Feast yourselves- Canberra Aussie Night Markets
As a lover of fresh food and homemade goodies, the markets are always my go to and here in the nation’s capital we have no shortage of them. We are the home of the Night Noodle Markets, Old Bus Depot Markets, Hartley Hall Markets, Capital Region Farmers Market and The Handmade Markets, just to name a few. These markets have been around for years and are widely loved by Canberrans. So when a new market hits this thriving scene, it comes with no surprise that the Canberra public is eager to sniff it out.
I first saw an ad for the Aussie Night Markets on Facebook about a month ago. I had heard of them before but didn’t really know much about them, so I did some research. Turns out that the Markets are a Sydney run business started by a group of entrepreneurs in 2015. They started off just being held in areas within Sydney but have now become so much more, with events held each week across NSW and the ACT.
Canberra saw it’s first Aussie Night Markets in November last year, and with its overwhelming success, just six months later the Markets have decided to return. However, with so many markets in Canberra, I’m sure many of you are thinking, “what makes this one so special?”. So with this on my mind I decided to venture out on one of the coldest weekends which Canberra has had this year, with the mission to find what makes these markets so ‘special’. Let’s Investigate.
One thing that all markets are renowned for is their fresh food, and the Aussie NightMarkets were no exception to this. Not only did all the food seem fresh but it was all cooked right there in front of you. Constant pots and pans and ovens were burning making the food as fresh as it could be. Never did I receive a ‘cold’ dish or a dish that I didn’t believe was up to standard. Most markets may have fresh food, but the food is not always cooked ‘in front’ of you, so this was a nice change and something which definitely stood out from other markets.
Everything that I tried was delicious, my taste buds were having a little party.
Another thing that made these markets different from others in the Canberra region, is that it had niche stalls with food which I had never tried before at any other markets. Some of my favourite of these niche stalls included caramel filled dutch waffles from Stroop Bros. The waffle was super warm and literally melted in my mouth. I was left wanting so much more.
Another one of my favourite stalls included the fresh lemonade served in a lightbulb! With choices of pink, blue, passionfruit and traditional lemonade as well as peach ice tea, you could have them all served in a plastic lightbulb. This lightbulb was topped with a straw and a little light to make your drink ‘lit’. Such a great idea! I definitely had the most Instagrammable drink out there.
FLAVOURS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Going to these markets, I felt like I was taking a trip around the world! I took a trip to Italy trying some drool-worthy wood-fired pizza and then headed over to Canada and tried some of their famous poutine! I then flew over to South-East Asia and tried some of the Satay Brothers famous satay chicken sticks.
However my favourite of the bunch was the journey I took to China where I tried some of the best chicken dim sims which I have ever tried in my life, and that is no exaggeration. These large juicy pockets of goodness were just what the doctor ordered. I could have had ten!
Most markets don’t have such a variety of flavours, so it was nice and refreshing to see this variety. Definitely something which made these markets a stand out.
The Aussie Night Markets is definitely something for the whole family to enjoy. This was apparent when one of the first things I saw when walking into the markets was a carnival type of kids area. This area had games where you could throw balls at bottles, jumping castles and blow up slides. A great idea for something for the kids to do while you wait to get your food and definitely something which we have not yet seen from another Canberra market.
Although the markets were quite spectacular there were a few things which were a bit disappointing.
Prices- Overall the markets were quite expensive. Everything that I paid for was at least over five dollars. Considering this is an event for families, it would be nice if they made the prices a bit cheaper considering you would have to buy more than one meal to feed you all.
Seating- Whoever organised the Canberra edition of The Aussie Night Markets must have not expected it to be as busy as it was. There was seating for people to sit down however nowhere near enough for the amount of people that were at the event. Hopefully when this event is on next time, the organisers can learn from their mistakes and have more places for people to sit and enjoy their food.
Not as Advertised- In the advertisement on Facebook, the page said that the markets would not only have a lot of food, but a lot of stalls which produce handmade goodies. At the event I found about two stalls that had these handmade goodies, which was nowhere near as much as what I expected. Many people complained about this on the Facebook page. To combat this maybe next time they should advertise the event differently so that people are not left disappointed.
Overall though, I must say that the markets were a success. Their niche stalls and flavours really made it stand out from other markets and therefore I definitely feel it has a place here in Canberra. With a few minor improvements to be made, when they return in a couple of months they could very well be better than ever.