Life has been crazyy! So October (aka Good Food Month) started and it barely registered on my radar until I started hearing and reading stuff about the Night Noodle Markets. Somehow I managed to get my act together and make it out to the first night of the markets, which looked a little something like this around 6pm.
It was crazy-town and after a quick scout of all the stalls it seemed like there were barely any without queues. I did notice that there are more food stalls than last year which is always a good sign. There are also more seating areas and bars scattered around Hyde Park – but don’t let that trick you into thinking that it’s easy to find a seat!
After our recon mission, I’d picked out a handful of stalls that I was keen on getting food from. Hoy Pinoy drew me in with the billowing smoke and smell of grilled meat.
This Melbourne-based Filipino BBQ food stall had huge skewers of chicken and pork belly cooking away on several grills, all the while being basted with sauce.
I’ve never been to Malaysia before but judging from Malaysians’ passionate relationship with food, I think I’d fit right in. Malaysia’s love of food was clearly evident at the launch of the Flavours of Malaysia buffet at The Grace Hotel, where there was an incredible spread of Malaysian food created by three Malaysian chefs who were specially flown in for the event.
Here’s a taste of what was on offer:
The cold section held a number of salads, including a DIY Rojak (mixed fruit salad with a prawn paste sauce) and Pasembor (mixed vegetable salad with peanut sauce). There were also a few salads that I’d never seen before, like a glass noodle salad with coconut and prawn, and a tripe salad.
Having just dessert for dinner sounds like one of the greatest things ever so I was super excited to go to “Just Desserts” – a March into Merivale event where a handful of Merivale restaurants showcase some of their finest desserts for the sweet-tooths in Sydney. Entry ($45) also includes 6 tokens, which you can redeem for desserts and/or drinks within the event.
I’d sussed out what some of the offerings were prior to the event so when we arrived, we made a beeline straight for the mini fried ice creams at the Mr Wong stand. The fried ice cream was super popular (no surprise there!) so there was a short wait while batches upon batches of ice cream were fried to order. We eventually made our way out of the throng with our prize in hand, and dug in past the crispy batter to reveal a vanilla ice cream centre. I found some parts of the fried ice cream a little too cakey from the coating, but I think I could just about drink that amazing butterscotch sauce!
Another popular item was the hot banana, nutella and salted caramel spring roll from Ms G’s. Again, this was fried to order in batches but it meant we got a freshly fried spring roll scattered with the red raspberry powder. This was a surprise favourite of mine as it wasn’t too sweet and the banana, nutella and salted caramel flavours worked really well together.
October has come around again which means that Good Food Month is back and in full swing! I’ve visited the Night Noodle Markets in previousyears but they have definitely upped the ante this year with more stalls, more seating and more colourful lanterns!
In terms of the food, there’s a range of dumplings, noodles, dim sims and other Asian goodies to suit everyone’s tastes, with offerings from Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian, Thai and Vietnamese restaurants.
It took one episode of Game of Thrones for me to get hooked on the show. And it seemed like I wasn’t the only one, because when FeFiFoFum asked if anyone of us wanted to join her at the Game of Thrones Feast at Gastro Park there was a resounding ‘yes!’ from the group! At $100pp for a 5 course dinner, it wasn’t the cheapest of meals. But it was clear that the staff at Gastro Park had put a lot of thought and creativity into it, with each dish being themed to Season 2 of Game of Thrones.
The first was simply named “Dragon” and was meant to resemble dragon claws. These jet black fritters were not the prettiest of things, and without the menu in front of us I was expecting to bite into black pudding. I was surprised to find that the fritters were filled with cheese and were absolutely delicious! They were scattered among a head of kale, which had been deep fried and dotted with a creamy sauce. Breaking off the crispy leaves from the stem made for a fun, hands-on dish to get everyone started.