention! First up, I grabbed some cookies from Baked by Mum. These were really lovely. They had a strong oat taste but were still nice and crumbled. I really like oats but I normally find ANZAC cookies a little too hard and crunchy so these were a lovely find! We ended up grabbing four cookies to take home and this was $6, alternatively you can get one only for $2. The cookies came in a couple of flavours, I think there were four normal ones and four gluten free ones. We ended up getting the four non gluten free options which included white chocolate and raspberry, milk chocolate, dark chocolate and triple chocolate. I think they were also selling cookie dough and gift packs.

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Next up, we got some ice cream from Frugii! After much contemplation I went with the salted butter caramel. This was amazing! Its not like your standard salty and sweet salted caramel goodies, this was actually really nice and buttery. Deliciously creamy with some mild saltiness to it. I’m pretty sure it was also Frugii himself serving us, really nice fellow. Friendly and honest. Also! It was only $4.50 for one pretty big scoop. Not bad especially for Canberra. Oh, the ice cream is much larger than in the image, this was the half eaten version, I couldn’t help it!

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Next up, smoked sea salt from the The Original Smoke and Spice Company. This was really weird, we have never seen anything like this before but it smelt absolutely amazing, very smoky and quite garlicy as well. They also had whole smoked garlic cloves which looked really cool. Apparently they smoke these items from the outside, so its kind of opposite to a traditional smoker, I guess. This bag was $10, the garlics were $5 for two or $10 for five, they also had a starters bag with garlic and salt and shaker for $20. We will have to report back when we actually use the salt, haven’t seen the chance yet, I guess its a good excuse to make a roast or some steaks.

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A lovely orange and pineapple juice for $5 from the Southern Cross Juice Bar to help with all the rich food that we were eating! Really nice and refreshing, it also had pulp in it! I love pulp but I know some people don’t so you might want to double check before getting one. They also had some awesome sounding hot juices and other cold ones like strawberry and orange, and lemon and orange.

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Our final goody for the day was a delicious savoury baked French cake for $5 from Gallery Gourmet. This was kind of why we got the orange juice but boy was it delicious. Just imagine a bready and doughy quiche. This cake was savoury, super eggy, fluffy with chunks of bacon throughout it. I don’t know what its called or where else I can find it again (maybe a French bakery) but I’m definitely going back to the handmade markets next time to get my hands on some more of this! The stall was also selling hams and other Christmasy foods, I think thats what they specialise in actually. I tried some of their Christmas pudding too, really good.

The handmade markets were really fun, I never knew such a thing existed in Canberra but I’m definitely going to check it out next time it comes around. Check out all the stores at the market and when they’ll be coming around next.

Lunar New Year 2014, Sydney

Just a bit of spring cleaning. Whilst having my feastie day with my sister for her 18th birthday, we stumbled across the Lunar New Year Festival 2014 in Belmore Park Sydney. Ahh more fantastic food.

First thing we got was the Duck slider, it was somewhat nice – the duck was definitely good but sadly they were a little heavy handed with the horseradish. It was so overpowering that it completely killed the bun, even after trying to save the dish by scraping the horseradish off.

We quickly got some peking duck pancakes to try and remove the strong horseradish taste. Thankfully these were really nice. Delicious duck with soft pancakes, sweet hoisin sauce and a slice of cucumber and some spring onions. A little pricey but I guess it makes sense, we were at a festival.

Afterwards, we decided to get some meat skewers, we ended up getting a lamb skewer from a store that was making them on the spot – bit of a long wait but absolutely delicious and worth the 10-15minute wait for one skewer! The chicken skewer wasn’t so great. It was pre-made and a little dry, okay really dry.

I saw a store selling Vietnamese nettty spring rolls and of course I had to get one! I have no idea what they are officially called but this is how I describe them to my Mum when I want her to make us some! Works fine every time. Anyways these netty spring rolls are fantastic, if you ever have a chance to try one, you totally should!

Multicultural Festival 2014, Canberra

Multicultural Festival Canberra 2014. Battling 38C heat for three days straight to check out the festival. As the festival was only a 10min walk from home, it became brekkie, lunch and dinner for 3 whole days.

So I have discovered that Saturday is food day. All the stalls around the library, car park and past Myers are unattended/empty on Friday but on Saturday they’re bursting with life – well, food that is. Foods from all corners of the world. Sunday isn’t as great, a lot of the food stalls in the outer areas are replaced with charity, religious and NGO groups.

Food stalls along Garema Place are a pretty safe bet for all three days but on Sunday some were definitely missing.

Things I had from top to bottom, left to right:

Greek loukoumades ($5) – Deep fried doughy bread donut thingy (best way I can explain it) with honey and crushed pistachio. THIS WAS AMAZING! Got this on Friday cos there was no line and loved it. I wanted another serving so bad on Sunday but there was a massssive line. Everyone else figured out how good it was. Its a bit like Indian gulab jamun but bigger, doughier and drier. I prefer these. I want more!! I need to find a place in Canberra that sells this.

Danish donut ($3) – Nice simple donut, has a creamy hint to it. Not overly sweet.

Persian saffron ice cream ($5) – Ice cream with pistachio, rose water and saffron. It was nice, wish I got more! And a tiny bit solider would be great, can’t blame them with 38C heat.

Tongan donuts  ($5 big bag) – Similar to youtiao or dau chao quay also known to me as ‘that deep fried bread you dip into congee’. So its like that bread but not deep fried. Great taste and I’m not going to die from a heart attack. Good stuff.

Lokma ($5) – Turkish version of loukoumades. About half the size, same concept, dipped in honey but this one didn’t have any crushed nuts. I preferred the Greek version, I don’t think they dipped them into the honey so they weren’t as sweet or wet, which I preferred but if you love sweet and moist, these are for you. Oh oh oh!! Look at the guy making them to the left. Oh by the way, the pistachio adds a lot to it.

Polynesian otai ($5) – Watermelon, pineapple and coconut milk drink with crushed ice. This was really nice, will try to recreate this at home, don’t know if I can wait a whole year to have some more.

Green tea ($5) – Green tea with ginger, lemon grass and mint. It was nice and refreshing but a little too dull. Just needs more ginger, lemon grass and mint!!

Vietnamese fruit drink ($5) – Fruit cocktail with herbal jelly drink. This is a Vietnamese classic. Sliced up herbal jelly with whatever random Asian canned fruits you had at home, including jackfruit,  lychee, toddy palm fruit (I only recently learnt its English name, to be honest, I have no idea what its called in Vietnamese either) and other adhoc stuff. Its great for summer, I like using coloured jelly like the blue one!

Multicultural Festival 2014, Canberra

And the other half of my Multicultural Festival Canberra 2014 post – Welcome to the savoury food section! Hitting up foods that I will probably never really go to for a full meal – because I’m hopeless and they are hard to find (or I’m just too lazy to find them).

Everything was delicious – Wish I got more food on Saturday, I had a full day of food planned for Sunday based on what I saw on Saturday, sadly when I came out the next that all the food stalls had been replaced by charities, religious groups and NGOs. Lucky I grabbed most of the stuff I wanted on Saturday and had meh food planned for Sunday i.e. food you can get pretty easily around Canberra or any city e.g. Malaysian, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese etcetc.

Things I had from top to bottom, left to right:

Hungarian langos ($6) – Deep fried bread with garlic, sour cream and cheese. Really since snacky food.

Taiwanese vegetarian dumplings (3 for $5) – Vegetarian dumplings with spinach, potatoes and cheese. Yum yum, I think it was better on Friday compared to Sunday. They were definitely getting more popular as the weekend went by, saw them frantically trying to make more dumplings to meet orders

Vietnamese vegetarian steam bun ($3) – Vegetarian steam bum with carrots, potatoes, bean curds and a whole bunch of other veggies. Got these and a couple of other veggie goodies including spring rolls and veggie Vietnamese banh mi! from a vegetarian store ran by the nuns from the Lyneham Buddhist Temple.

Bhutanese vegetarian dumplings (2 for $5) – Vegetarian dumplings with mixed veggies. They were super nice, first thing I got from the festival cos the store didn’t have a line. So glad cos I came back for more dumplings on Saturday and Sunday. I didn’t even know about Bhutan as a country until I stumbled across this store. It is a little landlocked country, wedged between Tibet, India and other small little countries. Great food, gotta try their curries someday.

Ethiopian curry ($8) – Yellow and red lentil curry with veggies and rice. Very nice and filling, should have tried it with one of their beers. Ahh next time.

Vegetarian Vietnamese banh mi ($5) – Veggie style pork roll, AMAZING! If you haven’t had a pork roll yet, go try it cos you’re missing out. There is the best veggie one I’ve found in Canberra. They are made by the Vietnamese nuns from the temple in Lyneham. I get this every month for our charity vegetarian lunches! I bump into these nuns every now and then delivering the food to our workplace.

Vegetarian springrolls and samosa ($1 each) – Veggie springrolls and samosa from one of the main thai joints. Good as always.

Prawn springroll ($2 each) – Prawn springrolls with sweet honey dipping sauce, really good, don’t remember where I got it from! Will need to find them again next year. It was the dipping sauce that made it great.

Ethiopian samosa ($1) – Black bean samosa, a little different, made out of black beans, I like it.

Tibetan samosa ($7) – Veggie samosa with tomatoes and cucumber salsa and yoghurt. Kinda different to an Indian samosa, wasn’t a crumbled coating. Really really nice 🙂