The Night Noodle Markets are always something of a gamble. Do you join a long line assuming there must be something rewarding at the other end, or do you throw caution to the wind and try something new?
At the 2019 markets, from March 1-10 in Reconciliation Place, there are plenty of delicious options for both.
Back on the menu are crowd favourites: Hoy Pinoy’s pork belly skewers; Puffle’s Korean Fried Chicken stuffed inside their signature cheese puffle; and POKLOL’s Mac N Goreng, a funky version of mac n cheese.
Newcomers include Chinese Burger Funky Tots: try their BBQ pork bahn mi tots or their cumin spiced lamb Chinese Burger; and @Roll Up, doing a range of roti rolls, make sure you try the soft shell crab roti roll with a mixed salad, onion, carrot and mayo sauce.
This is the fifth year the markets have filled the bellies of Canberra as they take in the Enlighten Festival, which runs from March 1-17. With a feast of signature dishes and innovative tastes from Canberra and Australia-wide favourites, the bustling markets will once again bring together the best parts of Australia’s multicultural flavours to the nation’s capital.
Chur Burger has turned on a Year of the Pig special: try the Pepper Pig with salt and pepper crispy pork belly, pickled slaw, chilli black bean mayo and pork cotton candy.
Other vendors include Bangkok Street Food, Calabang, Donburi Station, May’s Malaysian Hawker; and Twistto with their signature original Korean twist potato, a 35cm long spiralled deep-fried potato.
And if you have any room left, Gelato Messina’s menu this year is inspired by the tastes of the Philippines and they’re bringing their “jeepney” full of flavour. There’s a special dessert just for the Canberra markets: the Filopieno, a condensed milk gelato in a fried pie crust with peach jellies, mango salsa, mango chantilly and graham cracker crumb.
What you need to know
When: The markets run from Friday, March 1 to Sunday, March 10. They open from 5pm on weekdays and 4pm on the weekends, so you can get there early and fill up on delicious food before the Enlighten projections switch on at dusk. The Noodle Markets are open until 9pm Monday to Thursday and until 10.30pm Friday to Sunday.
Where: Reconciliation Place, in between the National Portrait Gallery and Questacon.
What's on the menu: There are 26 stalls to choose from and there are gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian, dairy free, egg free and Halal options.
How much: Entry to the Noodle Markets is free.
How to get there: After 5pm, there are lots of free parking options throughout the parliamentary triangle. Due to congestion, it's sometimes best to park a little bit further away and walk back in. Free loop shuttle buses will also be running on March 1, 2, 8 and 9 from the City bus interchange and Russell.
Good to know: The event is completely cash-free, with EFTPOS available at all stalls. It's all ages, and dogs are also welcome.