The Night Noodle Markets / by Luke Lee

First time in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The Night Noodle Markets open.

And it's packed, with people..!

Now, let's look at this event at my perspective.
This is my background. Born in a multi-million population megacity (familiar with so, so, so many people), South East Asia origin (very familiar with the food), master of chopsticks (ability to hold noodles!). And hey, this is noodle markets. My background is about to pay off here.

On a hot sunny day, in the middle of the park, surrounded by long lines of people and food trailers (or food stalls) blocking strong winds. This is one of the good days to be out and eat something. Make that noodles, give me a pair of chopsticks and some noodles and I'll be happy. But well...

Lines, lines and lines of people. Lined up everywhere. When will I get a chance to order, I don't know. Oh and don't forget, most of the time you order, you are in a different queue of waiting for the orders. So there are two lines on each stalls. I saw so many people trying to line up to a shorter queue and end up with the waiting line and not making orders.

In the beginning, it was good. 10 minutes of standing in the queue, I can handle. The last queue I stood before leaving the markets, took 40 minutes. That's from the time I queued up, till the time I got my bowl of noodle soup and a pair of chopsticks.

So, my recommendation, get there early if you can, and go with friends and/or family. Divide and conquer mates, divide and conquer. Strategically divide your group into multiple stalls and get the orders all at once.

40 minutes for this!

Just in case you don't know, it's not just noodles they have on sale. It's all kinds of oriental food and some fusion meals. And even though I ended up trying only about 5 of them (hey, for a group of 2+infant, this is a very good effort) I can say they are very nice. Yes, I have my favourites and not-so favoured ones. But people have different preferences and I'm not here to judge.

So here's my review
What's good
Tastes good. It's nice to just queue up somewhere without thinking and get something you end up enjoying them (eh, probably not so much to the picky ones. Me, I don't mind any food)
Family activity with random events. Yeah, it's not just food, apparently. I could see many enjoying their wines and beers, making conversations to strangers. I could see so many with prams and kids running around just having fun. Ever since we got a baby boy with us, we are always wondering, can we bring our baby with us? or should we just give up and wait till he grows up enough to have a babysitter?

What's bad
Lines and lines and lines of people! Come on, there's gotta be a better way. How about having more counters, or just more stalls. Since we now have an experience, maybe some popular ones can have multiple stalls, I don't know. There's gotta be a better way.
Thought we need more activities. And maybe an activity centric area for the people to enjoy. There was only a single live band in a tent. How about just have a small stage where local bands can rotate and perform? If the quality of the performers need certain level of skill, then well, have an audition. Just thinking, if I need to line up in a queue for more than 10 minutes all the time, I wish I have something to look at other than the tiny screen of my phone.

And here are some photos of the event.
It sucks that I have other plans over the weekend, I can't visit again. But this is a very welcome event to have. I would definitely visit again next year and already waiting for it. It's not even over yet!!