Last night I took the kids to Canberra’s Enlighten Night Noodle Market. Just me, a 3yr old and a 5yr old… Yup. But there were a few things that made this year much more manageable with children.
More food stalls!
This year there are 21 different vendors. More places meant the queues were slightly smaller. But again, if you want food from about 6:30pm onwards, be prepared to wait.
New this year was an area for Menulog where you could grab a table, order, and have your food delivered. Oh. My. Awesome! This is every parent’s dream. And you don’t pay any more for it! We arrived just before 6pm and had to wait a little over 10mins for a table. And, of course, as luck would have it, as soon as we were seated four more tables became available. I kept an eye on the queue after us and I think we’d scored the longest wait time. But waiting was well worth it. As soon as we were seated I ordered (they’d made the menus available while we were in the queue) and our food was delivered way quicker than food comes out in a restaurant! I’m talking the kids didn’t even have time to get bored kind of quick. I also really appreciated how the cider was one of the first things delivered! I ordered food from four different places. Even with the long wait for a table, there is no way I could’ve hiked it all over the place, dragging two small children, and got our food in that time frame – let alone kept my sanity!
No digging for change. This year is paperless. It’s all tap’n’go. Probably accounts for why the queues moved much quicker!
Two little let downs… lack of Canberra beer and the cost.

When you attend these events, you know the food will be expensive. However, this is balanced out somewhat because the food is phenomenal.

We ate Bao Stop’s Bao Trifecta (3 bao for $20) This was my favourite. I didn’t even allow the children to try the Peking Duck one. That was all mine!

Both children loved the pork dumplings from Zagyoza (5 for $8.50).
Hands down winner for my son – Hoy Pinoy’s BBQ chicken skewers (2 skewers for $12).
For dessert we headed to my favourite Sydney establishment, Black Star Pastry. Lucky for us it was the same queue for them as N2 ice-cream. They had three desserts between them, coincidentally there were three of us! So we sampled all three! Each was between $8-$9.
If you are a die hard fan of Canberra’s awesome selection of craft breweries, you’ll be a little disappointed. There is a decent selection of beer available – but the skeptic in me would’ve loved to have seen only Canberra beers available.
So, is it worth it? I think so. Fantastic food, great music, and if your kids can stay up for it, the surrounding buildings which light up for Enlighten are amazing. But be quick – it ends this weekend!
If you have no idea what the Enlighten Festival is about, check out Darrel’s Instagram photos below. You can click on the pictures to follow the link to his amazing account.

The National Library celebrating significant Australian women.


The National Gallery of Australia doing a wonderful impersonation of the Palace of Versailles


Written by Nadia

1 Comment

Janice Taggart

Wish we were there for these functions … two excellent events. The food at the Night Noodle Markets looks so good this year … as it is every year – the Black Star Bakery’s Strawberry and Watermelon Cake is definitely a winner!


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