Steamers, Woks & Smoky Coals - Night Noodle Markets in Birrarung Marr
Night Noodle Markets as part of Good Food Month is a phenomenon in Melbourne, even in only its second year, with the city dominated by bars, steamers, woks and smoky coals from November 14-30. With the switch to Birrarung Marr (near Fed Square) this year, festival goers can expect a festive atmosphere in the CBD with a backdrop of skyscrapers and iconic Melbourne skyline.
On a mild to cold Friday night we attended the launch in the Mercedes Temporium as guests of Cathay Pacific. Franziska and Michelle hosting us from Cathay Pacific had just flown to Melbourne from Sydney, after the huge success of the Sydney Night Noodle Markets where crowds of 30,000 a night imbibed.
The rising of smoke (picured above) is a great sight against a backdrop of Melbourne, signalling that Night Noodle Markets is up and away...
Night Noodle Markets is a well organised free entry event. All the culinary big names are here and there's enough variety and number of stallholders to limit the long queues that inevitably occur. On the first night some traders like Red Spice Road reported running out of dishes, such was the demand (we see as more of a positive than a negative).
First night attendance suggests the public have taken to Birrarung Marr as a venue with vast attractive spaces. What we love is there are a plethora of chairs and dining areas so that most people can grab a seat to eat. This is in contrast to other festivals where you need to stake your patch of grass somewhere among the masses. For me, that's ok until you need to get up after your feed...
Night Noodle Markets has quickly established itself into the fabric of Melbourne and is already part of what makes Melbourne great.
A huge hit at Night Noodle Markets is Fillipino sensation Hoy Pinoy. Amazingly there was a long line here at 5pm with the long pork and chicken skewers a huge attraction. The World Loves Melbourne can vouch for these plump generous skewers cooked on coals. You might need to wait for your skewers, and have your clothes reeking of smoke, but we think its worth it...
Other big names at Night Noodle Markets include Longrain, Chin Chin, Kong (check the Soba Salad), Izakaya Den, Hammer & Tong, St. Ali, Mamak, Gelato Messina, Wonderbao (check out their buns), Sake Restaurant and Bar, Mr Miyagi, Overdosa, and Charlie Dumpling.
Sit and imbibe with city backdrop on one side and MCG on the other side - an iconic space. You'll need the free map available to check out the dining spaces - choose between a charming dining area by the Yarra river and a couple of large dining areas up on the hill. Dishes are only $5 to $15.
Needless to say Chin Chin and Kong were hugely popular destinations.
The World Loves Melbourne was honoured to join the official launch and festivities in the Mercedes-Benz Temporium.
Tanqueray gin and tonic was perfect for the occasion, served in their own green gin glasses. Check out the Tanqueray bar area at Night Noodle Markets.
Wonderbao served up delicious buns and dumplings. One of my favourites in Melbourne.
Prawn dumplings anyone? The World Loves Melbourne loaded up on these beauties.
Not to mention a wonderful Longrain curry...
Night Noodle Markets was launched by Andrew Holden, Editor-in-Chief at The Age, who cleverley involved his child (too cute) in thanking the sponsors. City of Melbourne are also enthusiastic partners, along with Citi group, Cathay Pacific and Mercedes-Benz.
The setting is communal and spectacular, with something for everyone. Check out the red laterns all over the precinct.
Don't miss those Hoy Pinoy BBQ skewers...
Franziska (right) and Michelle (middle) from Cathay Pacific are major sponsors and great hosts, with a fabulous night starting at the Cathay Pacific tent and then over to the Mercedes-Benz Temporium for the event launch.
Check out the awesome Cathay Pacific competition #tasteasiawithcathay for great prizes.
Kong panda lighting up the night sky...
Night Noodle Markets are a rewarding experience with fine affordable street food, space and chairs to eat, decent bars, music and a great Melbourne festive atmosphere. Get on it!
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