The Brisbane Night Noodle Markets are a fun,festive and delicious event held in July each year as part of city’s annual Good Food Month celebrations. Make your way along to the Southbank Cultural Forecourt to join in and make this year bigger and better than ever.
There are plenty of excellent foodie markets in Brisbane but there’s only one Noodle Night Markets. Each year we look forward to winter knowing that Good Food Month is coming to Brisbane. There’s the Regional Flavours weekend to look forward to of course but it’s the Noodle Night Markets that entice me back over and over again.
The western end of the Southbank parklands around the cultural forecourt will be transformed again this year from the 25th July until the 5th August into an Asia street food paradise. Right from opening time the area starts to fill up and the queues will start forming as everyone mills around and checks out this years offerings, seeing who’s new on the sceme, what restaurants have returned for another year and making that big decision of what to try first.
A couple of the years ago the who market when cashless which speeds things up a heap and must make it a whole lot easier for the vendors not having to cope with handling cash and keeping enough change on the premises when they are getting slammed getting quality food out in double quick time.
Dishes and vendors represent the gambit of Asian and fusion cuisine choices and a cross section of price points from food trucks to waterfront dining favourites and popular chain restaurants.
The big question of the night is what to eat and you’ll probably find you can’t possibly sample everything that takes your fancy in just one night. Fortunately it’s on for 12 nights so plan well and you might get a second chance, or a fifth!
There’s not just the odd food truck to choose from, there are some of Brisbane’s favourite Asian restaurant brands here too. Last year Sake came with soul warming Japanese noodle dishes offering the choice of delicate soba or the more robust and hearty udon with their own unique depth of flavour to the broth.
Of course the good thing about the middle of winter in Brisbane is that it’s cool enough to enjoy the hot and spicy food on offer but still plenty mild enough to enjoy sitting out on the banks of the Brisbane River and around the Southbank Parklands with your selection.
Pro tip: Bring plenty of friends and family along for the night to ensure you get to try as many of the flavours on offer as possible.
Now an Asian hawker market or festival just isn’t complet without dumplings and Harajuku Gyoza turned up with my favourite pork gyoza with that perfect bite to the wrapper, delicious umami filling and a drizzle of their chilli soy sauce.
But that isn’t all, most years they’ve also had a bit of magic up their cheffy sleeves with a special festival gyoza or a new menu addition making it’s debut. Have you tried the water droplet dessert?
I think my longest queue on opening night was for the Okonomi House but we all know I love some okonomiyaki and while I whip it a gluten free version up at home from time to time it’s just not the same as having it prepared for you. It removed all doubt when I saw they had a version with both pork belly AND bacon, no need for the tough choices. A bit of a line wasn’t going to be an obstacle for me once someone wafted past with that fragrant concoction piled high in bonito flakes, I’d have stood there all night if I had to but to be honest the lines move remarkably quickly.
For those not as addicted to the Japanese cuisine as we are there are plenty of others including Indonesian, Thai, Malaysian, Chinese, Vietnamese and various fusion offerings too, you don’t need to be a noodle fan to eat well at the Brisbane night noodle markets!
Once you’ve grabbed your first few plates of food find a spot in the Parklands to enjoy them. At times tables and chairs will be in short supply but there’s always plenty of space to settle yourself along the river wall, along the grass edge with a view of the city lights and throughout the expansive parklands.
The atmosphere is casual and fun, the queues aren’t a problem with friends and strangers chatting amicably comparing ticket numbers and orders while they wait. Starting at 5pm on weeknights and 4pm on weekends it’s a family friendly event but if you do want a few drinks they can be enjoyed into the evening in the licensed areas. It’s a great place to catch up with friends over a casual evening out in the city, there’s entertainment and something for everyones taste.
The mid-winter timing does nothing to detract from the popularity of the festival, Brisbane’s mild climate and the promise of good authentic cuisine sees locals and tourists alike turning out in their thousands to sample from the dozens of menus on offer. It’s been running for a few years now and with the success it continues to enjoy I’m sure the organisers will continue the annual event long into the future – it just keeps getting bigger and better each year! There’s still a few gaps in the market for some extra stalls though, I’m thinking fresh grilled Takoyaki and good selection of bubble tea … anyone?
Getting to the Noodle Night Markets
The markets are located at the Cultural Forecourt, Southbank Parklands, Brisbane. If you are coming from the Queens Street Mall area of the city they are a relatively easy walk across the Victoria Bridge which has safe pedistrian walking paths on both sides. If you are coming from Riverside or other river locations consider the Brisbane ferry system, they stop at Southbank not far from the markets.
If driving you’ll find plenty of underground car parking in the Southbank Cultural precinct or the Myers building on the other side of the river has $10 parking at night and all weekend.
The Southbank train station is your closest choice if using public transport and if you hop off a stop too early you’ll find South Brisbane is also within walking distance.
Have you been to the Brisbane noodle night markets yet? They really are a crowd pleaser and a great night out with friends.
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