Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday nights in Sydney's Chinatown

The Golden Tree at Chinatown, Haymarket
It does have a proper name, I think, but as long as it's been in Chinatown, I have called the gold-tipped tree the Golden Tree. It's been the meeting place of many a Chinatown outing, and remains an easily recognisable marker for the Sussex Street and Hay Street intersection.

Trinkets and lucky charms in Chinatown
Chinatown is a riot of fun and colour, with more smells wafting around than your usual suburb, more food and jewellery stores per block, and just more. In Sydney, I find our Chinatown to be an excellent second home as well as a magnificient Friday night fall-back plan.

Sydney's Paddy's Markets, Haymarket
Starving at 2am? Forgot to grab some onions from the supermarket? Need some retail therapy closely followed by huge variety of food? Need a big range of Japanese/Korean/Thai grocery items? Have the urge to sing loudly into a microphone in a small room? Chinatown has you covered.

The window display at Bread Top, Sussex Street, Haymarket

Asian vegetables at Everspring, Sussex Street, Haymarket

Fruits at Everspring, Sussex Street, Haymarket

Dried seafood items at Everspring, Sussex Street, Haymarket

The light rail going past Market City, Haymarket
Friday nights in Chinatown only means one thing for me. Food. When I've had my fill of drinking in the city and need some cheap, no-bookings-required, guaranteed-yummy food, it's to Chinatown we hike (on that note, light rail from Circular Quay through the CBD to Chinatown would be lovely, thanks).

Diners in Dixon Street, Haymarket

Alfresco dining is popular on a Friday night
If you're not keen to be drawn in by the touts all along Dixon Street for some al fresco dining, every Friday night brings stall after stall of hot food by local stores and markets specialists.

The longstanding Chinatown Night Markets are, more often than not, packed. On a chilly night, this is ideal to share body heat, but failing that, there are plenty of barbeque stalls that emit plenty of warmth.

Cumin lamb skewers at Chinatown Night Markets

Takoyaki at Chinatown Night Markets

Bak kwa at Chinatown Night Markets

Fish ball skewers at Chinatown Night Markets

Plenty of grilled options at Chinatown Night Markets

Steamed dumplings at Chinatown Night Markets

Har gow (prawn dumplings) at Chinatown Night Markets
With crowds that most city operators would be envious of, check out what everyone is crowding around for on Friday nights in the main section of Dixon Street. And make sure to say hello to the panda at the other end of Dixon Street if he's hanging about (not really sure why).

Panda says hello - at the northern end of Dixon Street, Haymarket


MissPiggy said...

Ooooo - look at all the grilled goodies on skewers! This is my kinda place.

And...why is that panada there? Saw him outside Crazy Wings week and gave him a wave.

chocolatesuze said...

rofl i want a photo with the panda!

john@heneedsfood said...

I had no idea Paddy's was open on Friday nights! This really is a lively area, esp the night markets

mademoiselle délicieuse said...

That panda is somewhat too happy for my liking without being creepified!

sugarpuffi said...

i LOVEEEEEEE the lamb skewers! i go get them every friday night ahaha

Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! said...

Already heading out there tonight for a cheap feed before heading up to George Street to catch a movie :)

Tina said...

Hi MissPiggy - Haha, I was wondering if he was restaurant-specific, but perhaps not?!

Hi suze - He was actually quite big. I might've been scared of him if not for heels.

Hi John - They don't (sorry if that's misleading). That was earlier in the day, pre Night Markets.

Hi mademoiselle délicieuse - He was slightly creepy, standing there near the shadows...

Hi sugarpuffi - Wow, must try them out next time then!

Hi Angie - Good stuff! Enjoy!

gastronomous anonymous said...

oh look at all that steamed dumplings!!!! i want! might have to drop by tonight... if i am eating in the area :)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I wish I had the energy to go here tonight!

Miss Kimbers @ Fruit Salad & Mixed Veg said...

I'll be in Sydney in two weeks time and the plan is to go to China Town on the Friday night:) It looks like lots of fun!

We have a China Town in Adelaide but it is rather small. However, it is connected up to the Adelaide Central Markets (best thing about Adelaide) meaning you can do your market shopping and then get some cheap Asian food:)

I hope I see the panda when I visit!

Jobe said...

Isn't the panda there in front of Spicy Panda szechuan restaurant? I havn't confirmed this but this has been my suspicion for a while.

Great post btw.

thehungryduck said...

HAHAHA What a cute panda!

Jacq said...

lol I've seen that panda around a few times and I still have no idea what it's doing there either!

Tina said...

Hi gastronomous anonymous - Always a reliable Friday night pre/post plan :)

Hi Lorraine - It's good every once in a while, probably not every week.

Hi Miss Kimbers - I hope you enjoy your visit! Pretty much everything is tasty and relatively cheap :)

Hi Jobe - Thanks! Hmm, can't be sure about the panda.

Hi thehungryduck - Yeah, cute from afar. A little scary close up cos he's quite big.

Hi Jacq - I thought I was hallucinating at first... :)


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