I found where the whole of Sydney was on Saturday 28 January: Carriageworks’ Night Market.
Curated by celebrity chef Kylie Kwong, the aim was to celebrate Chinese New Year in an an event ‘inspired by the streets of Harajuku (Tokyo), Hongdae (Seoul) and AnFu Lu (Shanghai)’.
My plus one and I are new to Sydney and were excited for our first visit to Carriageworks. A man playing Asian drums got our hearts racing when we entered, and the Wishing Tree (from Saski Havekes and Grandiflora), was a fun nod to Chinese New Year with its red pieces of paper you could write on and tie to the tree. Kids seemed really into it — and indeed, this was a family-friendly affair, with folks of all stripes attending.
I love seeing old buildings re-purposed, so it was great watching the hundreds of people fill the 19th-century brick Eveleigh Rail Yards buildings.
And by ‘hundreds of people’, I mean ‘hundreds and hundreds of people’. Towards one end of the building, you could barely move between the long queues of folks patiently waiting for the food. The main draw: Billy Kwong‘s stall, with moreish-looking salads. We didn’t attempt to join the long queue, instead devouring beautifully-presented Saucissons Australia meats and Korean dumplings.
It would have been great to have a few more Asian vendors to fit the Chinese New Year theme, but Kylie Kwong’s curation part seemed to mean that she picked some of her favourite vendors. There were cute signs showing where everyone was from — lots of NSW purveyors, along with a good smattering of Tasmanian businesses like Killara Distillery.
For next year, it would be a great idea to limit the number of attendees (thanks to pre-sales, it’s easy to cap attendance); offer more seating, so people don’t have to resort to sitting on the ground; tell vendors to bring more food so they don’t run out early. And it would be lovely to include Chinese paper lanterns and a Lion dance to up the CNY factor.
It would also be fabulous to print out not just a list of the vendors’ names, but a map of where they’re located. That way folks can head straight to the florist, local honey, or edible bugs.
Judging by the popularity of its first year, the Carriageworks Night Market will only get better with time. We can’t wait to see what they have in store for next year.
Co-founder of The Plus Ones, now that Theresa knows how cool Carriageworks is, she’s definitely heading back.
Visit Carriageworks’ Events page to see what’s happening next.