Review: SIFF 2010 Night Noodle Markets, Hyde Park

This year I have been super lazy, and haven’t really looked into any of the events happening with the Sydney International Food
Festival/SIFF/Crave Sydney Food Festival. Plus, it is just so far for me to travel.
I got the brochure for the Mamre House 100 Mile dinner, but decided not to go based on last years experience. I do note that that there is now an onsite market selling the produce of the African refugee farming efforts, so I shall have to visit Mamre house again soon.

Onto the night noodle markets – I felt a bit “over” these markets a few years ago, not just because they shifted them to a wedge of land closer to the Botanical Gardens and the Cahill Expressway, but also the offerings seemed rather so-so and tired.

This year, they’re back at Hyde Park, so you can browse the photographic exhibition, whilst making room for more food. There is supposed to be a focus this year on Middle Eastern food. However, I only really noticed Efendy Balmain offering BBQ meatball kofte. Other stalls of note include two dumpling places (DTF, New Shanghai) – this must be the year of the dumpling; Umi Kaiten Zushi made an appearance with a few noodle dishes and Ginger and garlic endamame; but there are still more thai places than you can poke a stick at.

At 530pm, I thought most worker bees would still beavering away, however there was quite a sizable crowd. Waiting at the lights to cross the road, I could hear multiple excited conversations in anticipation of the food.

I started off straight away at Chat tThai desserts. They were offering sticky rice with mango, coconut icecream, banana fritters and Kai nok gatah. This was the first time I had seen these sweet potato dumplings, so that was a first choice. $8 got you a box of banana fritters and the dumplings – I loved the dumplings; sweet, glutinous and moreish with a faint sweet potato flavour. I couldn’t finish these all at once (they’re perfect for sharing), and ended up spreading the leftovers over three evenings. Heated up under the grill, they were still a treat.

Chat Thai itself offered sukho thai (noodles in a spicy chicken broth with roast pork, fish balls, bean sprouts and a bit of chilli $12.), and fresh spring rolls using a wrapper similar to the pancake used for a duck pancake (also $12) – that had a mixture of different things and was topped with a teriyaki-type sauce. Reports are that both were very good.

I was short on time, so I didn’t have a chance to linger.

Mizuya Japanese restaurant had four kinds of BBQ skewers – and were offering four for $13. The choices were cheese sausage, chicken, beef and prawn. You could pick and choose which ones you got, plus as much Japanese mayo as you liked.
The cheese sausage was sausage-like and …. cheesy. Terrible description I know, but it really wasn’t that memorable! The beef was tough, square. Prawns were tasty, and a little tough – to be expected having been Bbq’d. My favourite was the chicken. Also square in shape – it was juicy and tender, but also really fatty! I suspect that the fat is what made it so tender and delicious!

I ate the prawn and the cheese sausage en-route to my other function, and then the other two got cold and greasy whilst I was function-ing. I ended up cutting the rest of the meat off the skewers, and we used them in sandwiches.

The night noodle markets were a bit more fun this year – perhaps I’ll have to make the most of daylight saving, and go again!

Night Noodle Markets
As part of the Crave Sydney Food Festival
Mon – Fri 11-15th and 18-22nd October 2010
Hyde Park North

Mamre Project Onsite Market

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 10am-2pm
Mamre Farm
Lot 1 Mamre Road, St Marys
Ph: 02 9670 5321


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