Who loves Asian food? Do you love noodles, curries, chicken or pork skewers that are as big as your forearm, steamed buns, rice, dumplings/gyozas, samosas, seafood, sliders, ramen and baos from countries like China, Thailand, India, Vietnam, Malaysia, Korea, Hong Kong, The Philippines and Singapore? Then this is the place to be.
On Monday night my husband organised a spur of the moment date night for the perfect foodie heaven experience. The Melbourne Night Noodle Markets are held at Birrarung Marr, on the Yarra River in the Melbourne CBD and runs from the 12th November until the 29th November with free entry (bonus!) The Age Good Food Month is a beautiful Asian food experience where you can enjoy amazing food from many Australian restaurants all in one spot.
A total of 57 stalls are at this year’s event. Chin Chin, Everybody loves Ramen, Let’s do Yumcha, Red Spice Road, Hawker Hall and White Guy Cooks Thai to name just a few. There are also three wine and beer bars and plenty of tables, seating and grassed areas to enjoy your feast. Three levels of terraces host this delicious event and you’ll never be without something in your hand, stuffing your face with morsels of goodness or some wonderful food to see.
Straight away you’re greeted a large inflated Japanese lucky cat (maneki-neko) at the entry to the Noodle Night Market (above). Walking in on the first terrace you automatically want to dig in to the first thing you smell – smoking chicken wings from Roti Road. Hold back a second Nicole, don’t go filling up first go around.
As we’re sussing out what to delve into first, we notice a lot of people walking around with these large meat skewers, the size of your forearm and they’re totally loving them – we know what we’re eating first! After a quick beer and my stomach growling for food, we head to Hoy Pinoy. About 6-10 people are cooking these enormous skewers on open coals in a ‘conveyor belt’ style, smoke and heat adorning everyone, especially the chefs. Chicken or pork are being offered and our skewers are quickly demolished!
We decide to head to the second terrace but not before we eat some traditional Thai fishcakes – these fishcakes were exactly what we eat everyday in Thailand. The flavour and texture took us back to sitting on the beach after a swim, enjoying 10 fishcakes each with a beer.
Terrace two brought so much more wonderful smells and questioning where do we start!? Lots of gold lucky cats greet us for enjoyable eating. We get lost in a sea of people who where also wondering where to start. Decision made, let’s try some fried pork gyoza with a vinegar soy and chilli oil from Harajuku Gyoza. The gyoza tasted even better when in Japanese we were told to enjoy our meal – beautiful touch.
Paper lanterns line the eating areas and direct you from one terrace to another. These pretty pink paper lanterns were my favourite. The photo was taken from terrace two to three, with some of our Melbourne buildings in the background.
The third terrace was on a grassed hill overlooking the rest on the venue and this is where we saved the best till last. My husband’s work colleague told him about an amazing dish we ‘must have’ from Mr Miyagi. And I must say, that this dish was definitely worth the 20 minute queue! So much so that I almost thought about standing in another 20 minute queue for seconds, that’s how awesome this dish was! And the dish was . . . (drumroll please) . . . a Bombay Spider Crab taco – Tempura soft shell crab, sushi rice, curried mayo, avocado guacamole, crispy garlic in a nori taco shell. Ohhhh – Myyyyy – Goodness! I’m inspired by the Asian-Mexican fusion!
Mr Miyagi, I found out, are located in Chapel Street, just around the corner from where we live! I’m even more excited now knowing we can walk down the road to enjoy this amazing food. Not only are we heading to My Miyagi’s in the New Year but there’s so many more restaurants we want to try all because of this wonderful food experience.
If, by any chance, you’re in Melbourne during this week, go and try some of Australia’s finest Asian cuisine. It will be an experience you will truly enjoy.