The Night Noodle Markets took Melbourne by storm in 2013 and now they are back, bigger and brighter than ever, in a brand-new location along the Yarra river at Birrarung Marr. The banks of the river are fully alive with all the colour, sounds and smells of an authentic Asian hawker market plus the buzz, hype and vibe of a huge outdoor festival. This has been my first year to take a trip to the market and boy do I wish I had of gone last year after what I tasted at this years event.
With more than 50 food stalls and food trucks, all of Asia is represented: from Korea, Vietnam, China and India to Malaysia, Burma and Nepal. Popular newcomers include Kong, Red Spice Road, Charlie Dumpling and Mr Miyagi to name but a few. The hardest part of the evening is to choose what to eat considering the vast size of the market and the amount of people attending. Kevin and I took our friends Gerben and Niamh there for the evening after a long day of sightseeing - eager to show them Melbourne's great food scene.
And all my favourite eateries returned this year, including Chin Chin, Mamak, Izakaya Den and Longrain - while chilled out music was provided by some of Melbourne’s top DJs. When we visited we ran to Wonderboa first to pick up some of their twice cooked pork belly boa. Melt in your mouth soft, these Asian style 'tacos' were bursting with flavour and unbelievably more-ish. Moving onto New Shanghai we grabbed a few boxes of steam pork dumplings before grabbing a few gin & tonics form the Tanqueray outdoor bar. They were badly needed in the hot hot weather.
With the crowds coming from all over Melbourne and the lines becoming increasing long, we decided to give it a day around half seven, but not before hitting the Gelato Messina tent. As expected the line for Messina was absolutely crazy. I wouldn't have expected any different but these guys have the art of fast food sorted with one of the most efficient kitchens I've ever seen. We all starred at the menu trying to decide but in the end we all ordered the Street Hawker.
All four options sounded amazing but there was just something about the Street Hawker that did it for all of us. Lime & chocolate brownie, peanut gelato, coconut & caramel jam, fortune cookie clusters and a giant peanut cookie. Yes, you're right, it does sound like heaven and it was. It was the perfect way to end a great night with great friends.
The Night Noodle Market finishes on the 30th November, meaning today is the last day. Get there quick.