Wow Canberra, you are completely taking my breath away! I was born in this beautiful city in 1958, have lived here all my life and now feel as though my baby has come of age – certainly in terms of food, wine and spectacular events!
As one of Canberra's key food writers, I've been invited to a special VIP tour of the Enlighten festival's night noodle markets with Natasha Rudra, food and wine editor of The Canberra Times. The event is brand new to the city and I'm genuinely excited. As I look around me, all of my senses are being teased with good things.
Our group is the first to arrive and we're treated to a taste of what visitors will experience. Popular local Asian eateries, Thirst Wine Bar and Morks, have joined forces with well known stalls such as Hoy Pinoy (Filipino), Let’s Do Yum Cha (dumplings) and Zagyoza (Japanese) to present a veritable feast to satisfy every appetite.
Dishes on offer include chilli soft shell crab with golden bao; boat noodle beef soup; yellow curry of chicken and potato with rice noodle; Okonomiyaki (Japanese savoury pancakes); and my favourite Inihaw Na Baboy (Filipino BBQ Pork belly skewers with banana ketchup, yum!). There are also sweets, including mango pancakes, churros with chocolate, and some insanely good nitro gelato from N2.
As ACT Chief Minister, Andrew Barr, says 'The Night Noodle Markets are a welcome addition to Enlighten, providing an extra reason for both interstate visitors and locals to attend this growing event while sampling the essence of the Canberra region’s food and wine experiences.' Indeed.
The night noodle markets are taking place across two full weeks and I'm definitely going back for more! I urge you to attend folks, no matter how busy you are or how far you have to drive across town to get there. Come, make the time, then sit and enjoy yourself at this delicious event. Yay Canberra!
What: Enlighten Night Noodle Markets
Where: Reconciliation Place, Canberra (behind Questacon, towards the Lake)
When: 27 February to 8 March 2015 (Mon - Wed 5pm-9pm, Thurs - Fri 5pm-10pm, Sat 4pm-10pm, Sun 4pm-9pm)
Cost: Entry is free, but of course you must pay for all food and drinks purchased. There is an ATM on site.
Download a map and menu from here.
Postcards and morsels...
About 'Enlighten 2015'...
An unmissable Australian first, an evocative performance installation and an American Youtube sensation are just some of the exciting events on offer across the first weekend of Enlighten. Returning for a fifth luminous year with more than 50 events set against the backdrop of Enlighten’s trademark architectural projections, this year’s jam-packed program offers something for everyone.
Enlighten’s Adelina La Vita says that this year’s event promises to be the biggest and brightest yet. 'There are lots of surprises in store for crowds and plenty of reasons to venture out after dark and explore, listen, eat and play,' she said. 'Many ticketed events have already sold out, so be sure to purchase yours soon to avoid missing out.'
Enlighten opened last night with the launch of the brand new Enlighten Night Noodle Markets and the Australian premiere of Voyage – a spectacular installation which will see 300 illuminated paper boats set sail across Lake Burley Griffin. The fast-paced and hilarious musical comedy trilogy Bane also begins at the National Library of Australia tonight, and will put you on the edge of your seat!
Grab a picnic blanket and join songstress Katie Noonan on Saturday, for the fifth annual By the Water Concert at the National Museum of Australia. Meanwhile, Questacon’s Swamp Juice will offer a creative and fun experience with puppets made from household rubbish. Guests can also immerse themselves in the musical magic of The Electric Garden thanks to Youtube sensation Lake Street Dive, the exotic acoustics of gypsy-jazz band Crystal Barecca and the eclectic tunes of local DJs. On both nights the Parliamentary Triangle will be enlivened with the award-winning aerial performance Elements and roving performers The Sharks who will duck, weave and dive through crowds.
To view the Enlighten 2015 program and book tickets visit the web site.
Do you have a night noodle market event in your part of the world, dear readers? And will you be visiting the night noodle markets in Canberra this year, as part of the Enlighten Festival?
Cooking and writing have been a lifelong passion.
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- Liz Posmyk
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.