The Top End’s Laksa Festival is back for a second year, Chief Minister Michael Gunner has announced today.
“The coronavirus crisis has changed a lot of things for us in the Territory, but we would never let it get in the way of our love for laksa,” said Mr Gunner.
“It is my priority to support Territory businesses by boosting the number of visitors coming into town and creating more local jobs for Territorians.”
He said that after a successful inaugural festival in 2019, the 2020 Darwin Laksa Festival would get underway on October 26 and run until November 29.
“It will once again celebrate our multicultural community, our awesome weather and one of our favourite pastimes – eating amazing laksas,” Mr Gunner said.
“The Territory’s laksas are recognised as among the best in the world, and in its second year the competition will again be open to any restaurant, eatery or stallholder from across the Darwin, Palmerston and rural area.”
Restaurants, eateries or stallholders can register to be part of the Laksa Festival, with the month-long festival including a Laksa Food Tour for laksa lovers to vote on their favourite laksa and laksa-inspired dishes.
“Because the Territory is the safest place in Australia, we are the first in Australia to get back in business, back to work, and back to enjoying the great Territory lifestyle – and that means smashing a laksa for brekky, lunch or dinner.”
Last year’s tour featured iconic dishes such as laksa ice-cream, pannacotta and a laksa toastie, alongside the traditional soup dish.
“It will culminate in a final festival day on Sunday 29 November in Darwin city – where the winners of the People’s Choice laksa and laksa-inspired dishes, and the Judges’ Choice Best Laksa will all be announced,” the Chief Minister said.
The tour encourages people to use the Laksa Festival App to try as many dishes as possible throughout the month, before voting for their favourite dish.
For the overall Golden Bowl winner, top secret ‘Laksa Ninjas’ will be visiting registered eateries throughout the month and shortlisting the best of the best.
Businesses will not know who the ninjas are and will only know their dish has been tasted after the fact.
Each venue will be visited by multiple Ninjas at different times, and scores tallied to determine the top 10 laksa venues that go onto the shortlist.
The top 10 venues will then participate in a blind tasting by an expert panel of judges, to decide on the ultimate 2020 Golden Bowl winner.
The 2019 Laksa Festival was a huge success, increasing foot traffic and laksa sales at participating venues by 40 per cent compared to the same period in 2018. The inaugural event delivered more than $1 million worth of earned media coverage for the Territory – a huge tourism and jobs boost.
“All Territorians can help make the second Laksa Festival even better than the first. You can use the Laksa Festival app to get to as many laksa joints as possible – and buy buying laksas and supporting local jobs, you’ll earn points to become a ‘Laksa Legend’.”
To register your eatery or to learn more about the Festival, please visit www.darwinlaksafestival.com.au