ACT News


Canberra Night Noodle Markets 2016 begin

It may have noodle in the name, but looking through the crowds at the first night of the Night Noodle Market it was almost difficult to spot someone chowing down on the delicacy.

Among the ubiquitous chips on sticks, barbecued skewers and dramatic-looking gelatos being precariously juggled back to tables, the eye-catching fluorescent pink sakura fried chicken burgers and green yuzu squid burgers were definite standouts.

But there were noodles, by the plate full, and judging by the speed at which they were consumed, they were good.

After complaints about lengthy queues at last year's market, the general consensus was 2016's larger footprint, with almost twice the number of stalls, had made a difference.

Erica Collins and Simon Bartles were among the noodle-lovers pleased with the changed layout across both sides of Reconciliation Place.

"[Last time] we had to queue up for a long time… for an hour… this is much better," Ms Collins said.


"We didn't have any problems parking."

Like many market-goers they did the rounds of the all the stalls before settling on their purchases.

But Fairfax Events' head of food James Laing suggested visitors go one step further with some insider tips to get the most out of the market over the next nine nights.

"Split up is one, send people off to get different things, but I think the first thing is to have a look on the website with all the options and work out what you want to try, do your research first" he said.

"There are some really popular stalls and the queues for those can be long but everything here is great."

After sussing out all on offer, Farzana Choudhury and Marijke Welvaert couldn't resist the fluorescent glazing of the Everybody Loves Ramen burgers, although they felt somewhat guilty about shunning noodles.

The pair were newcomers to the market after being put off by reports of big crowds last year, but they weren't disappointed.

"It's a bit like a cupcake with savoury stuff on the inside," Ms Choudhury said.

"It's a nice chance to try something a bit different … The chips on a stick are also very tempting but they're kind of everywhere."

Although it was early days, Mr Laing was happy with the turnout on the first night and said there were more local options than the inaugural event.

"Last year a lot of the locals sat on the fence and wanted to see how it went, but after it was an amazing success and we got 155,000 people they decided they wanted to be part of the action, which was great," he said.

"Hopefully that will then drive people into those restaurants when the event finishes.

"Last year we were very restricted so we were turning people away, so I would expect it to increase fairly significantly especially if the weather holds."

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said Enlighten was on track to surpass Floriade as the biggest event in Canberra with 8000 people in its first year and 300,000 last year.

"It's a nice problem to have, to have so many people wanting to be part of this," he said.

Mr Laing said sharing foods was the best way to enjoy all that was on offer.

"It's not about getting one massive meal … It's about trying different things," he said.