Brisbane Night Noodle Markets + a tribute to how far we’ve come

NN Markets - umbrellas


Editor’s Note:

Hello lovely readers! This post is all about my experience at the inaugural night Noodle Markets last year. You’ll find details about the Night Noodle markets 2015 are at the bottom of the post.


For the past month Brisbane has been in the midst of a city-wide feeding frenzy, otherwise known as the Brisbane Times Good Food Month.

This is the festival’s inaugural year in Brisbane (its been around for a couple of years in Sydney and Melbourne) and the sheer number of events it contained made it a hugely ambitious project. Over the course of the month we’ve been treated to a moving feast of pop-up dinners, set menus, discovery events fusing science and gastronomy, cooking classes and so much more.

Kwan Brothers small bites offered as part of Supper Club - Brisbane Good Food Month's up late options

Kwan Brothers small bites offered as part of Supper Club – Brisbane Good Food Month’s up late options

image credit

My Instagram feed has been awash with some of the most amazing food photos which is lucky because that’s pretty much as close I got to most of these events.

Despite hearing about the festival back in April when it was launched, I made a rookie mistake. After oohhhing and aahhhing over the program I failed to take the crucial step which was to actually mark any of the events or places I wanted to visit in my calendar.

I’m sure you can guess the rest. Life got busy and suddenly we were half way through July and I hadn’t even made it to ONE of the events I’d wanted to see and time was running out!

So last Thursday I dragged the fam out on a school night to see the Night Noodle Markets.

My big boys getting stuck into some hawkers noodles and Taiwanese fried chicken from Peng You

My big boys getting stuck into some hawkers noodles and Taiwanese fried chicken from Peng You

It was a perfect evening right from the start. SO mild after a few days of biting cold that we didn’t even need jackets!

We got there fairly early around 6.30pm. There were already quite a few people around but the queues were manageable and very soon we were standing around passing each other cardboard trays of noodles and gyozas and chicken. Even my middle son who is fairly “cautious” when it comes to Asian food was tucking in with abandon (he’s on the right in the picture above)!

As we nommed to our hearts content I got to thinking about how far Brisbane has come as a city since MY childhood in the late 80’s and early 90’s…

Difference #1 – Children everywhere!
Our kids weren’t the only ones there that night – kids of all ages from little bubs to teens were represented as families enjoyed the grazing style dining that the Night Noodle markets encourage. Back in my childhood kids were rarely out on a school night like that and especially not at an event serving such exotic food (not a chicken nugget in sight)!

Sure it was a bit of a late night for them, but my boys survived AND loved every minute of it. So I think its great that parents these days seem a bit more open to chucking routine out the window every now and then to give their kids such a unique experience.

NN montage

Difference #2 – Boozing
Now maybe I sound a bit naive, but in years gone by large a public event like this would usually present a pretty significant risk of some people taking things too far booze-wise. Or as my mum is wont to say “There’s always a couple of idiots that spoil it for everyone”.

Again perhaps I am a bit naive but there just wasn’t any of that vibe at all. Was it because it was a event pitched at foodies? Possibly. Could it be that we are also starting to realise that there’s a time and a place for getting hammered. Perhaps.

Then again, if you’ve been in the the Valley Mall at lock-out time its like the city of the damned so I am aware there is also a counter argument to this point.

Difference #3 – Authentic vs Synthetic Asian flavours
I have vivid memories of Asian food as a kid. Going out for Chinese was pretty much your only dining option in suburban Brisbane in the 80s! And it universally involved flourescent pink Sweet & Sour Pork and fried rice with peas in it.

These days demand is for the authentic tastes our Asian neighbors have to offer. Malaysian roti with rich fragrant curry sauce. Spicy Pho with its irresistible combination of steaming beef broth, chilli and coriander. Sweet, sticky pork buns and juicy dumplings bursting with flavour.

We cant get enough of it. And next year I’ll be planning my Brisbane Good Food month program with military precision so I can see, taste and experience as much of it as possible.

Details for the Night Noodle Markets 2015 are…

WHERE: Cultural Forecourt, South Bank
DATES: Wednesday July 22 – Sunday August 2
OPEN: Monday–Thursday 5pm til late, Friday 4pm til late, Weekends 2pm til late

Rachel - Ed

About Rachel

Thirty-something Brisbane lover, trying to find the balance between FOMO and YOLO. Semi-retired party girl who loves planning itineraries for big nights out. Often found dragging 3 boys around your local farmers markets or attempting to sneak out for dinner with my husband, The Chef.

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