Festivals & Things to Do- Chinatown Night Markets- Fridays 4pm-11pm

South Sussex, Little Hay and Dixon Streets

Just like Asia…….without the stifling humidity! Would be my description of Sydney’s Chinatown’s Night Markets– this feeling was emphasized when a Cantonese couple floated past us pushed along by the tide of people. What we heard was “this is just like Hong Kong” uttered in Cantonese before they were carried away- our people currents taking us in opposite directions.

The Chinatown Night Markets is mainly along the 2 pedestrianised blocks of Dixon Street between Goulburn and Hay streets, with spill-overs onto South Sussex and Little Hay streets. The pedestrian corridor is lined on either side with stalls selling ‘stuff’ (can they be the same stallholders from nearby Paddy’s Markets?) and food stalls selling Asian street food which you can hopefully easily eat on the move.

A fortnight ago when we were foraging for food we had explored the Chinatown Night Markets, but at the time everything seemed too crowded and we had in mind a sit-down meal. Tonight, stuck for a dining idea we decided to put up with the crowds and grab what had grabbed our attention last time, the Roti and Chicken satay sticks from Mamak’s street stall, and the Curry puffs from the stall next to them.

Roti Telur (egg roti)- $9.00, and Chicken satay sticks (6 pieces) – $13.00.

Unfortunately the curry puff stall from a fortnight ago, weren’t there tonight- I bit back the urge to ask neighbouring vendors if they knew what happened to them, using hand/arm gestures to depict the width of the stall, the height, and point to the empty spot and do a large dramatic shrug for the universal language for ‘where can it be?’ But I gave up on the seemingly fruitless attempt as quickly as I thought of it. So we settled on a light evening meal tonight.

Street food ought to be consumed while walking the street markets, but hey! That ain’t our thang- sauces dribbling down the arm. So we took them home to eat on proper crockery.

In a meal which consisted purely of appetisers, we started off with the Chicken satay (maybe Mamak should source shorter bamboo sticks as the meat only took-up half of the bamboo real estate). Two pieces of grilled chicken on each skewer, dipped in tasty peanut sauce.

And the egg roti were cut into quarters, quite thick by roti standards and it was accompanied by 2 sauces – a Sambal and a curry which was heavy with the taste of dried fish. When placed into your mouth the fish flavour was putting up a commendable competition with the egg flavour of the Roti, to be the stand-out flavour in your mouth!

Surprisingly we were satisfied from our meal, eating skewer, Roti, skewer, Roti, and skewer- and with the left-over sauces we found something bland around the house to dip it in- sock anyone?

Chinatown Night Markets- each Friday night from 4pm till late. With the days getting shorter and colder, visiting the Night Markets in late autumn-winter is the perfect time! In the colder months, having bodies pressed up against you is less irritating than in the summer evenings! Agreed?