Eat local at the Enlighten Night Noodle Markets this year - the markets have doubled in size and there are more Canberra stalls than ever out there serving up very intriguing dishes. They range from South American deep fried potato croquettes to charred beef noodle soups and Filipino street food.
Here are seven dishes to try from our local Night Noodle Marketeers. The markets run every night until Sunday, March 13. Get amongst it.
Deep fried potato croquette stuffed with sausage
This is Asian food as you've never had it before - South American fusion dishes. Braddon's popular Mr Papa food truck is dishing up rare Peruvian delicacies with a Japanese twist, influenced by the country's large Japanese population. The hybrid cuisine is called Nikkei. We fell in love with the super crisp, panko-crumbed deep fried potato croquette stuffed with beef and chicken sausage and a hint of chilli, drizzled with mayo. Or try the lomo saltado - a bowl of South American beef stir fry on a bed of chips and rice. Mr Papa is on the gallery side of the markets.
Sizzling thrice-cooked pork with mayo
Kusina is bringing Filipino street food to the Night Noodle Markets with their "boodle boats" - sizzling thrice cooked pork with fried egg, mayo, lime and chilli. It's a standout dish, with crispy fried pork and egg on rice. Or get some beef brisket adobo, where the beef is marinated in soy, garlic and vinegar and served with rice and cucumbers. Or try their banana ketchup chilli chicken wings. If you can't decide between these three options, get a shared platter with a bit of everything. Kusina is on the gallery side of the markets.
Slow cooked lamb bun
The trendy Soi Noodle Bar takeaway in Civic is actually a product of the first ever Enlighten Night Noodle Markets - the Sydney based owners were so impressed by the city last year they opened a restaurant here. Soi is all about the quick and easy and their slow cooked chicken or lamb buns are worth a try this week. Soi is on the gallery side of the markets.
Coconut chicken curry noodle cups
If you haven't been down to Miss Van's at the Westside Acton Park, this is your chance to check out their Vietnamese street food - a coconut chicken curry noodle soup that's handed down by Andrew Duong's grandma. Or pick up a sweet bite in the form of pretty little pandan custard tarts made by Dream Cuisine. Miss Van's is on the Questacon side of the markets.
Lemongrass beef noodles
East Street Canberra makes its debut at the markets with a bowl of lemongrass beef noodles that are filled with herby flavour. Owner Pink Pham is a young Canberra girl with a love of Vietnamese food - try the noodles or the spring rolls. East Street is on the Questacon side of the markets.
Incredibly tender chicken skewers
These aren't your usual grilled skewers - big chunks of very tender, juicy chicken with a hint of char with a sprinkle of zesty coriander and chilli dressing. Jeff Piper from Thirst and wife Justin Kavanagh are serving up some seriously moreish skewers and hand made spring rolls. Thirst is on the Questacon side of the markets.
Beef stew on rice
Donburi Station is a brand new stall from longtime Canberra outfit Kiyamachi Tei, often seen at the Nara Festival and other outings. They focus on donburi, or Japanese rice bowls heaped with beef or chicken stew, and pan fried gyoza. The beef bowl looks hearty and filling.
Hot tips for the Noodle Markets
■ Take a picnic blanket and sit on the grass.
■ Gates open at 5pm - go early to get a feed before the Enlighten projections begin.
■ Beat the queues and go on a weekday when it's quieter, the markets open every night until March 13.
■ Divide and conquer - go with a group, split up and head to different stalls to buy enough for everyone
■ If it gets busy, remember you can always take your food outside if you don't have alcohol. Sit on the grass near the circus acts or wander to the galleries and find a quiet spot.
■ Stalls are mostly cash only but there's an ATM on site.
The Enlighten Night Noodle Markets run every night until March 13 at Reconciliation Place, between Questacon and the National Portrait Gallery. canberra.goodfoodmonth.com