There are plenty of markets in Brisbane but there is only one Noodle Night Markets. Each year we look forward to winter knowing that Good Food Month is coming to Brisbane. There’s 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 19th-30th July into an Asia street food paradise. Right from opening time the area gets packed and the queues will start forming although they have introduced cashless checkouts a year or two back which speeds things up a lot.
The big question is what to eat and you’ll probably find you can’t possibly sample everything that takes your fancy in just one night. 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 soba and udon, Harajuku Gyoza had my favourite pork gyoza with that perfect bite to the wrapper, delicious umami filling and a drizzle of their chilli soy sauce. The longest queue was for the Okonomi House but a bit of a line wasn’t going to be much of an obstacle for me once someone wafted past with pork belly okonomiyaki piled high in bonito flakes. For those not totally addicted to the Japanese cuisine there were 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.
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 park.
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 bubble tea … anyone?
Getting to the Night Noodle Markets
The markets are located at the Cultural Forecourt, Southbank Parklands, Brisbane.