Eat & Drink

Five Of The Best (And Weirdest) Foods To Eat At Melbourne’s Night Noodle Markets

The Night Noodle Markets aren’t just about noodles anymore — and that’s a good thing! Now the culinary extravaganza serves up all kinds of weird and wonderful food, from bizarre cultural hybrids to OTT desserts — and yes, amazing noodles, too.

Melbourne’s Night Noodle Markets return to Birrarung Marr today (!!!) and run until November 24. That’s 18 whole days and nights to get your hands on some delicious meals, including vegan and vegetarian options, and while you can’t go wrong at any of the more than 30 food stalls, there are some foods that are too good to miss.

To help you decide what to eat (or what to eat first), we’ve rounded up five of the best and weirdest foods you can eat at the Night Noodle Markets in Melbourne.

#1 OTT desserts from Gelato Messina’s Thai Full Moon Party

The Night Noodle Markets wouldn’t be complete without a wild new creation from Gelato Messina. This year, the desserts are inspired by the sunny shores of Thailand and incorporate traditional sweet flavours like coconut sticky rice and sala syrup.

The four desserts on the menu are all $12, so the only thing that’ll affect your choice is what’s inside each of ’em. The Eye of the Thai-ger sandwiches milk tea gelato and cheesecake mousse between a sponge shell and then dips the edges in meringue. The Phuket Bucket layers condensed milk pudding and crumble, coconut and lychee gelato, rainbow jellies and sala and lychee shaved ice.

The vegan Coco Phangan puts a scoop of mango sorbet on a bed of coconut and pandan sticky rice and tops the whole thing with salted coconut sauce and toasted coconut flakes. And the Bangkok Banana tops caramelised palm sugar and banana gelato with deep fried banana fritters.


#2 Cheeseburger dumplings

 

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Drumplings are the kings and queens of crazy dumplings. Not content with the already-heavenly parcels, the team here combines dumplings with all your other favourite foods like pizza, bacon and meat pies.

The menu in-store is full of these devilishly delightful hybrids, and Drumplings is bringing four of its most popular creations to the Night Noodle Markets. You’ll be able to get your hands on the signature Cheeseburger Dumpling with grass-fed beef, cheese, pickles and mustard as well as the Mac’n’Cheese Dumpling (and we thought mac and cheese couldn’t get any better!).

There’s also a Truffle Mushroom Dumpling made with field mushroom, black truffle, green peppercorn and truffle oil, and a Bangers and Mash Dumpling — pork sausages, creamy mash potato, onion gravy and shallots.


#3 Lots and lots of bao

 

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Another icon of the Night Noodle Markets, Bao Brothers is back with another assortment of delicious buns. This year they’ve got five things on the menu, including the Peeking Cluck with five-spice fried chicken, the Wag-Yu Clan, a bao-inspired take on a cheeseburger, and the Shroom Shady covered in liquid cheese.

There’s also loaded sweet potato fries and Korean fried cauliflower to get around. Not enough bao for you? That’s good, because Wonderbao also has a stall, serving buns with chicken, pork belly, mushroom and fried tofu.


#4 Famous lobster rolls

 

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Like we said, the Night Noodle Markets aren’t just for noodles. Pinchy’s, the shining jewel in Melbourne’s seafood offering, will be making an appearance with their famous lobster roll — chilled Maine lobster, melted butter, mayo, iceberg lettuce and their secret seasoning on a toasted crispy roll.

You can also get a Prawn Roll with wasabi mayo and miso butter, and add a side of truffle fries to your roll — or get the chippies on their own. The Creamy Crab Croquettes round out the menu nicely.


#5 Lots and lots of noodles

 

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But just because the markets have expanded, doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten their roots. There are still a whole heap of noodles to eat your way through from some of Melbourne’s best restaurants.

Mr. Miyagi will be serving up three OTT spicy noodle dishes in edible waffle baskets, including one filled with ramen noodles, popcorn chicken and spicy Japanese mayo. There’s also a bowl with ramen noodles, slow-cooked pork and spiced popcorn, and one filled with ramen noodles, truffled mushrooms and chilli.

If you’d prefer yours without a hit of chilli, you can pick up noodles from other heroes of Melbourne’s foodie scene like Dainty Sichuan, Flying Noodles, Teppanyaki Noodles and May’s Malaysian Hawker.

Check out the full list of vendors and their menus here.

(Lead image: Bao Brothers Eatery / Facebook)