I make a little bit of pocket money writing for a website called Weekend Notes, where the aim is to let people know what is going on in their city or region in the near future; so that they can make plans and attend these events too. I feel like here at Day Jaunts I often do the opposite. I let people know what great things have happened in the recent past… that they have probably missed out on. But I went and I took photos so you, the reader, can know exactly what you missed out on.
The Night Noodle Markets were held in the Alexandria Gardens for a few weeks in November and I went up on a Sunday evening to, well, stuff myself with noodles and other Asian goodies.
I was glad that we made our way to the market at opening time because there were already queues forming at some of the more popular stalls.
My friend Cathy sniffed the air, declared, ‘I’m eating that’ and literally followed her nose to the end of the longest queue in the whole market. To be honest I wasn’t entirely sure what we were lining up for but it did smell good and I figured that some of the people at the front could see what was on offer and they weren’t budging so it must look appetising as well.
Jess and I left Cathy to hold the spot and went off in search of other delights. I brought back prawn and chive dumplings. Jess chose a Vietnamese chicken noodle salad.
When we got to the front of the line we found out we were at the Hoy Pinoy and they served Filipino meat skewers with rice and pickles. They were worth the wait.
While tucking into our first course something completely unexpected happened. A waitress came to our table and took our drink order! At a market! It was so cool, so chic, then the fancy beer I ordered was served in a nondescript plastic cup, but I didn’t care because I didn’t have to stand up. I hate going to the bar.
Even thought it was still early in the evening tables were at a premium so we took it in turns to peruse the stalls and bring back a dish.
Cathy picked barbeque octopus but while the flavour was good they were on the chewy side and a bit difficult to eat in public.
Jess made the ultimate sacrifice and waited in the second longest line for a serve of steamed buns from Wonderbao. I’ve made a note to return to this little restaurant in the CBD in the near future.
When it was my turn to get second course I stood in a line for a few minutes before realising that I was waiting for a serve of the same Vietnamese noodle salad that Jess had picked for first course. Oops! So I just got more dumplings. I went to a different stall and this time I picked pan-fried lemongrass chicken dumplings from Mr Huang Jin. I was rather impressed to see that they were hand rolling the dumplings in the stall.
By this stage some of the food lines were starting to encroach on our seating space so we decided to head towards the exit and get a fancy ice-cream on the way out but the line was too long. It may have been called the Night Noodle Market but queuing seemed to be a major theme as well. I’d had enough of queuing for food by this stage. So instead we just made our way across the river and had a beer for dessert.
I’m almost certain that this is the first time that the Night Noodle Markets have been held as part of the Melbourne Good Food Month Festival, at least that’s what I told some tourists who pulled up a pew at our table.
So next year I’ll try to be organised and let you all know before the event starts. And in an attempt to make up for my hopelessness I will do my best to tweet about events that I have attended previously when they pop up again… when I remember.