Queen Victoria Night Market, CBD

3/16/2014 , 0 Comments

The Queen Victoria Night Market is an event that runs every Wednesday from 5pm-10pm during December to March every year, and consists of a range of food stalls from a wide range of cuisines around the world. There's also some clothing and arts/crafts stalls, but the main attraction for most is the food. There's only two more weeks of the Night Market this year, and I'd highly recommend going to try some different dishes you normally might not think to do so, for relatively cheap prices!



There's tables everywhere for you to sit at with your food, and the music and street artist performances, together with the chatter from all the different groups of people make for a really lively atmosphere. We were lucky enough when we went that the weather was really great, apart from being a little windy. The night market runs every Wednesday regardless of the weather, since most of the food stalls are inside anyway. Plus, a Melbournian should always carry an umbrella in their bag, so there's no reason to not go just because it's raining!
I'd had some recommendations from friends of a few must try dishes when going, and can definitely see why these are the more popular ones. Between two of us, my friend and I shared two mains, two desserts and an appetiser dish. The mains we had were the Asado - beef ribs and salad ($12) from the South American BBQ stall, and the Soft Shell Crab Burger ($12) from the Hammer and Tong stall. The ribs were really flavoursome, and the green, garlicky sauce on top made for a really great flavour combination of a hearty dish. (I think the green sauce is Chimichurri; I did some research and that appears to be the sauce that is served with Asado in traditional Argentinean cuisines). The salad helped balance out the heavy flavours of the ribs, though the dressing was quite sour, and you could distinctively taste it, even over the ribs and sauce. The portion given for the price was very generous, though my friend and I both thought it was a little oily and fatty, with the meat quite chewy sometimes, and we didn't end up finishing it all, as we thought we'd be too full to eat other dishes if we did so.



The Soft Shell Crab Burger was really enjoyable, though a bit pricey in my opinion. The brioche bun was toasted perfectly, with a slight crispiness to it, and extremely soft. The crab went really well with the cabbage for a soft and crunchy texture which contrasted well with the bun, and the mayo that was used helped to bring the whole dish together for a great flavoursome dish. I really enjoyed this dish, and would recommend trying this if you do go. I have actually yet to try Hammer and Tong itself, but based on this burger alone, it should make for a great dining experience!


The appetiser we had was the potato slices on a stick ($6) from the Korean stall, which come with a range of flavoured powders you can choose from, such as plain salt, chicken salt, chilli, and a cheese one. We decided to go with the chicken salt one, which actually tasted just quite similar to plain salt. The potato slices weren't as crunchy as I thought it would be; it didn't have any of that crispy crunchy flavour that you associate with potato chips. Nonetheless, it was a great little appetiser that can easily be shared between people or eaten by yourself. The slices are actually all combined from top to bottom, but they break off quite easily when you pull on it.


For dessert, we had a nutella cronut ($6) from a pastry stall, and the Dutch pancakes with ice cream and lemon ($9) from The Tram Stop food truck. We were really excited to eat the cronut; I'd had the one from Adriano Zumbo awhile back and really enjoyed it, and I expected this to be of a similar style. However, I was really disappointed because the so called 'cronut' was actually just three pieces of fried bun, with a chocolate custard in between the layers. It was definitely not a croissant and donut fusion pastry, though to be honest if we'd look more closely when we were getting it, we probably would've noticed. I think the word cronut on the display cabinet might've made us a little too excited, and we got it without thinking too much.


The Dutch pancakes are one of the more famous dishes at the Night Market, and both my friend and I really enjoyed it, as it wasn't something either of us had tried before, and it was definitely different to your everyday normal pancakes. The pancakes came with a range of different toppings for different prices, but we decided to go with the lemon and ice cream, so that the dish wouldn't be overly sweet; there was the option of having it with chocolate or maple. The pancakes themselves were bite size and had a nice fluffy texture that wasn't too doughy or floury, and the combination of the pancake with the sweetness of the vanilla ice cream and the sourness of the lemon made for a light dessert that finished off our food adventure perfectly.


There's a really good range of food stalls to try from, ranging from Asian to Middle Eastern, European and American, so there's bound to be something for everyone to try. I am definitely going to visit the Night Market again next year, though perhaps earlier in the year so I can go several times and try more of the different cuisines out!

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