Thursday, August 23, 2012
Luna 1878 Market
The Luna 1878 Market at the Queen Vic pretty much flips the bird at winter. Under the shelter of the market, 100's of people gather on Wednesday nights in Winter listening to some cool music, drinking mulled wine by the fire and eating exotic street food from the many stalls braving the cold. Of course, I had to be a part of this! So last Wednesday night, I dragged my girlfriends into the city to tell Winter to shove it and have a nice evening.
I was somewhat hoping that unlike the crazy popularity of the Suzuki Night Market (I remember going when it took five minutes to be served food- last summer I waited up to 45 minutes!) that not many people would venture out there on a cold night... I underestimated the bravery of Melbournians as it was PACKED. Like the summer version, it was impossible to get a table and there were huge waits at the popular stalls.
We started with a cup of hot mulled wine to take the chill off the air. I had never tried mulled wine before, though it has always fascinated me. The taste reminded me of hot raisin bread, or Christmas, and being a lover of those strong aromatic spices, I loved it. My friends didn't feel the same! Once again, I was the crazy one who loves those unique and different things (and proud of it!)
The food stalls offered SO much variety. From memory we saw- Tibetan, Russian, Polish, Vietnamese, Thai, Mexican, South American, Tex Mex, French, Belgian and Italian stalls. As well as that, hot soups served in cob loaves, macaroons and pretzels were among the food offerings. Two of my girlfriends settled down with some soup whilst my other friend and I became very indecisive and walked around for ages trying to decide what cuisine we wanted. There was just SO much variety. One stall that fascinated me was the meatball stand, with these huge vats of different kinds of meatballs that they stuffed into crusty rolls.
After much deliberation, I decided to go for something that I had never ever tried- Polish. I got the Polish tasting platter, a combination of saurkraut (pickled cabbage), pierogi (mashed potato stuffed dumplings), potato fritters, polish sausage and a shot cup of borscht (beetroot cold soup). We waited 45 minutes amongst a packed crowd of others wanting Polish and watched the guys cooking away.
Overall, I wasn't overly impressed with the platter. The soup was a little bland and watery, the cabbage cold, the potato fritter nice but I could make it at home and the sausage a bit cooked up. But oh, those potato dumplings. I could eat a whole bowl of these amazing comforting little dumplings. In fact, I have even researched other places that sell pierogi in Melbourne! So even though the dinner wasn't amazing, being introduced to a new food was worthwhile.
We had a lovely evening braving the cold and the crowds and the cold, even if there was not enough seating for the crowds there. It never ceases to amaze me the kinds of festivals, markets and events Melbourne manages to put on- this foodie definitely lives in the right city! Now, if only half of the population of Melbourne would forget about the Suzuki Market by Summer so that I have at least a small chance of getting served there next time?! ;)