The Chinatown Street Market is a regular event where locals can enjoy some of the tastiest Asian food on the Coast, with loads of food stalls, international and local Asian inspired merchandise stalls, street decorations, live music and roving traditional entertainment.
The street market will become a hub for Asian inspired cuisine, offering authentic dishes at reasonable prices from places such as Malaysia, China, Japan, Thailand, Korea and more. In total there are around 20 stalls all offering different foods, there are also some retailers too.
You can explore all kinds of Asian cuisines without leaving the Gold Coast - it's a wonderful introduction to different styles of cooking that caters for different likes, flavours and tastes that the whole family can enjoy.
You could - if in a group - assign a budget and a different cuisine to everyone, each person heads off to get a couple of dishes, then you all meet back at one of the many tables and you can have your own Asian tapas party under the stars. What a great way to spend an evening. I really like that the tables are all grouped in the centre of the market, rather than being spread out - this adds to the community feel and brings people together.
Local retailers and restaurants in the two streets extend their trading hours during market times, so there is even more choice and places to explore. There are lots of street decorations and entertainers in traditional dress, which adds to the ambiance of the market. We went there around 4pm and it was already really busy, and already bustling with people of all ages.
The food is cooked in front of your eyes, and the smells and steam and atmosphere is really exciting. I tried a spring roll from one stall which was great, lots of soft filling and a crispy outside. I also tried crispy fired chicken from another stall - this was really good and you get a choice of sauce - I had the sweet and sour. It was perfectly crispy and cooked and presented really well, plus there was plenty of it and it wasn't too messy to eat.
There were so many stalls and I wanted to try so many different dishes - they all looked really good. You would have to do a number of visits to fully explore all the styles on offer - I would be more than happy to do this.
There are a few things that make street food successful - firstly being easy to eat and not too messy, so you can still wonder around. Second is that it is reasonably priced, it should be a taster and not a restaurant dish so most items should be under $10 - here it was $1.50 for a spring roll and the crispy chicken was $8, plus the portion was generous. Thirdly there should be variety - there certainly was here with lots of different stalls, so you can mix and match to your hearts content.
There is free parking available at the Athol Paterson and Mal Burke car parks, or if traveling by public transport you can get the tram or bus directly to Southport, Nerang Street.
I really enjoyed it and will certainly head back again - there was a great atmosphere, really tasty food and lots of buzz and excitement. I think as it continues to grow and develop, and when more people know about it, it will become an excellent regular event on the Gold Coast's already jam packed calendar.