Get excited because the Rocks Market are celebrating Chinese New Year, discover the incredible sights, sounds and tastes of Asia at The Rocks with a fully immersive experience set to delight and captivate Sydneysiders this Lunar New Year. Head to The Rocks to experience glowing lanterns, The Rocks Lunar Markets, delicious food stalls, and incredible entertainment for a Lunar New Year celebration like no other.
BE DELIGHTED BY THE ANNUAL LANTERN WALK
Explore and be delighted by the colourful lunar lanterns around Circular Quay and The Rocks as part of the annual Lunar New Year Lantern Walk. Discover 12 larger-than-life animal signs of the Lunar zodiac including the majestic Tiger at Bligh and Barney Reserve, or the fiery Dragon on the lawn of the Museum of Contemporary Art. In celebration of 2020 as The Year of the Rat, the Lantern Walk will be led by a brand-new installation curated by Australian artist and designer, Claudia Chan Shaw.
Head to First Fleet Park and be captivated by a spectacular tower of nine, 2.8m tall, gold robotic rats, which symbolise great wealth and luck for the year ahead. Continue your walk to Kendall Lane which will be transformed into its glowing alter ego, Lunar Lane. In a fully immersive takeover the laneway will be decked out in a riot of colour, light and cascading lanterns – perfect for snapping your Lunar Insta-moment.
EXPLORE AND EXPERIENCE THE ROCKS LUNAR MARKETS
After wandering through the Lunar Lantern Walk, visitors can make their way into the heart of The Rocks to explore and experience the Asian culinary delights and mouth-watering morsels on offer at The Rocks Lunar Markets. Prepare for a party on the streets and in your mouth with a range of exciting market stallholders to enjoy, surrounded by live music and lion dancing. The Rocks Lunar Markets will be open each Thursday to Sunday from January 30 to February 9.
Making its way across the bridge is street food favourite, ZIZIME, offering customers their mouth-watering Korean style pancakes. They’ll also be dishing up their famous Big Toast, a three sliced toastie holding together a free-range omelette of ham, double cheese, jalapeno and fresh cabbage. FIREPOP will be on site sparking joy with their delicious pop options, including lamb, tofu and eel skewers all sourced from local producers. Try the Golden Soytime, a skewer with lightly fried soft silken tofu, drizzled with sesame dressing and Sichuan chilli, or if you’re looking for a fan favourite, order The ‘OG’, with FIREPOP’s signature pasture-fed Aussie lamb and FIREPOPs original cumin dukkah and secret marinade.
Known for their legendary dishes, The Kraken Squid will be popping up offering a selection of tantalising seafood. Dishes include their tasty soft-shell crab burger, their classic salt and pepper squid with either the original, lemon and pepper, or Szechwan style batter. The Hopper Pan by Thatch’d Roof will also be found nestled amongst the busy laneways, offering Sydneysiders tasty Sri Lankan delights of hoppers, curry and roti.
Feeling thirsty? The Rocks Lunar Markets also welcomes the flavours of Bulb Soda who will be serving their lemonade and ice tea in glowing light bulbs, The Suga Cane will serve up their freshly squeezed sugar cane juice, and one of Sydney’s favourite bubble tea retailers, Spontané will bring all their favourite flavours including Banana Dan, Coco-Nuts and The Unmatchable Hulk.
LUNAR NEW YEAR FAVOURITES RETURNING TO THE ROCKS LUNAR MARKETS
Mr Bao returns to the Lunar Markets in 2020 with its pillow-soft steamed buns, fusing together Vietnamese and Japanese cuisine, and adding them to the iconic Taiwanese street food, Gua Bao. For traditional favourites, head to Let’s Do Yum Cha with its fresh buns and dumplings cooked on-site.
For those who have always wanted to try the famous Japanese pancake, flavoursome Okonomiyaki, will be available across both weekends. The beautifully fresh and ice-cold flavours of Yum Thai Juice Bar will offer Sydneysiders a refreshing sip with their real fruit smoothies including mango and lychee as well as their Thai-style ice drinks made with organic suva instead of sugar. To round out a day filled with exploring the flavours of Asia, head to Som Som Candy, where visitors can purchase specially crafted animal shapes created from cotton candy.
THE ROCKS MARKETS FAVOURITES WITH A LUNAR TWIST
A number of The Rocks Markets weekly stallholders will be adding a Lunar New Year twist to their usual food offering during the celebrations. The Village Providore will offer its artisan fudge packs as dessert bento boxes and fudge noodle box gift packs, boasting new flavours such as Dragon’s Breath, a chilli chocolate fudge pop, and Lucky New Year, a dark chocolate fudge with a lucky gold coin inside.
For something a little cooler during the summer weather, visitors can grab Lunar New Year-inspired gelato flavours from lychee to coconut and everything in between at Giorgi’s Gelato. Alternatively, visitors can discover a variety of popsicles from Merry Pops’, with flavours including black sesame, pandan and ube.
If you are looking for the perfect gift to give this new year, look no further than the range of handcrafted and artisan boutiques throughout The Rocks, from jewellery to homewares. You can also find yourself a great deal at the T Galleria with a wide selection of designer colognes, handbags and perfumes!
ENJOY LUNAR NEW YEAR WITH THE ROCKS’ ICONIC VENUES
This Lunar New Year, iconic venues at The Rocks will also offer a Lunar twist to their menus. Head to one of The Rocks’ newest editions, Sergeant Lok to experience the golden era of 1960s Cantonese cuisine with a modern spin. Located in the heritage-listed police station building, get ready for a tastebud explosion with a delightful and refreshing Cantonese menu, showcasing seafood and seasonal ingredients.
Tickle your culinary curiosity at Wild Ginger, where exotic Thailand meets modern Australia for a unique dining experience within the history-soaked sandstone walls of Sailor’s Home. Or, for a more street food-style experience, wander over to P’Nut Street Noodles to curate your own bespoke noodle creation. Select your cooking style, noodle type and your favourite ingredients, then watch them being freshly wok-tossed before your very eyes! Or, grab one of their 8 lucky specials for only $8.88! Specials include fan favourites – Singapore Street Noodles, Mongolian Stir-fry with Jasmine Rice, Wonton Soup, Chinese Fried Rice and more!
The Push will celebrate the Lunar New Year with a selection of limited-edition food and drink specials. The lunar menu includes Honey Soy Wings, Flash Fried Squid with Szechuan Pepper and Chinese Five-Spice, Pork & Prawn Dumplings, and Chinese Malaysian Satay Skewers – all perfect to share! Wash it down with their Lunar-inspired cocktail specials including the Green Sensei, Dragon Breath or Iroh’s Jade Dragon. For all further information and to find out more about The Rocks Lunar Markets and other exciting Lunar New Year celebrations, head to therocks.com.
I know what I’ll be doing to celebrate Lunar New Year…
The Rocks Lunar Markets Thursday 30 January – Sunday 9 February Thursday – Saturday 10am to 9pm Sunday 10am to 5pm Jack Mundey Place, Playfair Street and George Street, The Rocks NB: Food stalls will rotate each day of The Rocks Lunar Markets
Words by Arrnott Olssen