Good Food Month’s Night Noodle Markets have returned to Hyde Park for another year, and for two glorious weeks, we have some of the city’s best Asian-inspired food in one place (i.e. in my belly!). Here are 10 things we tried and loved:
If you’re planning to check it out in the next few days (it finishes on 22 Oct), here are my tips to make the most of your night out.
1. Get to Hyde Park as early as you possibly can
Want to avoid the long queues? Get there early. The Night Noodle Markets open at 5pm on weeknights and 4pm on the weekends, and most of the stalls are already cooking and ready to serve food for anyone there. I got there at 5 on the dot last Tuesday evening and by 6:30pm the place was buzzing and the most popular stalls had ridiculously long wait times.
2. Wear flat, closed shoes.
Ditch the heels and avoid sandals if you can; the ground is either dusty or damp and you’ll either go home with ruined pumps, disgustingly dirty feet or aching soles. You’ll be walking and standing a lot, so dress for comfort.
3. Embrace that elasticised waistband
If the primary activity for your evening out is stuffing as many delicious dishes into your mouth as possible, skinny jeans are out, yoga pants are in. Or maybe even a maxi/shift dress. Whatever you choose, just wear something that you aren’t going to regret after your third bao.
4. Don’t bother withdrawing cash
Most (if not all?) stall vendors accept card payments only, so don’t bother stuffing your wallet with bills. If you’re going with friends, try to order in one go and work out a way to split the payments – it keeps the lines moving and gets you to your food faster!
5. Have a “must eat” plan of attack
Check out the menu on Good Food Month’s website and figure out which dishes or stalls are on your “must try” list. The stalls are split into 8 sections and we went in with the intention of eating from one stall in each section. It didn’t quite work out that way (we got stuck in the Puffle line for over 45 min), but if you get there early enough and eat while you walk, you’ll get through quite a bit. We tried to taste a bit of everything that caught our fancy on Concrete Playground’s and Timeout’s Top 10 lists.
Or, if you’re going with a group, send people out to get food from different stalls and meet up to share the feast on a picnic blanket. Which brings me to my next tip:
6. Bring something to sit on
The park does have limited seating (extremely limited), so you’ll either be eating on your feet or sitting on the ground. And like I said, the grass in Hyde Park is either dusty or damp, so bring a picnic rug or something to sit on. We got there before sunset, so there was plenty of space to sit to enjoy our beer and crab rolls, but anyone who arrives after 6:30pm is going to be hard pressed to find somewhere to rest their weary legs.
7. Make the most of the water stations
In between your beer or wine pairings, head to the water station to refill your water bottle. Because, you know, it pays to be kind to the environment.
Getting to the Sydney Night Noodle Markets
Oct 5-22 2017 at Hyde Park (enter via St James Station OR the corner of Elizabeth and Park St)
Monday & Tuesday: 5pm – 9pm
Wednesday & Thursday: 5pm – 10pm
Friday: 5pm – 11pm
Sunday: 4pm – 9pm