Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Year of the Dragon: New Year celebrations in Belmore Park

On Sunday I decided to pop along to the Chinese New Year Markets in Belmore Park. I first visited the market two years ago and the crowds stopped me from enjoying myself on that occasion. I couldn't get a good look at any of the stalls. This time I had a lot more enjoyable time drifting round and checking out what was on offer.

Having run 35km in the morning I took the opportunity to take the weight off my feet and watch a cookery demonstration with Alvin Quah from Masterchef. I wrote a rather sarcastic tweet before the demonstration, but actually enjoyed it. I gave up my seat half way through to an eldery Chinese lady that was standing "Ah, such a nice boy".

Alvin cooked two dishes, a claypot chicken rice and a fried fish. The claypot doesn't look like much but I am tempted to give it a go in my rather under used claypot. Unfortunately the audience weren't allowed to taste dishes.

The hot tip of the show (from Alvin and Tina) was to check out the Sichuan food stall. Across three stalls they had a range of around nine dishes all selling for under $6, which I thought was pretty good value. I ordered some Sichuan style bean noodles with chilli oil ($4) and then followed them up with the Dan Dan noodles ($4).

I haven't had Dan Dan noodles before, but have had a curiosity about them ever since seeing Jamie's America a couple of years ago. I know he's not Chinese, but his episode from a Chinese food court in New York fascinated me. His reaction when eating the Dan Dan noodles is hilarious (4mins into the clip).

I was hoping to try a mysterious sounding Sichuan flat hard cake but they had sold out. The girl running the stall told me to come back in an hour! My tired legs needed to go home....


  1. I walked through there on the Saturday before and there were a total of about 10 people trying to enjoy the market. It was pouring with rain!

  2. I'm yet to venture here for CNY...last year I went to the "event" that Parramatta had on which was Ok...small potatoes really compared to what goes on in the city.

  3. "Flat hard cake"? Hmmm, I'm not convinced... :P

  4. You're such a nice boy indeed. It's not like she went on a 35km run :)

    Pity about the not-tasting thing. Would have thought they'd at least get someone up from the audience to try it even if there wasn't enough to go around.

  5. That looks like a lot of fun. It's pouring, dark and miserably cold here in Manchester. I'll be helping mum and Lana at their stall in Chinatown on Sunday. I will be wearing multiple layers! Oh and HAPPY NEW YEAR!