Brace yourself, Brisbane, #food snaps are coming. Get ready to see your social feed filled with Insta-stories and swipe-throughs of a pick-and-mix of bao, bibimbap, and boundary-pushing dessert hybrids.
Yep, it's that most wonderful time of the year again as the Night Noodle Markets take over South Bank's Cultural Forecourt from July 19-30, with 23 hawker-style stalls in residence for 2017.
The Night Noodle Markets have become an annual highlight of the Brisbane Times Good Food Month calendar, so whether you're a repeat visitor or a first-timer, here are the bites you should be making a beeline for.
Messina's mango madness at Brisbane Night Noodle Markets. Photo: Supplied
It's Sher-berth Day – Gelato Messina
Gelato Messina's desserts are well worth the mind-trip of eating ice-cream in the throes of winter, particularly when it's a mango white-chocolate choc-top filled with mango sherbet, vanilla cream and mango jellies. That name - "It's Sher-berth Day". Let's just take a moment to appreciate it. A second Brissie exclusive dubbed "Enter The Dragonfruit" features banana miso gelato with lychee tapioca, dragonfruit jellies, and coconut Thai milk tea. To that we simply say: porque no los dos?
Hoy Pinoy stick legends at the Night Noodle Markets Photo: Shannon Reddaway
Inihaw na manok – Hoy Pinoy
If you pay a visit to the Night Noodle Markets and don't grab a meaty skewer from Hoy Pinoy, were you ever really there? Hoy Pinoy ("Hey Filipino") are big in Melbourne, but don't hold that against them. They're the reason for that sweet, smoky haze over South Bank, firing up a charcoal pit to grill skewers of soy chicken (manok) and barbecue pork (baboy) by the dozen.
Blackstar's raspberry-crowned cake is on the menu at the 2017 Night Noodle Markets. Photo: Supplied
Raspberry lychee cake – Blackstar Pastry x n2 Gelato
Past experience suggests Blackstar Pastry's sweets sell faster than Ashes tickets at the Gabba, so break the rules and eat dessert first. Those who have experienced the delicious sensation that is strawberry watermelon cake can prepare for an encore, however this year it's all about raspberry lychee cake: layers of raspberry marshmallow and vanilla cream on top of a chocolate biscuit base with a fruity crown.
Pho wrap, pho sure. Photo: Supplied
Phoritto – Little Kyoto
Have you ever craved a hot bowl of pho but struggled to slurp on the move? Well, you're in luck, because phorittos are now a thing. Pretty much all ingredients that go into Vietnamese pho (minus the broth) wrapped in glorious burrito form. We'll also take one of the stall's delightfully fish-shaped taiyaki cakes too, thanks.
Alpine king salmon bowl – Poke Bear
If fried things on sticks aren't for you, opt for a bowl of alpine king salmon dressed in yuzu miso, seaweed, pickled daikon, wasabi roe, and diced avo. Just this one time, it's okay to poke the bear. And when we say poke, we mean "poh-keh", the fresh fish salad hailing from Hawaii, doled out by a Bondi pop-up.
Pumpkin noodles from Vintaged - because you can't have a noodle markets without noodles. Photo: Justin Nicholas
Roast pumpkin noodles – Vintaged Bar + Grill
The Night Noodle Markets aren't all about Frankenfoods. Case in point: Vintaged Bar + Grill's cracking noodle line-up. You can't have a noodle market without noodles, really, and Vintaged are giving the people what they want: Korean braised beef with pear, ginger, parsley and pepitas, thrown over fat, flat, pumpkin-infused noodles that look hot like a sunrise.
Dessert ramen – Harajuku Gyoza
From the good folk who brought us a super-kawaii Octodog (back again for another year, googly eyes and all) and the wonderfully weird Raindrop Cake, comes the next great Instagram sensation - dessert ramen. That means a ramen "soup" using vanilla sponge set in orange jelly layered with custard. Popping candy, fresh melon, blue noodles and a biscuit made from instant ramen dipped in dark chocolate make and appearance, too. We're equal parts confused and excited, which we assume is exactly what Harajuku Gyoza are going for.
Kimchi fries – Nomnom Korean Eatery
Are kimchi fries the new poutine? Probably not, but they're pretty darned good. This cultural crossover from Valley-based Nomnom Korean Eatery is topped with cream cheese sauce to combat the kick of fermented cabbage. Forks are non-negotiable.