Things I ate at the Night Noodle Market

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Not wanting to repeat my mistake last year of leaving the Night Noodle Market in my folder for an insanely long time, and eventually just missed the limited time window to post completely, I’m typing up this post on the first day of its duration this year. Is it too early to give myself a pat on the back?

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Hoy Pinoy | Pork Belly Skewers – 2 for $13.00

Given that Hoy Pinoy operate at markets as far as I’m aware of, I always make sure I grab a few of their skewers when I get the chance. The Filipino street food stall has made an appearance since the inaugral noodle market, and there’s a reason that it is able to do so. The skewers were grilled to perfection, and the banana glaze was sweet and enticing. My only complaint is that they were lukewarm, which I guess is the downside of it not being a busy night, the skewers weren’t exactly freshly made.

Hoy Pinoy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Wonderbao | Korean Chilli Chicken Gua Bao – $7.50

Wonderbao is also a staple at the market, and a personal favourite of mine. Although its location is quite convenient for me to grab a quick lunch, Wonderbao always does a few market specials, and I’m always curious to try the limited edition ones out.  Unfortunately, the fried chicken wasn’t my favourite. The chicken was fried pretty well, but there was an overwhelming amount of sauce, and it was overly taste for me, making the whole bun a bit of a mess.

Wonderbao Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Gelato Messina | Aunty Tomsu’s Cheesecake (Japanese cheesecake, strawberry & cherry blossom cream, strawberry meringue, strawberries & strawberry gelato) – $12.00

Messina is probably one of the most highly anticipated stall at the market, to say the least. The theme this year was Japanese Gameshow, and in typical Messina fashion, they did not hold back with all the incredible flavour combinations, as well as the decked out stall, completed with a board to flip for luck.

I experienced a Sophie’s Choice moment in choosing one out of the four desserts they had on offer, but ultimately picked Aunty Tomsu’s Cheesecake. Do I know who Aunty Tomsu is? Nope. Do I like her cheesecake? Hell yeah. The container was filled with goodies, and if you like strawberries and cheesecake, you’re in for a treat. Needless to say, the gelato was perfection, on top of that, the cream at the time really drilled in on the cheesecake factor. The meringues were not only perfectly shaped, they were also very airy, albeit a tad bit sweet. That’s probably my only complaint about the whole thing, it was just all a bit sweet towards the end.

Gelato Messina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Dining at the Night Noodle Market is certainly not cheap, even by Melbourne standards. You could easily rack up a $50 meal by the end of the night, trying to sample a bit of everything. It may be pricier than food markets in other countries, Asia in particular; however the serenity of the location and the variety of food that is on offer makes it a must-go event for the Summer time.

So, grab a few friends and head out to the Night Noodle Market, it’s open every night until 26 November, giving you just over three weeks to find some time visit.

Oh and it’s also cashless, meaning that you can simply pay by card at every stall, including the $2 fortune cookie donation.

How to get there:
Night Noodle Market is located at Birrarung Marr, which is right next to Federation Square.

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FOOD DIARY | Bali

As usual, we ate out pretty much every meal in Bali. Being a city in Southeast Asia meant that the food were all very affordable, compared to Australian standard that is. You can get a meal for as little as 5AUD, however, if you do choose to eat at more westernised restaurants, the prices does go up quite a bit.

Warung Kecil
https://www.facebook.com/warungkecilbali
Jl. Drupadi II no. 10, Denpasar, Bali 80361, Indonesia
+62 851 0002 0002

This is hands down our favourite place to eat in Bali, pretty sure we went back four or five times. They do a great selection of brunch dishes, as well as some more traditional Balinese food, which come in the form of Nasi Campur, where you get to choose one, two, or three dishes, and it comes with either brown, white or yellow rice.

Papaya Juice
Top: Banana Pancakes
Bottom: Zucchini and Rocket Frittata
Nasi Campur – Black Pepper Beef, Long Beans and Eggplant with Brown Rice
Top: Yellow Vegetable Curry
Bottom: Nasi Campur
Drinks: Fresh Coconut
French Toast
Strawberry and Romaine Lettuce Salad
Egg Breakfast
The food were great themselves, but what kept us coming back was the service, specifically, a waiter named Indra. He was just so friendly and kind, and made the restaurant feel like home to us.
Potato Head
Jl. Petitenget No. 51B, Seminyak, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 83061, Indonesia
+62 361 4737979

Beef Nachos
Potato Head is one of the many beach clubs in Bali, and probably one of the most famous ones at that. To get a cabana-esque seats by the beach, the minimum spending is roughly around 50AUD, and it’s pretty easy to reach. The ambience was very relaxing, and they had a great selection of music. Make sure you put on plenty of sunscreen though!

The Cabin Coffee Shop
Jl. Drupadi Gg. Rukun no.1 Badung, Seminyak, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Iced Mocha
Steak Sandwich
Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich
Onion Rings

This was another coffee shop close to where we stayed, in fact, it was literally right around the corner. The food were pretty average, and the portions were quite small. The onion rings were good though, with a light crispy batter that puffed up a little.

Warung Ladhu
Jl. Dhyana Pura (Camplung Tanduk), Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia
+62 812 4618 1812

Left: Strawberry Juice
Right: Pineapple Juice
Gado Gado
Mee Goreng
Bintang
Banana Fritters
We came here for dinner because of their outdoor seatings. It kind of reminded me of picnic tables, and just gave off a really chill vibe. We ordered a couple of the Indonesian dishes, which didn’t taste very authentic. The banana fritters we ordered for dessert was great however, it was different from the usual banana fritters, and had a much thicker and crispier batter.

Random Street Food #1

We were getting pedicures at a beauty salon, and the workers were getting these Gado Gados from a vendor that was riding around in a bicycle outside. We were very curious and they were kind enough to give us some bowls and spoons so we could try it out! This is much better than the Gado Gado I had at Warung Ladhu, the sauce was very flavoursome, and the fresh chilli sure packed some heat!

Coco Cafe & Grill
https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Restaurant_Review-g469404-d3626543-Reviews-Coco_Cafe_Grill-Seminyak_Bali.html
Jl. Kayu Aya, Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia
62734503

Lemon Bintang
Deep Fried Duck
Nasi Campur
Left: Banana Fritters
Right: Dadar Gulung
Dadar Gulung
Banana Fritters
Shisha
Coco Cafe & Grill was located on quite a busy street, I was really excited to see the deep fried duck on the menu, as I’ve heard that it’s a Balinese specialty. The duck leg had a very dense batter, and was fried until crispy. I was expecting a more flavoursome batter with plenty of herbs and spices, regardless, it was still yummy to eat, but then again, what deep fried thing isn’t?
Nameless Restaurant #1
Babi Guling

Babi guling is one of the food I was most excited to try in Bali! It’s essentially a myriad of pork related dishes served with rice. There was curry roast pork, crackling, puffed up crackling, pork jerky of some sort, and a stir fry of pork with some sort of pickled vegetables. The roast pork was a little dry, but the stir fry was amazing! It was packed full of flavour, and I could seriously just eat that with the rice. The soup is also an essential, and my friend thought it tasted like a fish soup her mum makes at home.

Wahaha
http://www.wahaharibs.com/
Jl. Sunset Road Barat 1689 | Barat No.1689, Seminyak, Bali 80361, Indonesia
+62 361 8475655

We wanted some more babi guling but didn’t know where to go, so we seeked help from our taxi driver. There must’ve been some miscommunication though, since he drove us to Wahaha, which was famous for their American style pork ribs. Since we were there already, we settled and just ordered a couple dishes from the menu, since neither of us felt like ribs. The meals were unmemorable, but the soup I had did have a similar flavour to a lot of other Balinese dishes I’ve tried.

Warung Motivation
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Warung-Motivation/1596561297241216
Jln Camplung Tanduk No. 74 Seminyak Kuta Bali

I can’t find anything besides a Facebook page for this restaurant, but it was located close to our villa, and had a sign out front that said they had babi guling! Of course we chose to dine here for our last meal. The babi guling had a nicer presentation than the one we had on the side of the street, and a few more elements were included. However, the flavours were less punchy, but it was still nice to eat.

Ku De Ta
http://www.kudeta.net/
Jl. Kayu Aya, Seminyak, Bali
+62 361 736969

Right: Vanilla Passion Foam

This was another beach club that we paid a visit to. The ambience was quite different, as the crowd was older here. We already had a meal previously, so we just settled for a couple of drinks. The only one that I remember distinctly is the vanilla passion foam, the foam was very fruity and sweet, and seriously tasted like unicorns.

We did take a look at their menu, and things were very pricey, even for Australian standard, so that’s a thing you gotta keep in mind!

Nameless Restaurant #2

Long Island Iced Tea

Before our flight, we had a couple of hours to kill, and what better way to end a trip than some drinks and shisha? The Long Island was on the weaker side of things, which was good I guess. The shisha had a milk, instead of water base, which meant that it was a lot creamier than usual!

And that’s a wrap! If you’ve read my travel diary in Bali, you would know my thoughts on Bali as a whole already. But I gotta say, some of the food were delicious regardless, especially the more traditional ones!

Rice Paper Scissors

Rice Paper Scissors has been on my to visit list for what seems like forever, but long lines are just not my thing under normal circumstances. When they opened up a new store in Fitzroy though, I was determined to hit it up before the new year approaches.

And it was a success! We arrived around 1pm on a weekday, and the restaurant was pretty empty. Although that did leave me in a bit of a doubt, what if the food isn’t as good?!

Vietnamese Iced Coffee – $3.50

The Vietnamese iced coffee was a promising way to start however, the mason jar had a generous coating of condensed milk, and were filled to the brim with the coffee. After mixing the condensed milk thoroughly, we were rewarded with some delicious icy cold coffee.

BBQ Lamb Ribs

Like most other people, we opted for the 5 for $55 deal, most of the dishes were around the $11 to
$15 mark. The BBQ lamb ribs were the first to arrive. The glaze on the ribs itself was sticky and scrumptious, and there were plenty of crispy edges on the ribs. Although I did feel like the lamb flavour was a bit lost, due to the overwhelming sweetness from the glaze.

Twice Cooked Pork Belly w/ Chilli Caramel Sauce

It’s no secret that I love my pork belly by this stage, so ordering this was a no brainer. The large cubes of pork belly was stewed until the meat is tender, then fried to get the exterior nice and crispy. The chilli caramel sauce took the whole thing one step further, the only negative about this dish is how long it would take on the treadmill to burn all that calories. But hey, this is not the place for #health #inspo.

I think this is not on their new menu though, what a shame 😦

Crying Tiger

Crying tiger is a dish I’ve only tried before, and all I could remember was how spicy it was. The beef had some beautiful char marks, and were topped off with some chilli and herb salsa.

 After wrapping it up in the lettuce leafs, this was a light yet flavoursome little morsel.

Thai Fried Chicken

The fried chicken came in these adorable little paper cartons, and the golden brown colour was so alluring.

The batter was extremely crispy and the inside remained tender and moist, however, I didn’t find it particularly Thai.

Barramundi w/ Apple and Herbs Salad 

We originally ordered something else that was sold out on the day, and changed to the barramundi instead, and this was definitely my favourite dish of the day. I love it when things work out like that. The barramundi was coated in a light batter and fried perfectly – they sure know how to work that deep fryer here – but what really blew me away was the salad on top. And this is quite a statement coming from me, since I’m not a huge salad person at all. The various Asian herbs created a complex yet refreshing salad, that was extremely punchy in flavour, which pretty much sums up what I think of when it comes to food from some parts of Asia.

The restaurant remained relatively quiet the whole time we were here, which was a surprise. Although some dishes were quite average, the stand outs really did just that, stand out, making the overall experience very enjoyable. With a menu that seems to change quite regularly, Rice Paper Scissors is somewhere I’d happily return to.

How to get there:
Rice Paper Scissors is located on Brunswick Street, catch tram #11 and get off at stop #16 Brunswick St/Johnson St, and it’s one minute walk away.

Rice Paper Scissors Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Night Noodle Markets

Night Noodle Market

I never noticed before just how many markets are opened at this time of the year, whether it be food, antiques, clothes, or just any other nicknacks. The Night Noodle Market is another food event of The Age Good Food Month that was introduced last year, and in 2014, it’s brought back to us in a brand new location, with over 50 food stalls and food trucks. I actually missed out on the Night Noodle Market last year, because I was volunteering overseas, so this year, I was all like MUST NOT MISS OUT AGAIN LOL.

Longrain
Spiced chicken with Turmeric Rice and a Chilli and Mint Relish – $15

This was super duper disappointing. I’ve actually never visited Longrain myself, but I have heard great things about it, which might be why my expectations were so high for this dish. It was rather bland, and did not leave a strong impression on me. The chicken was a bit dry, the rice was a little undercooked, the cucumbers were just your average sliced cucumbers, and the ‘relish’ didn’t bring much to the dish either, actually it just tasted like fish sauce to me.

Longrain Melbourne on Urbanspoon

Izakaya Den
Den Fried Chicken (Small) – $8

There were 341982312765134 stalls/trucks selling fried chicken, and we chose the ones from Izakaya Den to start things off. The popcorn sized chicken were piping hot, straight from the deep fryer I’m assuming. Crispy on the outside, and juicy on the inside, what more do you need? It was served with regular mayo rather than kewpie, which I think made all the difference, but oh well, I was already satisfied.

Izakaya Den on Urbanspoon

Mr Miyagi
Miyagi Fried Chicken (6 pcs) – $10

More fried chicken because why the hell not? MFC was all over instagram according to my friend, so we had to join the hype. Garlic, amongst other herbs, was the strongest flavour I could taste from the crispy batter, and it tasted divine. My friend claimed this to be the best fried chicken she’s had, I’m yet to try a couple more restaurants out, so I don’t want to say anything too early, but yes, they were pretty amazing. The two pieces on the top were the biggest, and they got pretty tiny towards the bottom, that’s just what’s expected from these types of places I guess haha. Again, mayo instead of kewpie, but these tasty chicken drumettes did not need any accompaniment, except maybe a cold beer (YWCFTS reference DUH).

Mr. Miyagi on Urbanspoon

Gelato Messina
Street Hawker | Lime and chocolate brownie, peanut gelato, coconut and caramel jam, fortune cookie clusters, peanut cookie – $9 

This is seriously what turned my night upside down. No, I am not exaggerating. Messina was what I looked forward to the most at the Noodle Market. After they finally opened up a store on Smith Street, I have been there on numerous occasions, and it never failed to disappoint. Don’t get me wrong, the peanut gelato was amazing, the components all worked pretty well together, albeit a bit sweet, but that’s nothing I can’t handle. The biggest let down was the brownie, which was at the bottom of the gelato. Now, I’m no expert on physics, but I’m going to take a wild guess and say that the coldness of the gelato and the warmth of the brownie did not work well together, and made the brownie stuck the container. And by stuck, I mean stuck, for reals. Maybe if I had a knife I would be able to cut through the brownie, but all I was given was an useless plastic spoon. So yeh, it was a traumatising experience to say the least.
My friend got the Bangkok Holla and absolutely loved it, so by all means, do join the long queue at Messina, just don’t make the same mistake I did and order the Street Hawker T_____T

Gelato Messina Fitzroy on Urbanspoon

Hoy Pinoy
Inihaw Na Baboy | BBQ pork belly with banana ketchup glaze – 2 for $10

Under normal circumstances, I would not have gone for these skewers, not because they didn’t look delicious, but I already tried the things I had my eyes on, and would be happy to call it a night. However, the disaster at Messina left me feeling a little sad, and I needed these skewers to cheer me up. Hoy Pinoy had a stall at the Queen Victoria Night Market too, but they didn’t have these skewers. They tasted exactly how I imagined them to – the fat oozing out of the smoky pork belly, the banana ketchup glaze taking the whole thing to the next level. Needless to say, this led to the happy ending of my night. One thing though, they were lukewarm, possibly due to the long queue, and so they had to makes heaps in advance, the skewers are perfect otherwise.

Hoy Pinoy on Urbanspoon

Night Noodle Market

Was the market fun? Yes. Was the food amazing? No. Is it worth it? Meh. I mean, still go just to see what the fuss is all about, but don’t have high expectations for restaurants that usually serve up great food, just because it is a different environment, and chefs may not be able to demonstrate their forte. I’m still glad I went though, since you know, #noragrets

Details:
The Night Noodle Market is actually finishing this Sunday, so get in quick! It’s open 4pm-10pm on Saturday, and 4pm-9pm on Sunday!

How to get there:
The Night Noodle Market is located in Birrarung Marr this year, which is a short 5 minutes walk from Federation Square.

Queen Victoria Night Market

Queen Victoria Wednesday Night Market

Going to start my blog with a BANG hehe, well technically this is the second post, but you get me. So it’s Summer time in Melbourne, which means the Wednesday Night Market at Queen Victoria Market is BACK YAY 😀

Last year was the first year for this event I think, but obviously being Melbourne, we loved it so much that it’s back again this year, with more amazing food (if that’s even possible) and entertainment.

Running Sangria
L: Sangria | White wine – $8; R: Sangria | Red wine – $8

Last year I had my first ever Sangria at the market, so of course this year I’m back for some more! I tried out the white Sangria this time as well, it’s definitely a lot sweeter than the red, but I love them both! Perfect to pair with the endless amount of food I’m about to stuff my face with.

On a side note, my mum hated these. But all that means is more for me yay.

Simply Spanish
Beef Pinchos | Grilled beef skewers served with garden salad – $10

More Spanish food! These skewers actually exceeded my expectations, let’s be honest, they weren’t cooked to perfection by any means. However, the marinate was tasty, and the smokiness from the grill took it to the next level. The salad, although super simple – just lettuce leaf I think – had an excellent dressing, I remember thinking “how the hell can green leaves taste so good” LOL (clearly not a salad person).

Simply Spanish
BBQ Pork Belly | BBQ to perfection marinated select tender pork belly served on steam rice with Spanish style quince sauce (this sound so fob I know, but I didn’t write it I swear!) – $12

Pork belly is the one thing that I will always order, doesn’t matter if it’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner. These pork belly did not disappoint, tender and juicy, some crispy skin would’ve been perfection, but oh well, perfection’s overrated. The Spanish quince had just the right amount of acidity to cut through the richness of the pork belly. There was one let down though – the steamed rice. So let’s just get this straight before we move on, if you haven’t figured out by now, I’m Chinese, so I eat rice pretty much all day everyday. I understand that different cuisines use different types of rice, and the cooking method differs too, but seriously, the rice here were half cooked, legit, there were hard bits that was seriously inedible.
Simply Spanish on Urbanspoon

Hoy Pinoy | Flipino BBQ & Street Food
Lechon Baboy | Whole pig “Cebu style”. Served with rice, archara and sarsa lechon – $12

I haven’t tried Filipino cuisine before, the only place I’ve seen it is in one of Chester See’s videos where Mama See cooks some Flipino styled chicken – super relevant I know. Anyway, this was pretty good. When we walked past the stall, a whole sucking big being roasted was what drew us in, my mum was all like “IS THAT ROAST PORK”, but no, unfortunately it’s not. It still tasted decent though, the sauce was nutty, and the shredded radish (?) salad was refreshing. The crispy skin wasn’t all that crispy (my mum asked for extra LOL), but overall it was still above average. Oh yeh, the rice was much better.
Hoy Pinoy on Urbanspoon

Nepal Dining Room
Chicken Sekuwa (Grill) | Chicken fillet marinated with garlic, ginger, rock salt, soy sauce with a touch of lime, grilled, sliced and served with a tomato chutney and fresh green salad – $12

MORE MEAT. This was not all that memorable, possibly because I was pretty full by this stage. The chicken wasn’t dry I think, and the salad was what I expect from a garden salad – boring. The tomato chutney was good with the chicken. But yeh, I didn’t think there was anything distinctively Nepalese about this dish, not that I’ve had a whole lot of experience on this cuisine anyway.

Coconut Hub
Sugarcane Juice with Pineapple Juice – $6

This tasted pretty amazing, I loveeeee sugarcane juice, and they’re so hard to come by in Melbourne, maybe only ever at Chinese New Year festivals and night markets. When I was in the line, the two girls behind me were talking about how in Asian Countries, they juice the sugarcane twice, which made me chuckle a little, oh Asians. But seriously, this was ridiculously sweet, simply because of how pure it was, my mum came up with the theory that in China, the ratio of actual sugarcane juice to water is probably 1:2, because she pretty much added half a cup of water and it still didn’t taste all that diluted.

Dutch Pancakes
Butter, Sugar and Maple – $8

No matter how full I am, some dessert is always welcome. And how can anyone say no to these cute miniature pancakes? Okay, I get that this is pretty much just regular pancakes but smaller, but they’re SO CUTE. I can never get over the novelty of cute small things. Apart from the cuteness factor, these were decent, a bit undercooked I think, but yeh, their cute exterior makes that okay in my book.

Queen Victoria Wednesday Night Market

As you can see, there’s a lot of people at this event. So definitely try to get in early if you can, and by early I mean 6pm, which isn’t all that bad. If you rock up later than that, parking would be a pain too I’d imagine. The lines can be pretty long for the food, up to around 15 minutes when I visited. The undercover part was definitely very hot and humid, because of all the food stalls and the amount of people, but once you come out onto the tables and have a sip or two of Sangria, the weather becomes perfection.

This is an event I’d recommend anyone with a passion for food, craft and just the market atmosphere to go. It’s not cheap, that’s for sure, the food varies between $10-$15 each, and one of them won’t fill you up, so yeh, grab a $50 and mark this down for next Wednesday!

Details:
The Wednesday Night Market will be open every Wednesday 5-10pm (excluding Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve) until March 25.

How to get there:
Public Transport | Hop on tram 19, 59 and 57 from Flinders Street or Melbourne Central station – the Elizabeth Street Exit, and get off at stop #7.
By Car | There’s a huge carpark right next to Victoria Market, and it’s going to cost you a flat rate of $10 for the whole night.

The Night Market on Urbanspoon