It was a hot Saturday (23 Nov) with the weather reaching the heights of 30 to 31 degrees. I didn't think it'd get there in the beginning as it was a slow start with grey skies. After a trip to Abbotsford I headed into the city to check out the Night Noodle Markets. Coming in by train I got off at Flinders Street Station and walked across towards Federation Square and headed down towards Birrarung Marr and kept walking till I got to the Night Noodle Market area. I didn't realise the noodle markets would be 3 levels of dining space. They sure needed it because by late evening it was filled to capacity. I myself was there from the beginning (running from 4pm to 10pm on a Saturday) and didn't leave till end of day.
The first 3 hours or so I was there the sun was burning and I was just wishing the heat away so I could gormandise comfortably, and that I did. Eat heaps that is. The atmosphere was great, being a part of a huge community felt good and the aromas of the foods were amazing. However I have to admit to being all choked up when the strong aromas of the grilled squid wafted past my nose. That one caught me in the throat and set me off coughing for several minutes. I had such a great evening and night, I encourage ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE not to miss out on this FANTASTIC EVENT before it finishes on the 30th. Grab a bunch of friends, take your family and head out there and be a part of the community in our beautiful Melbourne! Yeah! It has been named the most liveable city globally 4 years in a row. Now I shall let the pictures do the talking.
Entry along the Birrarung Marr walk. 'The Age' pic is entry to the upper area as there are 3 levels (3 separate areas) of food stalls .
Doing the Birrarung Marr walk and the 'lucky money calling cat' greets me at the ground level of the Night Noodle Market. Immediately behind 'Le Cat' is a beer garden. Where you see two guides standing at 'The Age' entry; that takes you to level 3. Level 2 kind of lies in the middle, at the meeting point of the end of level 1 and 2 shall we say, across from the Federation Bells.
The upmost 3rd level area as you walk across the bridge from the Federation Bells where level 2 is.
Level 3 wasn't inundated with food stalls. It basically had Chin Chin (if you can never get into their restaurant in the city because they're always full capacity like me, here's your chance to sample some of their food), Gelato Messina and a couple of others. They did have 'The Age' seating area beautifully set up in bamboo teepee like constructions, however it was for Age subscribers only. Bummer!
If you're a meat lover, Hoy Pinoy was very very popular and always had loads of people queuing up for their food.
Hoy Pinoy's food looked and smelled delicious and I guess the queues outside their stall was testament to the fact. The visuals were great if you're a meat lover, however you could be grossed out if you're not.
Beer garden as you enter, Longgrain, Zagyoza, Over Dosa, Mini Pancakes and Izakaya Den
Thats the beer garden that was at the entrance behind the big cat and other food stalls. Almost all of the stalls presented well with effort on appearance and delicious displays. I could not of course walk past 'Over Dosa' to have a yummy dosa and a mango lassi. By now if you think I could be crazy about dosa, you may very well be correct in your assumption.
I liked the 'take' on the Sri Lankan food shortened to 'Lankan Tucker'
Let's Do Yum Cha was another popular place and with 50 food stalls on the premises, competition would have been fierce. However with the throngs of people there I have no doubt every food stall was inundated with customers.
This man loves being in pictures he tells me. Good sport!
I have to admit to loving Mamak's roti. Freshly made, expertly twirled in the air and absolutely light and delicious! The Burmese House at the time I walked past looked a little forlorn and that could be because Burmese food is not as prevalent in Melbourne, however I'd encourage you to try some as it's pretty delicious. I quite liked the look of the New Shanghai stall because in spite of their name, I loved the way the stall looked kind of ancient and authentic. The crispy squid looked delicious and I had a very enthusiastic and cooperative poser whom admitted he loves being in front of the lens of a camera. Thank you for your smile kind sir.
Le Bangkok had lots of beautiful food and I can never resist looking into displays of food being cooked in LARGE pans. Thai food needs no advertising. They're already known for their deliciousness if sometimes chilli hot food.
If you're a vegan or vegetarian you can always check out Hammer and Tongs as they have a couple of alternatives like the roasted corn on the cob in a spicy sauce and some black and red rice with fresh herbs and pomegranates to name a couple.
Sake' were busy setting up their lovely Japanese food display and so I took a picture of one of their guys taking a picture o their display of yummy looking soba noodles which I love, among other foods.
The Temporium seating area on level 2 is set up by Mercedes-Benz and they had a couple of cars on display. This unique dining space was specifically designed and built for the Night Noodle Markets and it celebrates the art of innovation synonymous with Mercedes-Benz according to them. The lighting fixtures were especially designed and built by well know Sydney artist Alex Greene.
The Federation Bells by day and night, The Tanqueray seating area, the Hawers Square and Serendipity Ice Cream
The lovely Federation bells by day and night. They were ringing while I was there and it was lovely. They ring daily at the regular times of 8am-9am, 12.30pm-1.30pm, and 5pm-6pm and you can hear more than 100 compositions in an evolving weekly schedule. Did you know you could submit an original piece of music for the Federation Bells? You can use the intuitive drag and drop on-line compositional tool or any MIDI sequencer. You'll find works by established Australian composers including George Drayfus and Tony Gould being played alongside pieces written by novices. Unveiled on Australia Day 26 January 2002, these 39 harmonic bells commissioned by Melbourne Festival on behalf of the Victorian Government and managed by the City of Melbourne were created by Dr Anton Hasell and Associate Professor Neil McLachlan. They were cast in the Victorian towns of Mia Mia and Castlemaine by Australian Bell Pty Ltd. The world's first harmonic bells their unusual shapes produce unique sounds based on musical chords.
The other pictures are of the Tanqueray seating area where I spent the rest of the evening enjoying the entertainment provided and the Hawkers Square had their artist painting the backdrop 'live' on the day. I did not do the SERENDIPITY ice cream shop much justice in this picture as the flavours were to die for! I was mad on Norgen Vaaz ice cream which I love heaps better than Ben & Jerrys, but I have to say I found out that Serendipity just 'does it' for me and I'd say it's on par with my other favourite.
Amazing entertainment at the Tanqueray seating area
I cannot speak loudly enough about the beautiful vocals of this half Finnish half French amazing songstress that is Muma Megs at the Tanqueray seating area. She moved in and out of each song smoothly and she had the audience and all the children mesmerised. The tent was crowded and the viewers were a few layers deep outside the tent entranced by this enchantress. She's from Sydney and will only be on one more time on Sunday, today, as far as I know from 5pm on wards for 3 sets. I so hope you got to see her. There was a queue of people lining up for her business card. Looks like you might have to move over to Melbourne Muma Megs.
It's getting late and I just cannot leave this wonderful entertainment
More Muma Megs, the dancing children giving it up to the night and Belinda Sparks (looking back at me in the picture) the Producer & Co-Pilot of Catapult Creative Productions Pty Ltd who made it all happen at the Tanqueray Tent. Amazing work Belinda!
The Lion Dancers grace the Noodle Market with their presence and the children can't get enough of the lit up floor at the Tanqueray tent
The Lion Dancers pay us a visit and the children are still going strong on that lit up dance floor. They loved all that moving light beneath their feet and the lighting design above wasn't half bad either. However I think they made it a notch too long as the children could not help pulling at the strand they could reach.
Day and night. The Harvey Norman and Citi VIP seating area, The Age seating bamboo teepees lit up at night and 3 pics of a view of the crowds on the ground level, looking down from the top levels
went there on Wed night, loved the atmosphere! Prices were mainly highly inflated for what you get which was a bummer. Some dishes were authentic tasting but others, I presume, suffered in taste and quality from mass production. Overall, a great experience