Last night S and I decided to head down into the city, and brave the CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting - in case you've had your head in the sand, or arent from Australia!) crowds to check out the bringing back of the Twilight Hawker Market in Perth city, at Forrest Place.
This weekend all public transport is free because of the shutdown of the CBD (the Queen was in there having a meeting! So no cars!) and all the events going on. So we caught the train in and headed down past the protests (these ones were for refugee rights and gay equality) into Forrest Place for some food!
There was quite a crowd there, but I assumed that it was partially because of the Peoples Space which was located about a 10min walk on the other side of the train tracks which was apparently REALLY busy yesterday, so it could have been an overflow... It wasnt toooo bad navigating through the people but you had to get really lucky to get a seat/table. Most people were sitting on steps and spare pieces of ground!
We did a lap first to see what we wanted, and I had my eyes on the prata with vege curry from the Love and Care stall, a mince gozleme from the turks, satay sticks and a burrito. Possibly a hot donut at the end, or maybe a crepe. Each stall had a fabulous smell coming from it, but we decided to start out with a mince gozleme ($10, you can also get spinach ones).
S and I shared everything, and the gozleme came to us HOT, with melting cheese, mince and a smell that made us try to eat it anyway, and burn ourselves! It was so delicious. Something so simple, thin pieces of dough, not quite a flatbread, not quite a crepe in size and consistancy, with mince (lamb I think) and some sort of cheese, I think it was fetta sandwiched between, and fried on a hot plate with some butter. So delicious. I could have gone back for more. But more deliciousness beckoned!
The next thing we went for was the Edo Shiki stall, which had a bunch of sushi, as well as 3 kinds of dim dum, prawn dumplings, pork dumplings and bbq pork in steamed buns (all $4.50). We opted for some bbq pork buns, and got 2 good sized ones for $4.50, perfect for sharing! We found the filling to be a little too sweet, but delicious at the same time. I wouldnt want to eat many of them, as the sweetness would be a bit much but one was perfect.
Next stop - satay sticks! I grew up in a town with loads of Malays, Christmas and Cocos Islanders, and Indonesians, so curry puffs, satay sticks, spring rolls and prawn crackers have always been a common thing to see at events, as well as at the school canteen! I had some high expectations for the satays, as my old school buddy Mohommad (Who we all called Mo) makes the best ones Ive had. We ordered 4 for $5, not a bad price! They were cooking them on a bbq, not quite the same as how Mo does it, as they use coals Im pretty sure - but still they were looking good! I could smell caramalising soy sauce and honey, it bought back memories... We got our order complete with a ladle of peanut satay sauce and sat down on the steps. They were good, but not as good as Mo's. The sauce was lacking a bit in flavour, it was a bit watery, probably because they had to make so much. They were fine, but Mo's rank of #1 satay man was safe!
Were starting to feel a bit more satisfied now, however Im keen to try the prata with vege curry ($5) from the Love and Care stall. In my hometown, we have a Love and Care van, and its good. So I had high expecations again! We stood there in line for ages, Im really not sure what we were waiting for, as the guy was making prata after prata and we just werent getting served any. They were in NO rush at all to feed anyone, and the line got longer... then people left... then it got longer again... we were right up the front so werent about to go anywhere, and I was pretty happy watching the guy make the pratas!
We finally got our order, thankfully the prata was freshly made! It didnt look much, but it was really tasty! S had amazingly decided against a curry (there was an indian stand there) but getting a taste of this curry gave him a smile. It was a really flavourful curry that was great to be mopped up by the prata. Worth the wait!
We wanted to get a burrito but the wait was LONG, there was a huge stack of orders that you could see in their prep area, waiting to be made, and we figured that it was going to take at least 20mins once we'd placed our order, and so we decided to head over for something sweet instead. We didnt fancy something has heacy as a crepe, and so we headed over to the raw food stall to grab a choc and beetroot brownie. They were pretty big, but were $5 which I thought was a bit steep, S opted for the spiced banana slice ($4). The brownie wasnt a brownie at all it was just cake. Ive made just as good cakes at home so wasnt overly impressed. The spiced banana slice was cake as well, quite heavy and dense - S makes better banana bread! Pretty underwhelmed really... Shoulda gone for a crepe!
They were also selling those spiral potato things, for $5 each. Rip off. Deep fried potato on a stick. But alot of people were buying them, and considering how much their operational costs would be, those guys would have made a killing! They were also at the CHOGM Peoples Space as well. Big weekend for them!
Overall we loved the markets, and the vibe surrounding it. Everyone was just having a feed and a good time, there were kids everywhere, families, couples, oldies and teenagers. The food was reasonably priced and we didnt have to wait too long for most things. There was a great variety of food there from all over, plenty for the meat loves and vegos alike! Its great that they've decided to make this a weekly event until March 2012 - you should definately check it out this coming friday!