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Thursday, 6 February 2014

Food & Culture


    As hump day looms over us, we as hard-working citizens often leave the office in desperate need of a ‘pick me up’, so there is nothing more liberating on a balmy night than attending the Queen Victoria Night Market from 5pm-10pm. I highly recommend you get in early, particularly if you want to see the talented clairvoyant Helen Novak if you’re as spiritual as I am…

There is something exuberant about night markets: multi-cultures coming together to showcase their scrumptious cuisines, whilst you walk through and catch a whiff of intertwined smoke around you. During my time spent at the night market, I like to commence my night with a cup of infamous Running Bull Sangria. The initial sip puts my mind at ease and instantly, all of my daily pressures and concerns are pushed aside (but not forgotten of course!)

Just briefly, the fashion at the night market is very eclectic. I do have a wondering eye and often happen to be caught gazing at different trends, having to rapidly look away without appearing to come across as a mild stalker. Ooops! However, the trend I like to associate night markets to would have to be the Bohemian look- printed maxi’s, vintage clogs, jewelled headpieces or flowers in one’s hair (what I like to call, ‘the dreamy look’).

The selection of food at the night market is so diverse and if you’re anything like me (an indecisive Libran), your taste buds would be flying in every direction. With over 60 foodies serving up the tastiest street food Melbourne has to offer, you’re left with no other selfish choice but to try a little bit of everything. And that’s exactly what I did!

To kick start my hunger, I would indulge in a curly Korean potato stick (either going for chilli or the satay flavour). The soft clouds of potato are so delicious and they’re the perfect treat whilst walking around the fashion stalls. My next stop would be to Hammer and Tong for their tantalising soft-shell crab burger- these are a must have! Chef Simon Ward is an absolute genius for creating such burgers that contain soft-shell crab sliders with shredded cabbage, sriracha  mayo and coriander.

As a subsequent main meal, if you’re looking for something that would go perfectly with the refreshing taste of sangria, then I highly recommend people try out the traditional paella by Spanish Gourmet Caterers- particularly the chicken and chorizo paella. It’s mouth-watering and flavoursome!

Ultimately, with every enchanting entrée and marvellous main comes a delightful dessert (*drum roll*) at the Tram Stop Dutch Pancakes Caravan. There is quite the variety in toppings from chocolate sauce, to ice cream to maple syrup and lemon with jam. And if you’re not done there, on the way home, why not make a cheeky stop to the Sweet and Sour fruit liquorice store. Introduced to Australia in 2006, Sweet and Sour have become renowned for their sensational liquorice flavours such as watermelon, bubblegum, sour apple and cherry.

Overall, the night market is a fantastic opportunity to gather together a few of your closest family and friends and enjoy Melbourne’s passion for food and cultural ambiance. Furthermore, a social event you wouldn’t want to miss would have to be the St Kilda Festival which is on from the 1st-9th of February. A Melbourne tradition, people come together to rejoice summer, music and quite simply- to celebrate life…

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