How to have a great time at Brisbane’s Night Noodle Markets

Brisbane’s South Bank looks like a scene from an Asian street market filled with flaming grills and flashing lights for another round of the popular Night Noodle Markets.

For 12 days the Forecourt in front of the Performing Arts Centre on the Brisbane River will be filled with hungry crowds chowing down on delicious Asian-inspired flavours, finishing on July 31.  It opens at 5pm weekdays and 4pm on weekend.

Amongst the stalls you’ll find black truffle ramen at Taro’s Ramen, Fat Pho at Fat Noodle, prawn shumai dumplings, Sake and Raindrop Cake at Harajuku Gyoza, steamed duck buns at Madame Wu, plus for the first time Sydney’s Black Star Pastry.

Here’s how to make the most of the markets -

1. Get there early if you want to beat the queues. But if you don’t at least you’ll know which stalls have the most sought after food.

2. Go in a group and leave one person as a table spotter, holder and the rest as runners for the food. You’ll find some of the drinks stands will come to you if you are at the bridge end of the markets.

3. The stalls are cashless, so make sure you take your cards with you or you’ll go home hungry.

4. Plan your attack by visiting the Night Noodle Markets website and downloading the menu.

Hoy Pinoy’s Filipino street food.
Hoy Pinoy’s Filipino street food.

5. The award for most smoke and drama goes to Hoy Pinoy’s Filipino street food. You’ll want to wrap your lips around their baboy (smoked chopped pork belly), inihaw na baboy (pork belly skewers and inhaw na manonk (chicken skewers). No problems finding this stall, just head to the bridge end and look for the smoke.

Bao trifecta of fully steamed buns

6. Best bao buns award goes to Bao Stop for their bao trifecta of fully steamed buns filled with fried chicken, and three-hour braised pork and peking duck.

Want some yum cha?

Let’s Do Yum Cha
Let’s Do Yum Cha

7. Let’s Do Yum Cha has a plate full with a BBQ pork bun, chicken and pork dim sims, and a vege dumpling.

Australia’s most instagramed cake, Black Star Pastry’s Strawberry Watermelon Cake with Rosewater Cream.
Australia’s most instagramed cake, Black Star Pastry’s Strawberry Watermelon Cake with Rosewater Cream. 

8. Best dessert is what is said to be Australia’s most instagramed cake, Black Star Pastry’s Strawberry Watermelon Cake with Rosewater Cream. It’s very light, but the delicate flavours are a taste sensation. Well worth the waiting time in the queue.

9. Chill out in the Cathay Pacfic plaza overlooking the river bank and work out which of your food photos to enter into their competition.

10.Best parking is under QPAC and costs $16 for the evening. You can bring your dog to the event but keep it away from the food stalls.

Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a guest at the Noodle Market opening night.


Have you been to Queensland’s favourite café?

Once you’ve eaten at Indulge in Bundaberg, it comes as no surprise that this small cafe has been voted as Queensland’s favourite.

Now taking the title for two years in a row as People’s Choice in the Brisbane Times Good Food Awards, Indulge is a showcase for the Bundaberg region’s fabulous produce.

Established by passionate food lovers Amanda and Larry Hinds, this café has been the catalyst that has propelled local farmers into the spotlight as premium primary producers.

Amanda is adamant that it’s the rich red tomatoes, the full-flavoured potatoes, the crisp capsicums, luscious eggplants and the vibrant ginger, that make all the different to the meals she dishes up to eager crowds.

As Amanda says, there’s something very special about knowing where your food comes from and who grew it.

I clearly remember my first meal at Indulge. It was scrambled eggs dusted with thinly sliced truffle and anointed with duck ham. My first taste of duck ham, I was fascinated with the flavour and eager to find out more. Amanda revealed it was something she ‘cooked up' with Rick, the local butcher.

The menu of Indulge reflects whatever fruits, vegetables and seafood are in peak season. Farmers often appear at Amanda’s back door with their arms full of the best of their crop.

Later they will sit in the café and smile to themselves as patrons order their produce turned into tasty dishes. But the real reward for them is hearing the oohs and aahs as the dishes slide down eager throats.

Amanda also has been a driving force behind Bundaberg’s growing Winterfeast Festival, held each year in July. This is the ideal time to visit the region and stock up on fresh farm produce.

Where: Indulge Café, 80 Bourbong Street, Bundaberg

Recommended for: People who like to support local and anyone who enjoys good food.

Best bite: A hard ask, but on the breakfast menu start with the Burnett Heads spanner crab, local scallops, Tu’s tiger prawn omelette with local XO sauce, lemon and miso butter sauce and Bundaginga pickled baby ginger and toasted sourdough. $28

Bottom line: Breakfast $11 to $28, lunch $15 to $25

Disclaimer:  Simply spreading food love.