|Lots of people at the Auckland Night Market, especially if you go at dinner time|
Here are some things I saw for sale yesterday, which I have not seen anywhere else in Auckland:
1) Goose eggs
[Added 14 January 2012: I have since seen goose eggs for sale elsewhere, from Dahua (79-83 Dominion Road) to the Avondale Sunday Market.]
|Large goose eggs in a basket|
|Man squeezing sugarcane through a pressing machine|
|Egg waffles as sold in Hong Kong|
[Added 14 January 2012: I have now discovered these for sale in town also, from a little shop in the Mid-City Arcade called Citizen Ice Shop. There, they charge $4 for these "QQ Egg Cakes", which were unfortunately filled with raw doughy bits. I guess they need a bit more practice in the cooking of these waffles, but at least they cooked them to order.]
[Added 26 Feb 2013: Errm, and the Citizen Ice Shop is no more.]
[Added 20 April 2014: You can now buy "Egg Puffs" for $4 from Togoo on Lorne St. They are a bit more spongey than I am used to, but they still taste pretty good, with a bit of crunch at the edges, and an optional sprinkling of black sesame seeds.]
4) Dragon's beard candy (龍鬚糖), a.k.a. Chinese candy floss; sugar pulled into tiny strands, in this case rolled and filled with chopped nuts, dessicated coconut, etc. in front of you ($4 for a box).
|Freshly rolled dragon's beard candy|
You don't actually get to see the formation of the sugar strands at the market, but YouTube has an amazing video of the Korean version of this candy being made:
A Fantastic Range of Foods
Of course, there were also many items which could be found elsewhere, but which you perhaps wouldn't normally go out of your way for. Although many of the stalls at the market were Chinese, there was a good range of specialties from different ethnic groups:
1) Sri Lankan appa, thin, bowl-shaped pancakes made from a fermented batter of rice flour and coconut milk, and filled with a topping of your choice. These were made by the people of 7 Siri, a restaurant in Mount Roskill. I ordered the egg one ($3), and watched as the lady oiled the pan, swirled the batter around to coat it, then cracked an egg inside. It was delicious with the spicy sauces served on top.
|Egg appa, topped with delicious spicy sauces|
|Steamed rice noodle rolls, simple yet satisfying|
|Piping hot takoyaki balls|
|Hangi food stall|
|Man offering a sample of langos|
|It was fascinating watching the dough expanding and being twirled around in the hot oil|
|Bavarian style sausage stand|
|Korean pancakes are tasty fresh and hot|
|A dash of fire with your mussels?|
Products From Past Visits
Given the huge amount of items on offer, we weren't able to try everything that we wanted to. Choose wisely, because something you are saving for your next visit may not be available then. Here are some dishes that we have seen before, but which we were not able to find last night.
1) Hand-pulled noodles
|Man pulling noodles for beef noodle soup|
|Malaysian satay stall|
4) Bibimbap from a van, oddly enough sold with coffee. I was hoping to try this last night to see how it compares to those from Korean eateries around town, but it was not there this time.
|Unusual food van offering of bibimbap and coffee|
I think the Auckland Night Market at Pakuranga is great already, but there are some things that would make it even better:
1) The atmosphere of the venue could be improved
If this could be held outdoors, or somewhere that doesn't look like a garage, it would be that much more pleasant to eat there
2) More vegetables in the offerings
Yes, there are already vegie stalls, but I am thinking a bit of greens for dinner. The stand selling three ripe avocados for $3 made me wish for a bit of Mexican street food! At least let me pretend I am having a somewhat balanced meal, please.
A Great Experience
Overall, I would highly recommend a trip to the Auckland Night Market. Parking isn't an issue, as long as you are happy to walk a little, and it is definitely an experience that you won't find anywhere else in Auckland. Don't forget to bring lots of cash (although some stalls offer Eftpos), and go with a group of friends so you can share the food and try more dishes (finding a table to sit together at could be difficult though)! I can't tell you what stalls will be there when you visit, but you will be sure to find something interesting and delicious.
Auckland Night Market
Westfield Pakuranga, 2 Aylesbury Street, Pakuranga
Saturdays 6pm - midnight