Well, well. What can I say about my experience at the Night Noodle Markets in Sydney’s Hyde Park? Let me attempt to recreate the scene: thousands of hungry people, lines at least 20 people long, luminous fairy lights cascading off the deep-rooted trees and perfect summer weather.
If you knew me, you’d know I was the queen of indecision. I will ponder over menu choices/costs/line-waiting/food quality until the last minute. So you can imagine how much pressure was on me when there were so many food stalls and cuisines to choose from. I ended up going for value over reputation and popularity; the Himalayan Yummy Kitchen stall which served a variety of different plates for around $10-$12 each. I chose the Shangri-la special ($12) which came with a beef curry, rice, noodles, beans and savoury potatoes. It was satisfying portion-wise but the beef and potatoes were heady with a strong cumin flavour. I didn’t mind but it certainly isn’t a flavour everyone will enjoy, with cumin being a spice that can be pretty overpowering at times. I was expecting to pig out and try a bit of everything but waiting in 10-metre long queues is not the easiest task when you are as hungry as I was.
Shangri-la Special ($12)
A day before, a friend had told me about a new gelato/coffee/dessert bar, Cow and the Moon. Lo and behold, I found it at the markets. Such tempting flavours: French Vanilla, Popcorn, Passionfruit Creme, Mandarin Sorbet, Lemon Cheesecake, Cafe Latte. I’m usually a creamy gelato gal but I opted instead for the mandarin sorbet (don’t ask why, the pressure gets to you in these situations!). Its creamy yellowness was deceiving and I thought it’d be lactose-packed but it wasn’t. Not one bit. And my heart sunk just a tiny bit. But the flavour redeemed the expectation with its punchy, tropical tang. I love a good food festival but next time I’ll make sure to arrive a little bit earlier to see and taste more of what Crave Festival had to offer!
Note: Please forgive the bad photography, low light conditions are not catered to by silly smartphones.