Night Noodle Markets - much more than just noodles
It may be dubbed the Night Noodle Markets but it's definitely more than just noodles. Use our Insider's Guide to the event to plan your culinary onslaught.
Dumplings, curries, spring rolls, seafood, noodles, barbecue and, of course, noodles. Punters at this week's Night Noodle Market will be indulging in food from across Asia.
More than 20 stalls will be dishing up a taste of what they do best. The prices are low and variety is the aim of the game, encouraging diners to build their own meal with dishes from as many stalls as possible. Wear your stretchy pants people!
Wednesday, the first night of the five-day markets, is expected to be warm, with 19C forecast at 6pm and 17C at 8pm.
* Vote for your favourite stall
* Noodle markets first in New Zealand
* How to make dumplings
* Night Noodle Market: Everything you need to know
* Noodle Markets coming to Christchurch Feb 10-14
The markets are an Australian import the New Zealand market will quickly make its own. The event started almost 20 years ago in Sydney and is now a major player in five Australian cities. Bringing it to New Zealand was the next obvious move, and Christchurch, with its growing food truck and festival culture, is the perfect guinea pig city.
Restaurants and food trucks across the city have been approached to be a part of the first ever Christchurch Night Noodle Market, and the lineup is packed full of top players in the city's food scene.
Jackie Hendricks, a long time restaurateur, opened Fusion at the Asiatique in Sydenham about a year ago. She serves up some of the best food in Christchurch and runs cooking classes that book out weeks in advance.
It's always a risk to sign up to a new festival but Jackie thinks this one is going places.
"It's the chance for people to know good food," she says. "It's very good that the public has a choice and we all come together in one place, it's like a showcase.
"They can try lots of places at the same time.
Zaffron's John Mee has also been open less than a year but jumped at the chance to be a stallholder.
"We decided to be involved because Christchurch is lacking events and anything new has got to be a good thing, we need to get behind it."
The markets are open all evening to give you plenty of time to get around your favourite stalls. Start with salt and pepper King Prawns from Zaffron, half a dozen fried dumplings from Pot Sticker Dumpling Bar and some Wontonachos from Dragon's Den Street Kitchen. For dessert, pile up the scoops of Rollickin' Gelato or dabble in traditional Asian desserts like Black Rice Pudding from The Asiatique.
Pair your dishes with a Tiger beer or a glass of Stoneleigh wine.
Malaysia Delights The Malaysia Delights restaurant team are manning this stall, serving up Malaysian street food made from family recipes. Try Penang Fried Kueh Teow, Nasi Lemak with chicken or potato, beef rendang with rice and roti paratha with potato or chicken.
Dragon's Den Street Kitchen The Dragon's Den Social Lounge team are serving "Southeast Asian flirting with Mexican" fusion food. Try something unique at this stall: steamed pork buns with Korean barbecue sauce and kimchi, a cup of shoyu ramen with pulled pork, Wontonachos (wonton chips with szechuan beef, lime and coriander salsa and wasabi sour cream), or almond milk and chia creme with miso caramel and mango lime sorbet for dessert. All dishes $6, or get a "street degustation".
Zaffron This stall will specialise in Thai food and is bringing some signature dishes from its Beckenham restaurant. Try the King Prawn entree, homemade vegetarian spring rolls, chicken and cashew nut stir fry, Pad Thai and Beef panang.
Indos Loveat Indonesian chef Steve Tiwa is serving up his take on Indonesian food with a flourish. Try his fried chicken with sweet soy and chilli sambal kecap, pork satay rica rica or nasi kuning curry.
Malaysian Style Noodles Chef and farmers market stallholder Adam Choy is serving his signature Malaysian noodles, Nasi Lemak and vegetarian spring rolls.
Pot Sticker Dumpling Bar Serving up those classic Chinese Pot Sticker fried dumplings in Pork'n'Garlic Chive, Clucking Good Chicken and Coriander, The Green Dream and Pork and Prawn Shumai.
Pot Sticker Bao Burger The dumpling folk are turning their hand to Chinese bao - steamed bun burgers stuffed with panko and coconut crumbed chicken with watercresss, coriander and sriracha mayo, twice-cooked pork belly with coriander, cucumber and sticky hoisin sauce, and a Whittakers Dark Chocolate and custard steamed bun for dessert.
Becky's Kitchen Food caravan owner Rebecca Fleming is serving up modern Asian dishes she loves to eat. Rebecca is originally from the Phillipines and will be adding that flair to her food. At the market she is making fresh lumpia (Filipino spring rolls), beef mami (a Filipino noodle soup) and a chicken adobo with steamed rice.
Charcoal Relief Unit by Jonny Schwass Jonny's charcoal team will be moving the mobile kitchen down to the markets to serve up their "farm to fire to table" food. Stop by the relief unit for charcoal grilled corn, spiked watermelon and organic lamb sliders. At $5 a pop you can afford a couple!
The Asiatique This Sydenham fusion restaurant is serving up some of its best Malaysian sellers. Try a bowl of seafood laksa with noodles, nyonya chicken curry with turmeric rice, or grab a roti wrap to eat on the go. Fusion is also doing dessert - a traditional bowl of delicious black rice pudding with coconut cream and toasted sesame.
Hoy Pinoy Travelling all the way from Australia, Hoy Pinoy are old noodle market hands with four years of experience under their belts. They'll be firing up the barbecues and serving Filipino Inihaw na Manok (barbecue chicken with traditional glaze) and Inihaw na Baboy (barbecue pork belly).
Sasuke Japanese Restaurant and Takeaway The Sasuke team are all about delicious Japanese food. At their stall you'll find Miso Ramen, Yakisoba (Japanese fried noodles), Takotaki (octopus balls), vegeballs and edamame beans (vegan).
Hang Seng Food Bar Polytech students will know this Madras St eatery well. At the market they're serving Chinese food. Think honey chicken with rice or noodles and sesame, pork cutlets with sweet and sour sauce, spicy chicken chips made with secret Chinese herb mix and Szechuan spicy noodles with chilli pork mince and pickled cabbage.
Chiang Mai Thai Grab a plate of Pad Thai, chicken satay or sweet and sour on rice. They're doing samosas and spring rolls and curry options as well.
Cambodia Food Roasted pork fried noodles are a speciality as is peanut sauce with chicken or vege and rice or noodles.
Teppan Ninja The Burger Ninja food truck crew are setting up a Japanese food stall selling Yakisoba (fried noodles), Omusoba (yakisoba noodles wrapped in omelette), Takoyaki (octopus balls with barbecue sauce), Kakigouri (Asian-style shaved ice).
Khmer Satay Aways The name says it all really. Khmer Noodle House is serving up types of satay to be enjoyed with a cold beer. Check out their version of this popular dish.
Oriental Chicken and Chips This could be one for the nervous eater. Try an Asian take on the classic chicken and chips or get a punnet of five spice chips.
Rodi's Spice Fusion Here's a stall with an Indian flair. Pick up a chicken tikka or coriander lamb wrap, or a curry on rice - butter chicken or lamb masala. Get a $1 naan with any curry.
Chi Kitchen Get your Chinese fix here. The Christchurch Casino restaurant is serving sweet and sour pork and barbecue beef steamed buns.
Chi Kitchen Icecream Roll on up for dessert. Choose from mango or vanilla gelato, both served with toppings.
Tequila Mockingbird It's a fusion experience here. The Cuban-Chinese "Cubasian" menu includes cabbage and noodle salad with prawn and chorizo, five spice braised beef croquettes, Char Siu Bao empanadas and bunuelos dough puffs with five spice caramel sauce.
Street Food The Vietnamese food caravan from Peterborough St will be heading down, offering their excellent low cost meals. Vietnamese bahn mi with a choice of barbecue pork, coconut chicken, honey and soy steak or tofu, and rice paper rolls with coconut chicken, barbecue pork or tofu.
Rollickin' Gelato The Rollickin' cart will be serving up delicious gelato in cute wee noodle boxes with a bonus flavoured fortune cookie to welcome the Chinese New Year.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Where: North Hagley Park, opposite The George hotel.
When: February 10-12 from 5pm-10pm, and 13-14 from 2pm-10pm
Provided: Food stalls, seating, live entertainment, bars, toilets, portable ATMs, vege, gluten free and vegan options
Not provided: Parking (street only), eftpos at stalls (cash only)
You can bring: Kids, food, non-alcoholic drinks, dogs on leashes
Cost: Free entry, dishes priced from $3-$15
MARKET CUISINE GUIDE
If attending this Night Noodle Market means stepping out of your culinary comfort zone, it may help to know a little about what you're in for. The market will showcase flavours and foods from all over Asia. We've compiled a little information about a few to get you started on your market journey.
Thai Dishes from Thailand are typically light, aromatic and a little spicy. The value is on fresh herb flavours and the combination of bright flavours to make a simple dish sing on the plate.
Chinese Food is an art in China and the techniques and styles are varied from region to region. You're looking for a smooth balance of salty, sweet, sour and savoury flavours.
Cambodian Rice is the staple food here, complimented by the texture of vegetables and meats. Cambodian food favours black pepper, salty flavours and spice pastes.
Filipino Think roasting and barbecued meats, rich marinades and a street food style. It's popular to pair salty foods with sweet foods to create a juxtaposition that works - like bacon and maple syrup.
Japanese This cuisine is varied but often has a strong seafood focus and very clean flavours. Vinegars and salty sauces are common with a minimum of herbs and spices used.