After leaving Port Stephens, we arrived at Sydney city at around 6-7pm, just in time for dinner at the Night Noodle Markets at Hyde Park.
This is the signature event under the Crave Sydney International Food Festival, bringing together dozens of international food stalls, three bars and nightly entertainment which includes a Chinese lion dance performance.
The annual festival starts on October 1 and runs through the end of the month. It’s celebrates Sydney food with a series of “100 mile” events, whereby chefs use only food sourced within a 100-mile radius, culminating in the 100 mile challenge.
Sydneysiders love the event, judging by the packed turn out at Hyde Park for the Night Noodle Markets. Duglass told us that Australians generally dislike queuing. If they bother to queue for their food and drinks, these have to be really good stuff!
I went through the program guide printed by The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper and found out that all the stalls were set up by established or up-and-coming restaurants in Sydney, eager to showcase their cuisines for a big break at the annual Night Noodles Markets.
There are lots of other side events surrounding the month long festival other than just the Night Noodle Markets. Check out the official Crave website for more details. For food lovers, if you are planning a trip to Sydney next year, you can consider planning your stay to coincide with the Crave festival next year to attend some of these events.
For dinner, all of us had our food from a Chinese stall called Iron Chef as it had the longest queue. I ordered a fried noodle set with Peking Duck and Baked Pork Ribs with Spicy Sweet Sauce. One would not expect quality Chinese or Asian food in a Western country, but being the cultural melting pot that Sydney is, the food was really great, even to a picky Singaporean taste bud.
One thing wonderful about such big public event in Sydney was the availability of wide open space for people to sit around. This may not seem like much, but for Singaporeans who are constantly squeezed for space with an overcrowded population, I value extra room very much.
After dinner, we checked into our hotel at Fraser Suites where I will be hosted for 4 nights till the end of my stay in Sydney.
The “suite” in the name is not just for show. I was flabbergasted when I stepped into my room. The place was large and very well furnished, just like a luxurious one-bedder condominium studio apartment. What’s even more amazing – the stunning view of Sydney city from the full-length windows of the 39th floor room that I was staying in.
Willy was so impressed he did a 3D video introduction of his room on the 40th floor using his HTC EVO 3D:
The suite is divided into three living area – the kitchen, the living room and the bedroom.
The kitchen comes with full sets of cooking stoves, utensils and accessories. There’s also a fridge, kettle and an iron with an ironing board. I was pleasantly surprised to find a dishwasher, a washing machine and a dryer! I have never had these in any of the hotels I stayed in for all my travels so far. At least not individual pieces in each room itself.
Usually, I would not bother to do my laundry when traveling or would only wash just a few selected pieces which are quick to dry. This time round, I made full use of the washing machine and dryer, clearing a basket load of laundry in a night.
The living room has a dining area; a sofa as well a lounge chair to laze and watch television on. Best of all, there’s also a wide activity table for me to set up my Internet work station and other tech gadgets.
The bedroom has another television and a connecting bathroom, filled with lovely organic bath products.
I slept well during all my four nights stay at Fraser Suites. I also hosted two friends on separate days in the living room for chit chat, thanks to the large living area.
If you are interested to stay at Fraser Suites for your next Sydney visit, check out their official website.
After checking into our rooms, my ex-colleague, Christine came by to visit me with one of her local friend. Christine happened to be in Sydney for a business trip and we decided to catch up.
Christine and her friend joined Willy, Eunice and I as we leisurely stroll from Fraser Suites in Kent Street all the way to The Rock at Circular Quay, checking out Sydney’s city night scape along the way.
We took a cab back from the Sydney Opera House at around 11pm. Willy and I were a little hungry, so we bought some pizza slices from a stall near our hotel.
It was way past midnight by the time I got to sleep. We have to wake up at 5am the next day to catch the sun rise at Bondi. On hindsight, we should not have taken such a long night walk, but I guess all of us were suckered in by the city’s beauty and companionship. 🙂
Stay tuned for my next update on Bondi.
FYI: There’s a voting contest going on via the official HTC Escapade website. Vote for your favourite Sydney photos taken by me and stand a chance to win a HTC EVO 3D smart phone for yourself! Triple your chance by voting for a photo each from Willy, Eunice and I!