Day one of the week-long annual night noodle markets organized by The Sydney Morning Herald. Showcasing some of Sydney's most interesting eateries, all condensed in a bustling festival on Hyde Park packed with diners who seek good food and relaxing alfresco environment. Ah, how delightful!
They've got lots of entertainment as well. Lion dance is one of them (I'm terribly sick of lion dances - which is IMHO the most exploited, overused, and ubiquitous of Chinese cultural performance. It seems that lion dance is the answer for everything. Lunar new year? Lion dance. Mid-autumn festival? Lion dance. Opening of a Wing Chun training hall? Lion dance. Some Chinese guy won the lottery? Lion dance. I'm sick of lion dances). Anyhoo, the atmosphere is perfect. The twinkly-twonkly Asian new-age-slash-chillout-slash-ethnic music from the sound system really sets an exotic mood. They even screen episodes of 1970's Japanese series "Monkey" (Saiyuuki) on a large screen. It's like every Asian pop culture and not-so-pop culture stereotypes packed into one. It's wonderfully kitschy.
What to eat, what to eat, That's always the question. Although this festival is called 'noodle markets', they've got much more than noodles - from Japanese okonomiyaki to Dutch poffertjes. There are familiar stalls such as Wagamama, East Ocean, and Zilver, but also some that I haven't heard of like the Singapore Guo Tiao King, which boasted a massive queue longer than the great wall of China.
Eventually, my choice went to Yai Surry Hills - because they've got coconut drink! Couldn't bother to wait for the Singapore Guo Tiao King - I'll try it some other time.
-> Just so-so. Kind of dissapointed, because they pre-cooked the pad thai (instead of making 'em to order). It's light and simple though, which is kind of nice.