Lunar Markets, Pyrmont

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.