MELBOURNE | Every Thursday for 10 weeks the South Melbourne Market, the oldest market in Melbourne, transforms into a bustling, vibrant night market, offering a plethora of art, food, drinks, music, entertainment and culture. The City Lane was invited to the opening night tour of the South Melbourne Night Market to experience a taster of the copious selection of treats the stalls and food trucks have to offer.
Our tour began at the SO:ME space, a retail and design hub located in the centre of the market, where we were invited to kick off the evening with champagne and cocktails. I would highly recommend the fruity and refreshing ‘South Sea Twist’, a mixture of vodka, lemon, pineapple, basil and a sprinkling of cracked pepper.
The first food stop on our tour took us to Simply Spanish, where we sampled tapas-style cuisine, all washed down with a cold glass of sangria. We were served taster platters including Tomato Bread topped with Jamon Serrano (Spanish ham), Tortilla del Dia, a traditional Spanish style potato tortilla served with a house made aioli and Grilled Chorizo, served on an empanada base. Each high quality dish provided a delicious explosion of Spanish flavours and a great start to the evening. My personal favourite was the gourmet paella, a traditional Spanish dish fusing tender chicken, calamari, chorizo and local black muscles cooked in saffron. We were able to watch the paella cooking in giant pans, with the chefs’ own blend of herbs and spices.
Our tapas were accompanied by some authentic Turkish cuisine from Köy Restaurant, including Ricotta and Mint Turkish Spring Rolls and Cheese Gozleme (pastry parcels stuffed with minced meat).
As we wandered through the market, we passed by beautiful homemade accessories, homeware and clothing made by local designers. Once you have eaten and shopped to your hearts content, you can relax and enjoy live music from local bands and singers. As we ate we were lucky enough to catch fiery four-piece flamenco band La Rumba (Cecil Street), followed by Matt Katsis, an intimate blues singer (Coventry Street).
A pit stop at Proper & Son allowed us to try a twist on a modern carvery from Melbourne chef Eugene Lavery, in the markets new food hall. We were served a selection of aesthetically beautiful and unique dishes including Hot and Spicy Prawn Cocktail Roll and Devilled Egg, Fried Oyster and Onion. Proper & Son use seasonal produce, made fresh each day with the best ingredients available; an exciting and individual take on market food.
To finish our tour we were faced with some pretty spectacular desserts. Taster tubs of Coconut & Caramel and Mint Chocolate Chip Italian ice cream were served by Bianco Latte, alongside an extraordinary selection of cupcakes by Miss Molly’s Cakes. The Snickers Deluxe and Ferrero Rocher flavoured cupcakes were extremely yummy. Each had a moist chocolate sponge base, topped with buttercream icing and immaculate decoration – the perfect sweet treat to culminate the evening.
Make sure you check out the extensive selection of goodies available at the South Melbourne Night Market, every Thursday from 5:30pm, 7 January – 10 March, under the verandas of Coventry and Cecil Streets. The markets are a great place to explore with friends and family and enjoy some fabulous al fresco dining during the warm summer evenings.
South Melbourne Night Market
When: Each Thursday evening, from 7 January to 10 March, 5:30pm to late
Where: South Melbourne Market, Under the Verandahs, Coventry & Cecil Streets, South Melbourne