Lunar Markets 2016

Lunar Markets 2016

Harbour Esplanade, Docklands VIC

4th-14th Feb 2016

新年快乐, 万事如意!!

Happy Chinese New Year and may all your wishes come true!

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Another year past, and for those celebrating Chinese New Year, it’s the day to officially welcome the year of the Monkey! Much like its Western counterpart, Chinese New Year is a time for celebration with friends and family, reflection of the past 12 months and anticipation of the year ahead. Of course, food plays an integral part of this tradition, and I was excited to see that many of Melbourne’s finest have gotten into the festive mood and created very special CNY editions of their delicious treats. Not only this, but The Age Lunar Markets are being held for the first time in the Docklands from February 4th-14th, so I knew I had to visit and share in the festivities!

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Fried Chicken Gua Bao and Fried Trio of Mushrooms Gua Bao ($7.50 each) – Wonderbao

Wonderbao is always on point – fluffy, soft buns and delicious filling. I really loved the mushrooms, which were super crispy, like a vegetarian soft shell crab. The pickled vegetables were absolutely perfect to provide some acidity. As for the fried chicken, it was super tender and very tasty, but definitely not as good as the Wonderbao originals.

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Sakura Burger – Ramen fried chicken, sakura glazed bun, Japanese curry sauce ($14) – Everybody Loves Ramen

After seeing so many photos of this beautiful burger on Instagram, I knew I had to try it. What’s not to love about a pink bun? The sakura glaze added an interesting sweetness to the burger, and I really applaud the use of seaweed. I’m not sure the ramen batter on the chicken really added anything extra compared to your standard affair but the chicken was very well-cooked. The main miss for K and I was the curry sauce, which didn’t work very well with the sakura glaze and overpowered the rest of the burger.

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Pork Belly Skewers (2 for $12) – Hoy Pinoy

As always, delicious! Well-cooked with a good ratio of lean and fatty meat.

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Gong Xi Fa Cai Cake Smash – Strawberry and watermelon cake smashed into vanilla gelato, topped with feuilletine and covered with gold dusted pop rocks and haw flakes ($9) – N2 x BlackStar Pastry

There’s no way I could visit and not get this dessert to finish off my meal – it’s the signature BlackStar Pastry strawberry and watermelon cake smashed into N2’s famous gelato! I absolutely loved how festive it looked, all red and gold. The textures were amazing too – an odd piece of watermelon here and a popping rock there, combined with the smooth gelato, made for a very special dessert to ring in the New Year!

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If you have a free night between now and V-day, be sure to pop over to the Docklands and check out some of the stalls at the Lunar Markets. It’s certainly not as big and impressive as the Night Noodle Markets or the QV Night Markets, but there’re no snaking queues or the perpetual inability to find a seat, plus the view really is beautiful.

I hope everyone has/had a lovely CNY and is looking forward to the year ahead. Personally, having just started my first ever real-life-adult job, I know 2016 will be both challenging and rewarding. I hope to not only focus on my career, but also find time for friends, family and of course, food! What are your aspirations for the New Year?

xx Judy

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