Penne 4 Your Thoughts

Penne Cole's thoughts on food, travel and more

Sydney Night Noodle Markets 2016

October is one of my favourite months in Sydney – it’s Good Food Month, which means a celebration of all things foodie. The Night Noodle Markets has become something of a marquee event for the festival, and this year, there were more than 40 stalls selling all things Asian.

Unfortunately, the Night Noodle Markets may be suffering from “death by popularity” syndrome in my book. Every year, the crowds get larger and the lines get longer. Some people spend up to an hour in line for their food. The older I get, the less tolerance I have for crowds, and the less patience I have for lines. An hour’s wait? No thanks, I’ll just go somewhere else or stay at home with Netflix.

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#outdoors #noodles #asianfood #sydney

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Our dilemma was that we really wanted to try the food, particularly Hoy Pinoy’s latest offering, since their Cebu Lechon (whole roast pig) was so mouthwateringly good last year. So we developed a plan of attack. Guided by celebrity chef, Adam Liaw, we narrowed our foodie target list to three dishes, and hit the markets just before they opened so we could beat the queues. Even then, we had to spend about 15 minutes in line to get our food.


Our picks were (clockwise from left):

  1. Singapore chilli crab lobster roll by Bao Stop
  2. Peking duck fries by One Tea Lounge
  3. Liempo by Hoy Pinoy

The Singapore chilli crab lobster roll was disappointing to say the least. It was a plain old hot dog bun – the kind you’d get in bulk from Woollies for a cheap barbeque – topped with a tablespoon (two at the most) of lobster meat doused in chilli crab sauce. Sure it was flavoursome, but at $15 a serve, definitely overpriced.

The Peking duck fries was also disappointing. The fries were so heavily doused with hoisin sauce that they were soggy and the tiny scattering of duck meat meant that we each got the barest mouthfuls of duck. If only the duck to spring onion ratio were reversed.

The Liempo was our favourite. The grilled pork belly was coated in a sweet, tangy sauce (no it’s not burnt!) and served with rice. While not as good as last year’s offering, it was the best of the lot.


Metres and metres of charcoal BBQ goodness at Hoy Pinoy

The verdict? More for Instagrammers than true foodies, and definitely not cheap eats. Much like the Vivid light festival, where you have to brave increasingly large and jostling crowds to see the show, it might be time to call it quits on this festival.

Practical Information

The Night Noodle Markets are held every year in October in Sydney’s Hyde Park. Don’t bother finding a park in the city – take the train to Museum or St James station instead.

9 comments on “Sydney Night Noodle Markets 2016

  1. Anne J.
    October 29, 2016

    Ah, where to get liempo in South Africa… Lucky you! We have the same weather and the people like the same things but we are far from the Philippines. 🙂

    • Penne Cole
      October 31, 2016

      It was pretty awesome. Too bad it was only a pop up stall – they don’t have a permanent restaurant 😦

  2. David
    October 31, 2016

    Hi I’m sorry to read that the Peking Duck Waffle Fries didn’t meet your expectations at the Noodle Markets. I’ve had a lot of positive feedback about it.

    The waffle fries are cooked fresh but i did instruct my staff to put more of our housemade spicy hoisin sauce to ensure that the majority of the waffle fries had sauce coverage as some guests had said they would like more sauce. However if food is left a while, naturally fries will get cold and potentially soggy which I’m presuming might be what happened if you were getting other dishes and waiting as well.

    With regards to the Shredded Duck quantity, we have set portion grams as it is the most expensive component of the dish – we have had general feedback that yes they would like more duck but the whole dish works well in combination with the hot waffle fries, shredded duck, spicy hoisin sauce, fried shallots giving it a great contrast of flavour and texture.

    Food at the Night Noodle Markets tend to be more expensive due to the high rental and % sales commission to the organisers along with other running costs.

    Hope this explains a few things but pls kindly accept my apologies if we haven’t met your expectation. If you do pop by to my restaurant at 73 York St, pls email me & I would happy to look after you to make amends.

    Thanks David (Owner ONE Tea Lounge)

    • Penne Cole
      October 31, 2016

      Hi David

      Thanks very much for stopping by and taking the time to give me an insight into the inner workings of the Sydney night noodle markets. I suspected there was something like that going on – I suppose they are doing it in part to limit the numbers, but the hungry hordes still come anyway!

      I look forward to trying more of your food at your restaurant.



  3. James
    October 31, 2016

    When you share crab meals/sandwiches, I can’t help but wish for the same opportunities to sink my teeth into such meals. Wow!

    • Penne Cole
      October 31, 2016

      The sauce on it was pretty good – wish they were more generous on the filling though!

      • James
        October 31, 2016

        Lol I know what you mean

  4. Hannah (BitterSweet)
    November 2, 2016

    Talk about sensory overload! It does look like quite an event, and with such long waits, a real mixed bag. The food sure does look good in your photos, at least.

    • Penne Cole
      November 2, 2016

      haha maybe a case of instagram looking better than reality 😛

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