Night Noodle Markets

Friday, November 27, 2015 Sharon Halim 0 Comments

Night Noodle Markets return for The Age Good Food Month has entered it's third year top the records with 57 stalls serving multiple cuisines such as modern Australian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese and many more. Starting from entrees to desserts to various drinks. 

Some of the previous vendor like Chin Chin amped up the stall by bringing Kong BBQ as well as the new Hawker Hall. Brulee Cart, Red Spice road and many other previous vendor also back on and there are some new vendor such as Din Tai Fung, Lady Carolina will host Diego Munoz, chef at Peru's Astrid y Gaston (No 14. on the World's 50 Best List). Night Noodle Markets 2014 in Melbourne defeat the crowds at Sydney's Night Noodle Markets with 560,000 people even though Night Noodle Market in Sydney had run much longer. Melbournian clearly enthusiastic about food, even more in 2015.

When I heard about the 60 stalls, I knew it would take me more than one night at the Noodle Market. Lucky me, they run for 18 days this year. This is some of my suggestion to handle the crowd because clearly they are almost always busy. I do think it's like a battlefield.

1. Plan your trip: take a look at the menu online and plan how many stalls do you want to try.
2. Went on off peak hours and queue at the most popular stall first (Hoy Pinoy, N2xBlackStarPastry, Mr Miyagi, Gelato Messina x Wonderbao, Red Spice Road etc). I always come at 5pm sharp and quickly buy everything I want than I don't have to line up for any of the popular stall.
4. If you are only available at peak hours than pick the shortest line stall than eat it while you are queuing on popular stall.
5. Divide and Conquered. Bring lots of friend and delegate each of your friends to different stalls than shared it together afterwards.
6. Study the map. Batman Avenue entrance have less crowd than the rest of the entrance.
7. Check weather forecast.
8. Go on multiple days.

There are classic dish such as Red Spice Road pork belly, Creme Brulee Cart innovative creme brulee but I always try to picked something different every year just because I know I wouldn't be able to try every stall each year.

The first stall I quickly run and search for was N2xBlackStarPastry, yes that's so typical of me but I want that Strawberry Watermelon cake ($10) - almond dacquoise, fresh cream, watermelon, strawberries, pistachios and rose petal. I think you can tell by reading the ingredients that it was sweet, light and fresh. While on the stall, I order their Cake Smash ($10) as well. Cake smash is basically the strawberry watermelon cake turned into gelato.

Second I went on Sugar Prawn stall to get Lime in a Coconut - coconut and lime sorbet, sticky rice, gula melaka, peanut, pocky stick, salted caramel macaron ($10) by LuxbitexSugarPrawn. I love the fresh feeling from the coconut and lime sorbet mixed with the sticky rice and gula melaka. It felled tropical, feel's like something I could have on a beach. I have been wanting to try Sugar Prawn but haven't got a chance due my busy schedule so I ask the staff which one I should order than they recommended the Soft Shell Chilli Crab - sweet & spicy Singaporean style chilli sauce dripped over crispy soft shell crab served alongside bun to mop it all up. I love this dish so much, the sauce was rich with punching flavours, soft shell crab was crispy and the bun just perfect to balanced the dish. Their Crispy School Prawns ($10) - fried sugar prawns tossed in Tom Yum salt served with a squeeze of lime was super crunchy with spicy and sour taste. They also sell Fried Scallop Wonton served with XO kewpie mayo ($10) as well as Sticky Chicken Wings ($9).

Third on the run is Hoy Pinoy. This is a must at Night Noodle Market. I remember last year, the line fro Hoy Pinoy was crazy and I expected nothing less this year. Luckily, I came early so there were only 5 people in front of me. I bought one chicken and one pork skewers for $12. As expected it was juicy and tasty. 

My partner wandered and went back with Poklol Bulgogi Beef and Chilli Pork tacos for $15, they were pretty average for my taste. The Chichi Fries with the choice of pork, beef or chicken served with kimchi cheese, fresh shallots, fried shallots, mayo and sweet Korean chilli sauce ($15) was pretty enjoyable. The portion was generous, the fries was crunchy despite all the sauces o top.

Then I went to Wonderbao and yes I go crazy. Char Siu Baos - 3x BBQ pork baos ($10) was good as it always been. Gua Baos (3pcs-$20) - fried chicken with yuzu mayo, lettuce & pickled cabbage bao, crispy pork belly with pickled carrots & daikon cucumber & hoisin sauce bao and fried mushroom trio with pickled mustard & mushroom soy bao. My favourite was the fried chicken bao, it was crispy, juicy and tasty. They also served special baos: Pork Floss Bao - fried mantou with pork floss & mayo ($5). The mantou was warm, crispy on the outside and soft in the inside. Accompanied by something we already know worked well, pork floss and mayo just perfect. On top of that they served 3 Dessert Baos - Egg custard bao, Green tea & Red bean bao and Chocolate bao ($10). My favourite of course the green tea & red bean bao even though the egg custard bao not fall far from behind.

Besides Wonderbao, there is Mantou stall and I was tempted by their Soft Shell Crab - Japanese seven spice, rice wine pickled root veg, kimchi mayonnaise, fried mantou ($14). The soft shell crab was crispy but It was pretty similar with Sugar Prawn dish but they have different sauce on the crab. I honestly prefer Sugar Prawn dish compared to this one. Portion wise, Sugar Prawn served much more crab but less mantou.

To complete my bao obsession I suddenly have on Night Noodle Market, I went to Baotime and got their Kaya Jam Baonut ($6). The wait might be long but it was super delicious. It was warm, the kaya sauce in the middle was dripping over the super moist bao. This is a must!

Apparently, I'm not done with my bao adventure of the night. At Gelato Messina they served Gelato Messina x Wonderbao David Baowy - Deep fried gua bao filled with salted coconut sorbet, dipped in white chocolate mango ganache and rolled in crushed cashews ($12). The bao was delicious as expected and the filling was tropical and light. Red Wickymoney Bar ($10) is gelato messina ice cream wrapped in shiny red metalic wrap makes it easier to eat while you are strolling around the market.

Mr. Miyagi is one of the most popular stall this year and they have been ahead in the live leaderboard for most of the days. I have dine in at Mr.Miyagi and I love it so when I saw they make a different versions of their nori taco, of course I have to line up and get some. MFC taco - Mini Miyagi Fried Chicken bits, sushi rice, sushi ginger, pickled cucumber and Japanese mayo in a nori taro shell ($10), the chicken is amazing and no surprise there since I tried their MFC before. Mr M's Salmon Taco - grilled salmon, sushi rice, kimchi, Japanese mayo and chilli oil in a nori taco shell ($10) is one of my favourite dish at Mr. Miyagi. Bombay Spider Crab Taco - Tempura soft shell crab, sushi rice, curried mayo, avocado guacamole, crispy garlic in a nori taco shell ($12) is something I wish they make it permanent at Mr.Miyagi. The soft shell crab was crunchy and the curried mayo was awesome, it reminded me of Jinda Thai soft shell crab.

When I arrived at Charlie Dumpling, I ask the staff which one I should order. They recommended me Charlie's fried chicken ribs, five spiced, honey kewpie ($10). It was crispy, juicy and full of flavours.

Everybody Loves Ramen is something different and I'm always up to try something new. Their speciality is Ramen Burger Pork - yakiniku pork belly with granny apple and togarashi aioli slaw ($14) and it was quite messy and hard to eat, especially when you are walking around but it was filling and they put generous sauce on the burger.

I'm not stranger to Roti Road, I have dine in their restaurant several times. I can't help my self to order their scrumptious Satay Chicken - 4pcs flame grilled satay chicken skewers served with home made peanut sauce ($10) and Chicken Wings - 3pcs marinated BBQ chicken wings served with cucumber and optional chilli sauce ($10).

While you are seating and enjoying your food some staff from the bar will approach you offering to order some alcoholic drinks. This year Yalumba stall also made another appearances with 2 storey wine bar. Coopers also made a small cozy bar with wooden seats and hanging lights. Thatchers also make a small charming garden with barrels and bright yellow wooden seats and umbrella. Schwppes makes a floating market decorated with hanging lights and wooden seats.

Mercedez Bens build an awesome wooden dome and put some cars on display. Harvey norman also participated and build the fit zone. Citibank member also get their own exclusive area.

There is also a charity booth by FareShare which are the perfect charity for the event. As a food enthusiast, it's hard to imagine a world without food yet in this world, there are still too many people live in poverty and unable to buy food. Participating in a charity like this, truly matters for me.

There are some contradictory comments regarding the prices are pretty high but where else you can try multiple dishes from multiple restaurants in one or two nights. Trying all those restaurant could take a year or more with even higher cost. 

Another exciting things at The Night Noodle Markets is their live leaderboard at the big screen at the Lower Terrace. Everybody is encouraged to vote their favourite stall at There is also another competition by Good Food during the Good Food Month. They encouraged to upload any food pictures on Instargram with hashtag #jointhefeast to win certain prices at Melbourne Good Food Month Event. For more information go to or follow their facebook/twitter/instagram @goodfoodmonth

Overall it was a good night, full of delicious food and can't wait to see what install for us next year at Good Food Night Noodle Markets!

November 12-29
Monday-Tuesday: 5pm-9pm
Wednesday: 5pm-10pm
Thursday-Friday: 5pm-11pm
Saturday: 2pm-10pm
Sunday: 2pm-9pm
Entry: Free
Payment Method: Cash & Cards.

Night Noodle Markets
Birrarung Marr
3 entry: Batman Avenue, Flinders St and Federation Square