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Tips and Tales from the Auckland Night Markets

Hangover cures, casual dates, or for people like me who can't get enough dumplings in their life, the Auckland night markets are your ticket.

By Wilhelmina Shrimpton
August 10, 2014
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By Wilhelmina Shrimpton
August 10, 2014
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Guest contributor Wilhelmina Shrimpton tells tales and tips from her recent visit to the popular Auckland Night Markets. If you have tales from the city you would like to share with us and our readers, email [email protected] to submit your idea, would love to hear from you.

Hangover cures, casual dates, or for people like me who can't get enough dumplings in their life, the Auckland night markets are your ticket.

More than just a one trick wonder, the markets are on offer four nights a week in five different locations. My favourite and most convenient is Sunday night at Westfield Glenfield.

What may look like a grungy basement car park transforms into a sea of culture, and an easy way to take a culinary trip around the world. A haze of smoke uncovers a sea of gazebos, offering everything from Japanese to Turkish, Greek and Mexican. You name it they've got it.

The night markets have fast become a popular choice for dinner dates, and provide a buzzing atmosphere to hang with friends or other halves. But for night market newbies, here's a few tips and tastes to make sure it's smooth sailing.

  1. Cash is key - for most stalls, it's cash only. So to avoid disappointment, make sure you stop at the ATM and grab a $20.
  2. Pace yourself - it can be hard to contain your excitement with 15 dumplings for $5. But if you want to make sure you don't miss out on some of the best tastes before having to loosen your belt, do a lap of the stalls before buying.
  3. Keep your hands free - despite a few tables it's standing room mostly, and I nearly always find myself unable to sit down to hoover up that chow mein. So take a bag, or make sure you can pocket your wallet, keys and phone.

As much as I tried to take my own advice, I still wasn't able to try everything. So here's a few of my stand outs.

1. Dumplings

Feeling prawny? Think yum cha style. Delicious steamed prawn and coriander, or plain prawn dumplings, or pork and prawn siu mai. There are usually at least two stalls that make these delicious numbers.

2. Freshi

Just as its name suggests, they offer fresh Vietnamese style spring rolls. But these guys have created a modern 'deconstructed' style with the meat on top. They've also got a great set up, and some good tunes pumping to see you through.

3. Gozleme

Think filled savoury pancake, and think delicious. A traditional Turkish pastry filled with lamb, spinach and cheese.

4. Twist Potato

It's old school carnival, or Coney Island-esque. It may sound simple, but it's fun to look at and to eat. You can also make your pick of flavoured seasonings. I had BBQ, and it was a great choice.

5. Tarts

For those with a sweet tooth, there are a few options for you. Think Parisian summer on a plate. Choose from banoffee, caramel, strawberry or chocolate just to name a few.

It can be a little crowded but with this advice in hand, hopefully your first trip won’t be your last.

Published on August 10, 2014 by Wilhelmina Shrimpton
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