Sydney Night Noodle Markets

Last night, my man and I decided to check out the Night Noodle Markets, which are just one of the events taking place as part of the Sydney International Food Festival. While many of the events aren’t very vegan-friendly (don’t worry, they’ve heard plenty from me!), I always manage to find a few things at the noodle markets to nibble on.

The concept is so cool – for 10 days, one of Sydney’s fabulous downtown parks (Hyde park) is transformed into a Asian hawker-style market, complete with Asian food stalls and Chinese lanterns hanging here and there. The Night Noodle Markets is a major highlight of the Food Festival with more than 125,000 guests dropping by to take in the atmosphere. The palm trees are lit-up by multicolored lights and it’s just so surreal sitting in a park in the middle of the city, surrounded by skyscrapers and… palm trees. Maybe it’s a Canadian thing, but I’ll never quite get used to seeing palm trees in the city (or anywhere, for that matter)!

Sydney Night Noodle Markets

While there are some tables and chairs, a large majority of people just cop a squat and sit in the grass. There’s live music (last night was DJ spinning great House music) and it’s just an overall cool vibe. Most people are in their business clothes, having come straight from work, but there are also a lot of older people and young families too. With Sydney’s laid-back attitude, everyone’s invited!

Sydney Night Noodle Markets

Because there are only a dozen or so food stalls, the food line-ups can be quite long. Because you can’t inquire about ingredients until you’re at the front, I didn’t want to chance it with Thai food (fish sauce, etc), so I opted for Chinese food. I got really lucky at the New Shanghai stall, because 3 of their 5 items for sale were vegan. Score!

Sydney Night Noodle Markets

Waiting in line and eyeing the prize...

After about a 20-minute wait, we had our food and grabbed a spot to sit in the grass…

Shallot Pancakes

First up, the Shallot Pancakes, or scallion pancakes as we call them back home. These were deep-fried doughy goodness, and while I thought they could use a few more scallions, they were still really nice. I left the line-up too quickly to grab any soy sauce, but they were great regardless.

Shallot Pancakes

Steamed Vegetable Dumplings

Next up: the Steamed Vegetarian Dumplings. I actually didn’t have high hopes for these because it’s been a long time since I’ve had good Chinese dumplings. I tend to prefer Japanese Gyoza because they tend to have more flavor. These were great though, with a really strong spinach and maybe leek flavor? Regardless, they were very tasty, even without any soy sauce.

Steamed Vegetarian Dumplings

Finally, I’ve never been a big fan of Chinese-style buns. The only time I’d ever had them was part of a Dim Sum meal where I found everything to be way too doughy and kind of tasteless. But these were “Steam pumpkin balls fill with red bean paste” (sic) and they were vegan. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet in the name of vegan food blogging…

Steamed Pumpkin Buns filled with Red Bean Paste

Man, was I happy to have tried these! Yes, they were sticky and chewy but they were also truly delicious. I loved the red bean filling. How cool is it to get your protein from your dessert?! That scores some definite vegan brownie pumpkin bun points in my book!

Steamed Pumpkin Buns with Red Bean Paste Steamed Pumpkin Buns with Red Bean Paste

I liked how all of the food containers seemed to be made of post-consumer materials, and there were recycling bins to collect all the rubbish (see, I say “rubbish” now instead of “trash”… they’re getting to me!)

Recycle your Trash!

Here are a few more shots I took while walking around…

Sydney Night Noodle Markets

Sydney Night Noodle Markets

Sydney Night Noodle Markets

Sydney Night Noodle Markets

Sydney Night Noodle Markets

We walked home in an attempt to burn-off those pancakes!

Vegan Month of Food 2011

14 Comments

  1. Oh man.. anything filled with red bean paste is my favorite asian dessert. Mochi cakes from H-Mart.. mmm.. I can only imagine how great those pumpkin dough treats were!

    Looks like a ton of fun! Congrats on your roundup feature, too!!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Thanks so much, Lauren! I don’t think I’d ever had red bean paste before but I loved it and shall seek it out in the future…

      Reply
  2. Jennifer says:

    I’m really craving Chinese food now! Looks like a wonderful event.

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Hi Jennifer, it’s an awesome event… somehow I don’t think Toronto will compare but I’ll have to make due…

      Reply
  3. Lexie says:

    Ahh this is making me missing Sydney! Especially because its getting cold here in Canada. Funny you should mention that you say “rubbish”, I said “trash” to my mum on the phone the other day and got an earful!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Hi Lexie – Ahhh, I know how you feel. I’m going to miss Sydney so much. That’s funny about your mom. Rubbish sounds so fancy, doesn’t it? Like it’s too fancy a word to describe garbage. Hah!

      Reply
  4. Savannah says:

    You mean I’ve lived here all my life and not known about this little place of goodness? Gah! Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Hi Savannah – Glad to have shared this info with you! Last night was the last night though, so you’ll need to wait until next year. Sign-up for updates on the Sydney International Food Festival website so you’ll be in the know next year :)

      Reply
  5. Micah says:

    Those scallion pancakes made my face hurt with foodlust. dang. All the photos are gorgeous!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Thanks Micah! :)

      Reply
  6. Joey says:

    Oh wow. I have severe noodle-based jealousy now!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Ha ha, thanks for stopping by Joey :)

      Reply
  7. Lou says:

    Man I love Sydney…. how I miss it + all the fun stuff on there. Not quite the same up Queensland way. I love red bean paste desserts – takes a bit to get your head around the concept of a beanie-sweetie but once you do, delish :)

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Hi Lou! Yes, I consider myself pretty lucky to have been able to live here the last couple years! I’m totally a “beanie-sweetie” convert :)

      Reply
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