Night Noodle Market: Week 135

Jacaranda tree in bloom at Hyde Park: Sydney, Australia

To me the month of October signifies changing leaves, fall, and pumpkins. In Sydney, October is Good Food Month- the time of the year when celebrity chefs like Rene Redzepi (whose Danish restaurant Noma was voted the best in the world three years running) get together with famous Australian chefs for a four-course Great Australian Dinner.

It’s also the time of year when someone inclined to munch on the crispy body parts of native insects can do so with the advice of local chef Kylie Kwong and Aboriginal elder Aunty Beryl Van Oploo. For the less adventurous there are always the pop-up bars, culinary tours, classes, and food markets.

Of all the markets, the Night Noodle Market is the largest and most popular. Since 1998, it has recreated the feel of an Asian hawker market in the middle of Hyde Park. While there are obviously too many health regulations to allow for a truly authentic replica, the Night Noodle Market is enjoyable none-the-less.

Night Noodle Market in Hyde Park for Sydney's Good Food Month: Australia

The food selection run the gamut from Thai to Indonesian with some of the most popular restaurants in Sydney were serving up dishes. Din Tai Fung, famously described as having the world’s tastiest dumpling, had the longest queue of all. Thank God I am allergic to dumplings otherwise I might have spent the evening in line. The restaurant, which began in Taipei, makes a point of distinguishing themselves from their competition by consistently serving dumplings that weigh between 4.8 and 5.2 grams and have a diameter of exactly 6 cm.

Since I had just recently started a love affair with Malaysian food, my friend and I decided to pick up nasi lamak. It is a fragrant dish filled with coconut rice, roasted peanuts, fried anchovies, cucumber slices, sambal sauce, and a hard-boiled egg.

Lanterns in Hyde Park for the Night Noodle Market: Sydney, Australia

I love nasi lamak so much because it has such diverse flavors (sweet rice, salty peanuts, spicy sauce) and while also incorporating different textures. The anchovies are crunchy, the egg is soft yet firm, and the cucumber crisp. With so many ways to combine the individual ingredients, each spoonful is different from the last.

While we dined under a blossoming jacaranda tree, the sun set behind the downtown skyline and a paper lantern display flickered on in the distance. Office workers filled the park with ambient chatter as the evening wore on. I couldn’t have asked for a better evening, yet there was just one thing more thing that I wanted. The Night Noodle Market only lasted three weekends- if it can’t last forever, couldn’t there at least be one more weekend to fully round out the month in the Good Food Month? Three weeks is not enough Sydney- not enough!

About: Good Food Month

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