I am honestly proud to call Melbourne my home but I am sure you will sympathise with me, that as a seasoned traveller to the wide and wonderful parts of South East Asia, I usually head home at the end of a trip missing the late night food culture. Places like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand all have such wonderful public outdoor spaces for a late night feed, more often than not, our city is usually 'out like a light' at the time of the evening when so many in Asia are popping out for dinner with friends.
I have so many fond memories of heading out for a night of clubbing in places like Taipei and when the club was about to close ('Funky'.. don't hold it against me) we knew we had a stack of options we could go to in order to boost our energy as the sun was rising. Being in Kuala Lumpur for work and having limited options for a bite at conferences then looking for a late night 'fix' and finding a popular food court in the city that was packed door to door with delicious hot and spicy noodles and tofu dishes to choose from. My trip to Ho Chi Minh City where the streets would be converted each night to a marketplace of Hawker stalls offering everything from local beers to the popular Chè that was being enjoyed by locals.
Thankfully, I feel like my luck is about to change as Melbourne's world renowned Queen Victoria Market embarks on a new Asian inspired late night food offering Wednesdays until October 24. The market has already dabbled in the extremely popular Summer and Winter night markets and have now for a few years, but this time round comes an authentic experience that will please anyone like me that reflects on those fulfilling foodie moments from Asian holidays gone by.
Hawker 88 Night Market brings the tastes, sights and sounds of the Orient to Melbourne’s favourite market. Step under the Market’s iconic sheds and be transported to the streets of Asia to feast on authentic street food from right across the continent, from China to India, Vietnam to Korea, and Malaysia to Japan. More than 20 street food stalls selling traditional dishes such as Malay satay, Filipino barbecue, Indian curries and Korean pork belly. Long communal tables provide the perfect place to share great food with friends and family.
Melbourne’s new independent brewery Brick Lane Brewing Co. are also marking the occasion by creating a special craft beer, fittingly named H88. Made using a Japanese hop cultivar Sorachi Ace, it is a light-bodied lager that pairs perfectly with Asian cuisine. Over six weeks, visitors can explore different regions of the Orient through the five senses to learn more about their cuisine, culture and traditions.
The weekly themes are Mooncake Festival, Durian Festival, Asian Festival, Filipino Festival, Bollywood Festival and Thai celebration. The experience comes complete with the colours and sounds of authentic music and entertainment from each region. Traditional Lion and Bollywood dancers, Malaysian bands, Filipino singers. Those that attended last week would have enjoyed viewing a performance by Melbourne's own AO Crew! There will even be karaoke for those game enough to show off their talent, plus eating competitions for those with the right kind of hunger!
Market-goers can also look on in awe as the professionals demonstrate the crafts of mooncake and noodle making. Inspired by the number eight – the luckiest number in Chinese culture – Hawker 88 Night Market has 88 lanterns hung from the Market sheds, creating an intimate and colourful canopy. You can also shop for weird, wacky and wonderful wares from more than 20 Asian market stalls.
Don't miss your chance to enjoy Hawker 88 Night Market for yourself. Its for only a few more weeks! Asian Pop Radio look forward to supporting the event into the future and celebrating this diverse offering that celebrates Asian cultures and people coming together in the heart of the city.
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Edited by: Jay John