eatingmelbourne

Night Noodle Markets 2015: Must Love Asian Cuisine

eatingmelbourne

eatingmelbourne

eatingmelbourne

nightnoddlemarket

eatingmelbourne

eatingmelbourne

eatingmelbourne

eatingmelbourne

eatingmelbourne

eatingmelbourne

eatingmelbourne

My sister isn’t one for Asian cuisine. The most she’ll “do” is sushi and even then she “must be in the mood”.

If you push her, she’ll back away. I learned my lesson during her last visit to Melbourne. I took her to Chin Chin and Mamak and, without a hint of desperation, begged her to try the food. She denied at first. And tried to cancel plans. But it was a group thing and everyone else agreed so she was suckered in. At Chin Chin she only tried a bite of the calamari before setting it aside to focus on her cocktail. I kept an eye on her. When she also set aside the fried chicken at Mamak I couldn’t hold it in.

I stood up and whispered loudly, “You try this mee goreng and you try it now!”.
“But I don’t want it.”
“You have a mental block. You haven’t even tried .”
“It scares me.”
“Listen! We are in my city, at my favorite Malaysian Restaurant  – you will try it and you will like it.”

She sat down, tried it, love it, moved to Australia and we lived happily ever after.

Okay no. It didn’t happen that way.  I gave her my best stink eye from across the table but she got her way – as little sisters do – and left for the US without the fiery love of Asian cuisine I wished to instil in her.

Before her recent trip to Melbourne, on a viber call to schedule our eating outings she requested that no Asian restaurants be included. I said that was fine as long as we went to the Night Noodle Markets.
“Noodles?” she asked.
“Not just noodles – that’s only the name. It’s a outdoor food festival near the city with decorations and a nice view and music and drinks and you’ll love it. It only happens once a year! N2 Gelato and Gelato Messina will be there and there’s much more seating than at Smorgasburg.”
“Okay fine! That sounds like fun!”

It’s hard to not be wooed by the Night Noodle Markets, especially on a warm afternoon when the cotton candy sky is going down over the city skyline and as fairy lights start shimmering. The Asian food frightened her but the ambiance lured her in! I advised she eat something simple: a fried rice, a steamed bun, etc. The group dispersed and everyone was left to their own devices.

Eat the Chicken’s pineapple fried rice was calling my name. When we gathered back at the table she was the only one without food. Nerves got the best of her, she couldn’t perform. She took some time to regroup before going out again. She was offered a try of everyone’s dishes but she declined – she would do this on her own. After a sip of beer, she marched on.

Five minutes later she came back with a pork floss doughnut thing. Yes, a pork floss doughnut. I tried to pretend like I really wanted some but couldn’t. I was scared of it. The texture and look of the pork floss is out of my comfort zone. I thought she was self sabotaging – order the most unappetising thing at the market and they won’t make you eat it.

When I started to accuse her I realized she was actually eating it. With a smile on her face. She loved it and I couldn’t believe it.

Maybe I’m the one who has the problem with Asian Cuisine.

 

saturdaymarket

Weekends at the Portland Saturday Market

Being in Portland on a weekend is important. It’s the only way to experience the Portland Saturday Market for yourself. Despite it’s name, the market is on every Saturday and Sunday from March to Christmas Eve.

Over 400 artists participate, alongside sizzling food stalls and street entertainers. You’ll find the best of Portland in one place. The city is, after all, about community, art and food, and so is the market.

Beware: a feeling of “needing everything” in sight may suddenly come over you as you browse stalls. I don’t know if anyone really “needs” the Game of Real Life.

Read More…

Food Market

Smorgasburg and MofonGo, NYC

Food Market

Food Market

Food Market

Food Market

Food Market

Food Market

Food Market

Food Market

Food Market

Food Market

Food Market

Smorgasburg is the Queen B of all New York City food markets.

Until November you can visit Smorgasburg on Saturdays at East River State Park on the Williamsburg waterfront. On Sundays the market moves to Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 5. Both locations will be littered with people by 11am but do not let that lead you astray. Lines move quickly, everyone is friendly and the food is definitely worth the wait.

I mean, where else do you get the opportunity to taste exquisite food from over 75 different food vendors? Some stalls, like People’s Pop, Dough, Red Hook, Home Frite and Ramen Burger, you may have heard of before. Some others, like Thirstea Cafe, Three Jerks Jerky, Bambo Bites and Butter & Cream, will have you lining up to long queues before you even realize what you’re doing.

During my last visit to Smorgasburg I fell madly in love with a stall. I spotted a lady holding a bowl of something I knew I had to try. Excusing myself I asked, “I’m sorry but are those plantains in there?”

“Yes! yes! yes! You have to get it” she said, pointing toward the MofonGo stall.

Side note: It is 100% acceptable to stalk a fellow Smorgasburg enthusiast’s plate from a distance. If you do not see any signage on the packaging, you may politely ask about the origins of the plate. 

MofonGo serves a Puerto Rican dish which also goes by the name of mofongo. The base of the dish is made of fried plantain, which are passionately mashed straight out of the fryer, then stuffed with either a veggie or chicken mix and topped with pork crackling. All the flavours work together to create sensation of pure bliss.

Excuse me as I wipe the drool off my desk. I’m suddenly feeling hungry.

The incredible thing about Smorgasburg is that no matter how many people you rock up with, everyone is guaranteed to find a plate that tickles their tummy. The best way to manage a Smorgasburg outing is this: walk around and explore the market as a group, split off and actually purchase food as an individual, meet back at an open table to share and discuss your findings.

Obviously, the person in the group who finds the tastiest dish is gifted a free meal during the next visit. Sorry guys, I don’t make the rules up.

Smorgasburg
Saturdays, 11-6pm at East River State Park
Sundays, 11-6pm at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 5

MofonGO NY
Saturdays and Sundays at Smorgasburg