A complete guide to the 2017 Enlighten Night Noodle Markets in Canberra
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A complete guide to the 2017 Enlighten Night Noodle Markets in Canberra

From Vietnamese pho in a burrito, to peking duck fries and even a Korean style chip on a stick, this year's Enlighten Night Noodle Markets are all about blending Asian and Western cuisines.

It's the third year in Canberra for the markets, which will run for 10 delicious days from March 3 in Reconciliation Place, right in the heart of the Enlighten festival.

Owner of What the Pho, Vinh Nguyen, who will be at the Enlighten Night Noodle Markets.

Owner of What the Pho, Vinh Nguyen, who will be at the Enlighten Night Noodle Markets.Credit:Jamila Toderas

This year's event has 21 food outlets cooking up a storm for the masses, including five Canberra stallholders, and the markets will open later on Friday and Saturday nights with food served right up until midnight.

Popular The Hamlet food truck What The Pho will make its Enlighten Night Noodle Market debut, with almost its full menu of Vietnamese cuisine, including rice paper rolls, pho and vermicelli.

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What The Pho owner Vinh Nguyen, who is originally from Ho Chi Minh City, first started selling food at the Capital Region Farmers Market and Old Bus Depot Markets, before applying for the Braddon food truck village just over six months ago.

"People loved our food so I got the van and it's been awesome, always busy," Nguyen said.

The authentic Vietnamese cuisine is a family affair, with input from Nguyen's sister, mother and wife in the kitchen.

"We're looking forward to showing off our food to more of Canberra [at the Night Noodle Markets], not only Braddon," he said.

They will be joined at the markets by others including Kusina, Bao Stop, East Street Canberra, Hoy Pinoy, Little Kyoto and Poklol.

Brisbane and Sydney burger chain Chur Burger is one of the newcomers for 2017, and its menu includes a special Canberra burger for the event named the The A.C.T (Asian Chicken Tonkatsu) with Japanese panko crumbed chicken.

Those with a sweet tooth can also get their fix with desserts from Gelato Messina, BlackStar Pastry and Waffleland.

What you need to know

When: The markets run from Friday March 3 to Sunday March 12. They open daily at 5pm, so you can arrive early and chow down before the Enlighten projections are switched on at dusk, and run until 9pm Sunday to Thursday, and until midnight on Friday and Saturday.

Where: Reconciliation Place, in between the National Portrait Gallery and Questacon.

What's on the menu: There's 21 stalls to choose from and there are gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian, dairy free and Halal options.

How much? Entry to the Noodle Markets is free. Dishes range from $5 to $20.

How to get there: After 5pm, there are lots of free parking options throughout the parliamentary triangle. While the National Library of Australia and Questacon carparks are closest, it can sometimes take a long time to get out of them due to congestion. You're often better off parking a bit further away and walking in. There are also special Enlighten shuttles operating on March 3, 4, 10 and 11. See enlightencanberra.com.au for details.

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Good to know: The event is completely cash-free, with EFTPOS available at all stalls - so leave the cash at home.

Jil Hogan is an food and lifestyle reporter at The Canberra Times.

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