Thursday, July 26, 2012

Misanthropic Adventures in Culinary Disaster

Misanthropic Adventures in Culinary Disaster




Okay so it's been many months and I think its safe to say my feelings have sufficiently subsided that I can let reason and logic guide me as I now sit down to write this. I feel like this is something that should be written.
The Sydney Night Noodle Markets are crap.

Maybe I missed the multi-cultural food bandwagon, or maybe I'm a food conservative, but you just can serve up bain-marie (hot box) food, charge $20 a bowl and expect me to be glad about it. Damn. Glad I got that out of my system! So, not a total failure of a night out but in terms of food I have to say I'd rather the fluorescent tranquillity of the Dixon Food Court over the fusion food hell I had to live through.


The night started out well enough. We had hear all about the Noodle Markets and although expectations weren't high the promise of a legal founding to drink in a public park and eat noodles was too good an opportunity to pass! After all they only came once a year, and this year was 'the year'. My mind raced with possibilities; what would I do faced with a whole park of food vendors and only enough stomach for one meal choice. I am after all prone to intense order envy on a good day, let alone at a time like this. So we get there, and it's mad. I mead crazy awesome mad! The park is full, the atmosphere is great and people everywhere. I see mini picnics, people with mountains of food and more importantly legally acquired bottle of wine. BOTTLES!

However you look a little closer you can see the crowd is a little strange. You can see a few youth, hipsters, vagabonds. This I'm used to. However the sight of suits and the inner-city-young-professional made me nervous. They're the kind of people who are ready to be spoon fed a good time because their lives are so bland and busy they'll take anything that will give them a kick. Noodle market fail.
I think the failure of Sydney's attempt at a run like this is that it's not enough to just lay it out, you really must have the goods to back it up. It's a shame to see a comfortable, exciting atmosphere like that wasted with bad fusion cuisine. Although this, in the defence of the vendors, may be due to what I imagine are the high costs of running a stall at an open air event with the council. I'm sure only a handful of vendor could actually meet the cost, and of that short list most are this strange style of cuisine which would chuck a sprig of coriander on a dish and call it 'Chinese Style'.

Now, I'm a seasoned twenty-something; I've done my time in restaurants all over. So I would hate to be the kind of idiot to say that only a Turkish man could run an 'authentic' Turkish restaurant, or walk into Vietnamese restaurants and bluntly ask the waiter if they're really Vietnamese because it confuses me that someone with an Australian accent can make 'authentic' food. So I don't want to give you the impression this was somehow deficient due to some half-baked concept if 'authenticity'.

However when I go to a noodle market I kind of imagine that they would sell noodles. You know, soggy floury goodness tossed with veggies and meat served in a paper bowl. This however is the point of the article where I back peddle to talk about the nights redeeming qualities. In all honesty though, I think perhaps the real purpose of the event was rather successful. Getting a whole bunch of strangers to gather based on a common love like food, and taking advantage of the public space that is provide in our great city is divine.
Would I go again? Well I think what I've learned by now is that I have difficulty dealing with a reality that so vastly differs from my expectations (which I usual design with great number of specific detail). I kind of have issues. Now we both know what to expect and I think maybe next time, I'll eat first. Then I won't have to stress so much about getting the right dish.

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