What do you get when you pack a whole bunch of different Asian cuisines, a fine selection of alcohol and some loud, LED lit entertainment into Hyde Park? A really busy, loud, slightly overwhelming event during Good Food Month called the Night Noodle Markets.
During a couple of weeks in the Month of October, Hyde park was turned into a hustling bustling hawker centre of Asian delights. Supplying patrons with tastes of the Orient along with bars, music and entertainment. With up to 50 food stalls it can be slightly overwhelming, especially when trying to navigate through the throngs of hungry people, when you yourself are hungry enough to eat your own hand. With a rumbling stomach, comes rash decision making, which in turn, usually leads to disappointment and worst of all, food envy.
With this in mind, before going to the event, I strongly suggest reading up about the stalls, checking out some food blogs and seeing what people are raving about and ragging on. The last thing you want is a plate of overly oily, bland noodles when the person next to you is chomping on a Ramen Burger or a Woofy’s Asian Dog.
We had a plan. With our eyes set on the infamous Ramen Burger, we entered the arena armed with only the inkling of hunger setting in, cash money in our pockets and a positive attitude. That quickly dissipated into annoyance when we saw a line of no less than 80-100 people all with the same plan. All of a sudden that hint of hunger escalated into full blown starvation and irritation levels began to rise. I was officially hangry. Symptoms include irrational behaviour, bouts of yelling (usually at loved ones), foot stamping and pouting. Yes, I turn into a 5 year old when I get hungry, who doesn’t.
Luckily there were a few of us, so we left one in the queue for Ramen burgers and we went to gather extra food supplies. A quick trip to the Let’s Do Yum Cha truck and a tent nearby to get some crispy golden squid and I returned to normal, functioning adult behaviour.
I’ve got to say that the Ramen Burger was ok, albeit a bit of a gimmick and personally, give me a brioche bun any day. The fried ramen “buns” gave an interesting texture to the burger and the beef pattie was flavoursome but not overly exciting. We also had the rice burger with slow cooked sticky pork, which was also alright.
In general the Noodle Markets are a fun place to go with a group of friends as long as you’re not fussed about getting split up, can handle long queues and are happy to sit on any floor space you can find. With all negatives aside, they are a nice way to mix things up and try a whole bunch of different things all in one place.
Or if you’re a stickler for convenience like me, you could just go to your favourite local Chinese restaurant for dinner with your own bottle of wine and be in and out in a quarter of the time. To each their own.