The end of the financial year means the start of July, and to us that means one thing: the return of Good Food Month! Our entire city has turned into a foodie’s wonderland with a whole bunch of fun and food-centric events lighting up the calendar, but if there's one event that really gets us hot under the collar, it's the return of the Night Noodle Markets.
If past markets are anything to go by, you can expect an electrifying tangle of sights, sounds and flavours as South Bank's Cultural Centre Forecourt transforms into a bustling Asian food market to round out Brisbane Good Food Month from Wednesday 25 July to Sunday 5 August. The best bit? Entry is totally FREE. Woo hoo!
With the spice and delight of last year’s market still fresh in our minds, you can bet we are gonna go at this year’s stalls like bats out of hell to scout out the best grub going. We highly recommend you join.
Here’s everything we’re eating at the Night Noodle Market’s this July.
Black Star Pastry’s Strawberry Watermelon Cake
We’re starting strong with the Beyoncé of Instagram desserts, a strawberry and watermelon cake so photogenic it’s achieved the lofty status of Instafamous. Invented by patisserie genius Christopher Thé, this light and refreshing slice epitomises Australian desserts as a perfect example of tasty innovation, with cream, sponge, strawberry and watermelon all harmonised like a sexy overture. And this year Brisbanites can order their own takeaway slab in any size from four portions up and collect it from Black Star’s pop-up production site in Morningside.
Chicken Skewers From Hoy Pinoy
Oh lawdy, how we’ve missed these. Hoy Pinoy’s barbecue grill turns out some of the most succulent and tender skewers we’ve ever had. No joke, that flavour hit us like a lightning bolt to the mouth during last year’s market and we’ve been having hardcore withdrawals for that charry goodness ever since.
Original Korean Twist Potato
You might better recognise the twist potato as a ‘slinky’, but a deep-fried potato by any other name would be as crisp, and make no mistake, these guys are the OGs of maximising surface area. The result is a tornado of fresh-made potato chips on a stick, which you can go ahead and finish it off with some bomb seasonings that really stick it to Smiths.
Ice Mango Coconut Kakigōri At N2 Extreme Gelato
These guys aren’t lying, N2 is turning gelato into an extreme sport. Case in point: their dessert offerings at this year’s market. Getting right into the spirit of the markets, N2 is serving up three different types of kakigōri, a Japanese dessert of shaved ice – kind of like a snow cone but sweetened with condensed milk and way, way cooler (not kidding, this stuff drives a Harley). Patriots that we are, our pick is the Ice Mango Coconut Kakigōri built of creamy coconut shaved ice and fresh mango.
Ginger And Lemon Kombucha At Amplify Kombucha
If all this feasting on delicious food stuffs is playing havoc with your tum tum, you need a kombucha to give you strength for round two. For the first time in Night Noodle Market history you can kick back with this marvellous organic fizzy tea drink that's pumped with all the good bacteria your body needs during an evening of indulgence. We're craving Amplify's refreshing Lemon and Ginger kombucha; fresh, zingy and also perfect if you're doing dry July...
Japanese Cheesecake From Gelato Messina
You all know the skinny on Messina so I’m not going to waste time telling you about how extravagant and life-affirming their desserts are. What I will say is that this year they’ve pulled out the stops. While we fully intend on sampling all four items on Messina’s Night Market menu (there’s a deep-fried gelato katsu sandwich that I may ruin me for prospective suitors) the one that’s caught our collective eye is Aunty Tomsu’s Japanese cheesecake, a straight-up ode to strawberries with strawberry and cherry blossom cream, strawberry meringue, and strawberry gelato.
Korean BBQ Tacos At POKLOL
POKLOL are hellbent on changing the game up with their Korean BBQ tacos. Fulsome and firmly packed with flavour, each taco starts with your choice of bulgogi beef, chilli chicken or chilli pork and comes laden with the crispy freshness of pickled carrots, kimchi slaw, cucumbers and shallots with a generous drizzle of their secret pokky sauce. Yes we recommend getting the trio.
Puffle's KFC Cheese Puffle
What’s a puffle? Glad you asked. It’s basically bubble wrap made out of savoury batter, then folded into a sconce with some tasty fillings. Since pumping up the jam in Sydney, Puffle’s little bobblies have picked up where tacos left off and we are nothing short of stoked that they’re coming to this year’s Night Noodle Markets. On the menu is some ingenious fusion, choose from either the Korean Fried Chicken puffle, or a Philly Cheesesteak-style puffle made with bulgogi beef.
Little Kyoto x Pho Real
We are loving this collaboration sick chiefly because it is gifting us the mother of all Asian fusion: the pho burrito. This is a concept I only recently stopped fainting over and the excitement to get around one of the little suckers is so real you could almost chew it. If you’re stuck wondering how they’re going to pull off the crossover from soup to solids, stop by and check it out because these guys know what’s up.
When it comes to gyoza (ie the king of dumplings) the only name you need to remember is Zagyoza. They’ve got every variety you could possibly want including Tokyo curry, chicken teriyaki, and everyone’s favourite classic pork, but they also go above and beyond offering vegetarian, vegan and gluten free gyozas so literally everyone can get a plate of the action.
Bao Brothers’ Pork Bao
For bridging the gap between pillows and sliders, bao are pretty much undisputed as the most delightful foodstuffs ever created. Their soft fluffy glory is made all the more delicious at the deft hands of Bao Brothers, who are coming to the markets this year to cook us up some hectic fare. On the menu is bao with southern fried chicken or some tofu with attitude, but we’re heading straight for the braised pork number, with pickled cucumber, hoisin sauce and peanut praline. My knees are weak just writing that.
For more details about other stalls at the Night Noodle Markets, click here.
Image credit: provided, Good Food Month