Night Noodle Markets return to Melbourne

Jane Lee

Pho fans, laksa lovers and ramen ravers will ready their chopsticks once more as the Night Noodle Markets return to Melbourne with twice as many food stalls.

The markets, which aim to replicate the casual night dining atmosphere of Asian street hawker stalls by the river at Birrarung Marr, opened for the first time this year on Friday night as part of The Age's Good Food Month. 

They are being held for four more days this year (17 days) featuring twice as many food stalls (50) selling noodle dishes from Burma to Korea with a Melburnian festival twist – DJs provide the soundtrack for diners wolfing down wontons to their hearts' content.

Chin Chin, Izakaya Den and Longrain are among the popular fine dining restaurants with stalls at the market. Gelato Messina and Malaysian restaurant Mamak have also returned.

Foodies embraced the markets for the first time in Melbourne last year at Alexandra Gardens. Double the expected number of people (20,000) braved queues of up to half an hour long each day for a morsel of mee hoon. In total, 283,000 flocked to the markets over 13 days, proving that not everything from Sydney is terrible, horrible, no good or even very bad. 

The hawker stalls have been a feature of Sydney summers for about 15 years, and have shown no sign of slowing down, with a record 550,000-strong crowd last year, up 60 per cent on the city's 2013 turnout.

Some of the new stalls joining the noodle market this year include:

Kong: Serving up ginger and soy-dressed soba salad with pickled walnuts and steamed-then-roasted pork belly.

Red Spice Road: South-East Asian food with a modern Australian twist.

Charlie Dumpling: Makes its debut with a specially-made pork and ginger dumpling with black bean, chilli and lime, and fried chicken ribs.

Mr Miyagi: Think Japanese fusions, including Nori Tacos and Miyagi Fried Chicken.

The Night Noodle Markets will be at Birrarung Marr from November 14-30 from 5pm on weekdays and 4pm on weekends.