Night noodle markets, during the day

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Last year, I went to the Enlighten Night Noodle Markets, and it was good, but the queues for the particularly ‘hot’ stalls were completely absurd. This year, due to being pretty sick one week and people travelling etc, I failed to get a posse together, so decided to go it alone rather than miss out. At 5.15pm, when it was not at all night. But, I tried some of the things I wanted to without waiting in crazy queues, so it was actually a pretty good plan! Could have covered more ground and tried more things if we had an early crew though, so that it what I will aim for next year. It was still quite warm out, so that triggered a bit of dizzy, but at least it wasn’t dizzy+crowds+queues. And a coconut helped.

COCONUT. #nightnoodlemarkets #enlighten #canberra

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On the food front, I already had some idea of what was available thanks to seeing other people’s Instagrams, and reading media coverage of the markets. Though extremely tempted by the bao and ‘Peking duck fries’ that were being sold, I decided to go with the bright pink sakura burger from the pun-tastic Everybody Loves Ramen, because it just looked so darn weird.

With crispy ramen-crusted juicy fried chicken, a super sweet floral-tasting glaze on a brioche style bun, scattered with some seaweed strips, Japanese curry sauce, Kewpie mayo and wakame, it was a crazy mix of flavours that somehow really worked. And the pink bun just looked bonkers! You do have to be a fan of the sweet-savoury combos that are so popular in Asia, but I am. They also had a green one with okonomiyaki and squid that I would have loved to try too, the colour was also super intense. My only complaint with my burger was that the bun was a little on the dry side– perhaps day-old bread or something? But the sauces and juicy chicken meant it wasn’t a major complaint.

Since it was just little old me at the markets and the burger was pretty filling, I only had enough room to try one other thing, so I went with the chargrilled skewers from Hoy Pinoy, grabbing one of the chicken and one of the pork belly. They were both delicious – with the gooey sweet Phillippine marinades and the smokiness from the grill. It was also quite a spectacle to see the huge volume they were grilling up! The chicken one was my favourite, despite pork usually being my favourite thing, but they were both great.

Meat on a stick. Now so full. #nightnoodlemarkets #canberra #enlighten

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I wish I had saved room to try the N2+ Black Star gelato, and I also did have bao-envy when I saw people walking around with those, but hopefully it will be back next year and I can try them then (update… I went back, see below).

As it was last year, the atmosphere was really pleasant and festive, and this year there were a lot more seats, as well as plenty of room to bring a picnic rug to sit on the grass.

Since I couldn’t eat any more food, all that was left to do was take some mandatory lantern photos.

Decided to tackle the night noodle markets, before the night and before the crowds! #canberra #enlighten #nightnoodlemarkets

A photo posted by Ashlee Betteridge (@ashbetteridge) on

Another lantern view. #nightnoodlemarkets #canberra #enlighten

A photo posted by Ashlee Betteridge (@ashbetteridge) on

Update: I made a trip back to the noodle markets, again stealthily early on Sunday. I tried the Bao Stop Sydney bao trifecta (they were very good), and the N2+Black Star cake smash gelato, which was amazzzzzzing. I also got some fabulous gyoza from Zagyoza, a cult Brisbane gyoza shop that was appearing at the night markets – I had the Kyoto curry and pumpkin and feta ones, and they were great, even though I ate them later at home since I was too full after the bao and icecream!

Went on a quick run to #nightnoodlemarkets to get some bao. #canberra #enlighten @baostopsydney

A photo posted by Ashlee Betteridge (@ashbetteridge) on

Sooo yum. Cake smash gelato. #nightnoodlemarkets #canberra #enlighten

A photo posted by Ashlee Betteridge (@ashbetteridge) on

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