I hate crowds of dawdling or idling people, so after my first visit to the Night Noodle Markets in Hyde Park in 2007 some 10 years ago, I’ve had absolutely no interest to return, especially as the food craze took off after the introduction of tv shows like Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules.
Somehow, N and T managed to convince me to give a chance to the Lunar Markets held at Pyrmont Bay Park during Lunar New Year festivities this year.
Why? Because first stop is Nutie Donuts and I jump at the mention of anything with lychee or yuzu, so I was excited about their Lychee & Yuzu doughnut.
On the left is the sought after Lychee & Yuzu ($6.50) and on the right is the Rosewater & Pistachio ($6.50).
The Lychee & Yuzu, with a tangy yuzu glaze harmonising with a juicy lychee doughnut’ was a major disappointment. If it were a choice between it and exercising for abs, I’d end up with abs. The doughnut itself is a moist cake doughnut with a pronounced coconut flavour and not even the slightest hint of lychee. The yellow drizzles give a slight yuzu flavour that’s been adulterated by lemon juice, while the white glaze is thick and cloyingly sweet and coats your teeth in the most unpleasant way when mixed with the already moist doughnut. This is easily one of the worst doughnuts I’ve eaten.
The Rosewater & Pistachio fared a little better with pleasant rosewater notes in the doughnut itself. The doughnut was again moist with a slight nutty hint from the pistachio and the firmer white chocolate glaze stopped it short of becoming sludge in your mouth. Overall, though? I’d still rather get abs.
Next, we stop by Bao Stop for some Asian-inspired savoury food.
These are the Peking Duck Fries ($15.00).
The fries were crispy with a generous portion of juicy, flavoursome duck and ‘Peking duck sauce’ — a combination of hoisin and plum sauce it seems — drizzled on top. These fries were the tastiest item we tried at the Lunar Markets.
This is the Bao Trifecta ($20.00) with (left to right) chicken, pork and duck.
While the buns were soft, all the meats were dry and unremarkable in taste. The sweet chilli relish and carrot in the added a slight warmth and a little moisture to the chicken bao, but the pork bao much like overcooked soy-cooked pork belly, while the duck was the tiniest slither padded out with cucumber and shallots. Overall, these were a disappointment and not worth the price.
And to finish off, we head to Waffle on a Stick for none other than…
…their Lychee Delight ($10.00), a ‘freshly baked waffle with lychee drizzled with caramel and icing sugar’.
We did not enjoy the dense and overly doughy texture of this waffle that lacked the crunch of a good waffle. And for a lychee delight, there were barely halves of 2 canned lychees — fresh lychees are in season! — while the caramel was thin with an odd fruity flavour.
I avoided visiting food markets in Sydney for 10 years. This visit to the Lunar Markets confirms my aversion to visiting food markets, first for the overpriced mediocre food and second for the crowds.
Lunar Markets was at Pyrmont Bay Park, Pyrmont from 27 January to 5 February 2017.