What: Twilight Hawkers Markets
When: every Friday 5-8pm during March 2012
Where: Murray Street Mall and Forrest Chase
More Info: http://eatdrinkperth.showmeperth.com.au/
As part of the festivals run by The City of Perth, Eat Drink Perth is back for the month of March. Just like last year, all things food are happening around Perth, Northbridge, East Perth and West Perth. Last year they introduced for the first time twilight hawkers markets each Friday where food stalls selling various cuisines were set up in the middle of Forrest Chase. I went every Friday to see what was on offer and enjoyed different dishes from a variety of cuisines. Given it was such a resounding success, they didn’t wait till March to bring it back but have been running it every Friday from 5-8pm since CHOGM way back in October 2011. If you haven’t seen what’s on offer, March is the last month it will be running. There are all kinds of other events happening so be sure to drop by the http://eatdrinkperth.showmeperth.com.au/ for more. Also, drop by the information kiosk on Murray Street mall in front of Forrest Chase to pick up your Eat Drink Perth Passport where there are various offers inside giving discounts or the like at several restaurants such as my Adelphi Steakhouse & Bar; C Restaurant; Iku Sushi; Jean Pierre Sancho; San Churro; and Tom’s Kitchen. Quite a range from more classy restaurants, to those in between, or just grabbing a sweet treat or a delectable patisserie.
Well after working away in the office, I called it a day and headed off to check out the twilight hawkers markets around 6pm. I knew it was bad timing and would have gone earlier if I were hungry at the time. Walking along Murray Street mall were various stalls set up representing several of the eateries around Perth like Sarpino’s; Thali; Little Lolly Shop; and Delisio. Heading closer to Forrest Chase it was absolutely swarming with people.
First I had to make a round to see what was on offer. Good luck as it was a slow crawl through the throngs. Its excellent to see such a huge turnout and response to the event but it seems the event is a victim of it’s own success. The place seems far too small for the amount of people. There’s plenty of tables and chairs for people to eat but navigating around them, the lines, and the crowd in general is a tricky affair. The other hard part is knowing what each stall has on offer. Trying to make your way to the front to see the small menu range is tricky and then you need to find your way out of the crowd to the back of the long line. Hey, it did take a bit of time getting around and grabbing a few samples of food in about 40 minutes but it was worth it. I feel they need a much bigger area with the stalls spaced much further apart and maybe those chain fences like they have at banks for marking specific places to queue to bring a sense of order.
I noticed several stalls were ones I had visited before so I gave them a miss to try something new. I opted for a Japanese stall selling 8 balls for $7.50. From memory, they may have been called takoyaki – dumpling like or savoury pancake filled with octopus, green onion, bonito and pickled ginger. I went with the traditional – BBQ sauce and mayonnaise with bento flakes and seeweed. Something different and enjoyable. Next I spied paella so I queued in line watching the people attending to two huge shallow pans filled with paella cooking away. For $12 I got a takeaway Chinese container well filled with paella. I had to rush for the bus so when I got home, the rice would have gone a bit gluggy unfortunately. Nevertheless, the rice was full of flavour with the seafood stock apparent. There were plenty of tender pieces of chicken and I also got a juicy mussel after bursting open the shell. and a whole prawn. After peeling the shell and removing the head, a lemony juicy prawn emerged which was delicious. I also saw Abstract Gourmet’s Matt O’Donohue who was busily attending to the Colombian stall serving empanadas which I enjoyed from the March event in 2011. I certainly must go back again to try some other stalls. So much to choose from but you can only eat so much.
Check out my other posts for an idea of the foods that might still be on offer: