Can you believe it's that time of the year again? It seems like only last week that we were prowling the South Bank Forecourt for the best eats, then angling for the best vantage point of the river at the Night Noodle Markets. And yet, here we are again.
Poised at the precipice of all things delicious, Good Food Month's Night Noodle Markets are back for 12 glorious days, where you can taste your way around the best Asian treats Brisbane has to offer. Going cashless this year, the markets let you PayPass your way to a full belly. Plus, puppers are welcome — as long as they're on a leash — which means that in addition to amazing food, there's also some great dogspotting in store. Win. The markets are open every weekday evening from 5pm and weekends from 4pm, and just in case you're starting to get palpitations remembering the huge array of choice from last year, fear not. We're serving up our pick of the top eats — in addition to suggested drink pairings from Beer The Beautiful Truth — to make your Night Noodle Markets trip simply spectacular.
BAO STOP'S BAO TRIFECTA WITH XXXX SUMMER BRIGHT LAGER
Bao comes in pretty high at the top of our list of the best things that can be eaten with one hand. This fluffy, sticky bun is the perfect steamed companion for whatever savoury filling happens to be tucked inside. In Bao Stop's case, they've gone all out and provided not one but three flavours — a veritable bao trifecta, if you will. You can nom on a veggie version with their triad of tofu bao, or sample the carnivore's trinity with chicken, pork and duck. Grab a seat and watch the night unfold as you drink a Summer Bright Lager from XXXX, a crisp match for those tasty baos.
POKE BEAR'S ALPINE KING SALMON WITH KIRIN MEGUMI
Poké bowls have been sitting for a long, well-deserved while in the spotlight recently, so it's no surprise they've turned up at the markets. With roots in Hawaiian cuisine, the culinary trend involves taking bite-sized bits of quality fish, marinating them and mixing them into a salad of sorts — think of it as a cross between sashimi and ceviche. You can put whatever you want with the fish really, so Poké Bear have opted to pair their alpine king salmon with yuzu miso, sesame dressing, wakami, sesame seeds, daikon, radish, wasabi and diced avocado. Enjoy the delicate, toothsome flavours of your poké bowl without overwhelming them, and pair it with a light, smooth Kirin Megumi.
POKLOL'S KOREAN BBQ TACOS WITH LITTLE CREATURES ORIGINAL PILSNER
Life is good when you have a warm taco clamped in your little hand and a refreshing brew in the other. Poklol has got this figured out to a T, serving up a Korean-influenced trio of the palm-sized Mexican treats, paired with a cold one. Enjoy bulgogi beef, chilli chicken and chilli pork tacos all served with pickled carrots, kimchi slaw, cucumber, shallots, and finished off with a slathering of Poklol's secret pokky sauce. Dig into the big flavours, and grab yourself an Original Pilsner from Little Creatures for maximum deliciousness.
LET'S DO YUM CHA'S HANDMADE YUM CHA WITH LITTLE CREATURES ORIGINAL PILSNER
It's rare the person who can walk past a yum cha stand and not stop for at least a look at what delights are on offer. Yum cha is ideal if you just want to try a little bit of everything, and with Let's Do Yum Cha's handmade yum cha offering, you get a delectable sample of all the goodies. Up for grabs is everyone's favourite, the BBQ pork bun, along with a chicken dim sim, vegetarian dumpling and vegetarian spring roll. It's the perfect platter if you want to dip a toe into the world of yum cha, or if you're a seasoned pro and just want to revisit your old favourites. Pair it with a Little Creatures Original Pilsner for out of this world tastiness.
JUNK'S CRISPY PORK BELLY WITH XXXX GOLD
If you haven't been drooling over Junk's Instagram or been down to visit them at their store in South Bank, Maroochydore or Toowoomba, be prepared to join the obsession at the markets. While Junk has a couple of dishes on offer, we can't go past the pork belly, especially when it's drenched in kaffir lime and dark palm sugar caramel, and paired with creamy laksa and crunchy green papaya and cashew nut salad. Beer-wise, you'll want something to balance these rich, intense flavours. Look to a light, crisp, mid-strength beer like XXXX GOLD to give you a nice refresh between bites.
NOM NOM KOREAN EATERY'S KIMCHI FRIES WITH JAMES SQUIRE ORCHARD CRUSH APPLE CIDER
If you're looking for some eats you can easily stroll around with, Nom Nom Korean Eatery's kimchi fries are it (and let's be honest, they should have called them kimchips). This simple combination of hot chips laced with cream cheese and the piquant kick of kimchi are just what you need to keep warm and fueled as you wander around and pick what you'll snack on next. If you're looking for another reason to order kimchi fries (as if you need one), then saddle up your high horse, because kimchi is fermented, and as you may or may not know, fermented foods are really good for you. So this dish is pretty much a wholesome snack, and when you pair it with a James Squire Orchard Crush Apple Cider, you're only compounding the goodness.
LITTLE KYOTO'S PHORRITO WITH HAHN PREMIUM LIGHT
The time for innovative food portmanteaus is now, and we are all things excited to wrap our eager little paws around a phorrito from Little Kyoto. You can tell your grandchildren that you were alive to see the glorious union of Vietnamese pho and the beloved burrito come to be. There's not much we need to tell you about the mashup, short of the fact that it's bound to be slightly messy to eat and entirely delicious. If you're looking for the right kind of beverage to enjoy with it, we recommend going for a Hahn Premium Light. It's crisp, light and won't overpower that phorrito flavour.
VINTAGED BAR & GRILL'S ROAST PUMPKIN NOODLES WITH ONE FIFTY LASHES
If you're a flat noodle fan, you're going to love the soft and tender chewiness of Vintaged Bar & Grill's roast pumpkin version. Partnered with Korean-style braised beef with pear and ginger, the dish has an earthy kick from mixed mushrooms, along with the oh-so-excellent combination of green olives and toasted pepitas for a kick of crunch. Pair the dish with a James Squire One Fifty Lashes; the fruity, cloudy pale ale is the perfect buddy for the warmth of the noodles.
SAMBAL KAMPUNG'S ROTI CANAI WITH HAHN SUPERDRY
Malaysia is known for many wonderful things, especially its incredible food, like the ever-popular roti canai. An Indian-influenced flaky, fried flatbread, roti canai is served crunchy yet chewy, hot and ready to tear apart to mop up a tasty curry. At the markets, Sambal Kampung is pairing their delectable roti canai with a chicken curry — you'll be keen to find a proper seat so you can pay full attention to eating this delicious combination. Make sure you also get your hands on a Hahn SuperDry to sip as you eat, the richness of the curry and the freshness of the beer are a match made in gustatory heaven.
HARAJUKU GYOZA'S DESSERT RAMEN WITH WHITE RABBIT DARK ALE
If you're one of those clever people who saves room for dessert, we salute you. And if you're like us and merely assume that your stomach will always have room for dessert no matter how full you are, we salute you too. Either way, you must give Harajuku Gyoza's dessert ramen a spin. We aren't going to give the game away, suffice to say your dessert ramen will be creamy, delicious and most certainly worthy of your Instagram. If you're looking for the right brew to match with your dessert ramen, you really can't go past the delicious flavours of White Rabbit Dark Ale. With a wash of malt driven ale and a backbone of toffee and chocolate, the beer is a great accompaniment for sweeter eats.
Hungry for more? Feed all your cravings at the Brisbane Night Noodle Markets with expert beer pairings presented by Beer The Beautiful Truth from July 19 to 30. See the full menu here.