MELBOURNE | Opened in the 1850s, Prahran Market represents Australia’s premier food market, renowned for its quality fresh produce, expertly skilled traders and unique specialty products. The market stocks only the best seasonal produce, offering organic fruit and veg, seafood, meat and poultry and every sweet treat and spice you can imagine.
The City Lane was given a VIP pass at this year’s Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, allowing me to taste some of Prahran Market’s finest produce. Every tasty delight was served and prepared by the market traders themselves, using exclusively local and regional ingredients.
Our taste tour included 16 vouchers to food and drink stalls dotted around the market. Although I enjoyed every pit stop for individual reasons, I have picked just some of my favourites to talk about. We were invited to start our journey with cider from Napolene Brewery & Ciderhouse and white wine from Punt Road Wines in the outdoor Market Square. The sweet and fruity undertones of the wine in particular complimented the food perfectly.
Hagen’s Organic Butcher: Smoked Biodynamic Wagyu Brisket With Apple Cider Slaw
It is easy to understand why so many people were waiting in line for this particular stand. This organic Butcher uses only the finest produce, which is perhaps why their mini wagyu burgers tasted so good! The glazed brioche bun added the perfect amount of sweetness to compliment the delicious fusion of apple cider slaw and tender wagyu brisket inside.
Claringbold’s Seafood: 2 x Freshly Shucked Oysters
The next stop on our tour was fresh oysters, a stall which attracted quite the crowd. The market trader serving the seafood explained to us the best way to eat the oysters, eager for us to pair them with his tasty homemade oyster dressing. The dressing injected the perfect amount of spice without masking or overwhelming the natural flavour of the oysters themselves.
Cleo’s Deli: Charcuterie Board
Established in 1985, Cleo’s Deli is a gourmet food store, which sells goods ranging from charcuterie to cheeses. During the tour, the deli provided us with a tasting platter of differed cured meats, including jamon, prosciutto and chorizo, as well as gherkins and stuffed olives. The flavours were deliciously fresh, accentuating the quality of the ingredients.
Gary’s Quality Meats: Pulled Pork On A Black Bun With Fresh Slaw
The organic pulled pork burger from this Butcher was undoubtedly my favourite dish of the day, not only aesthetically pleasing, but more importantly extremely tasty. The free-range Berkshire pulled pork and fresh slaw created a delicious fusion of flavours, offset effortlessly by the black charcoal bun – absolute heaven.
Naheda’s Choice Turkish Delight: Hand Made Turkish Delight
And now onto my specialty, the sweet stuff! This homemade Turkish Delight blew every other I have tried out of the water, from the beautifully colourful and detailed presentation to the unique blend of flavours on offer. We were invited to take home a variety of flavours to try. My personal favourites have to be the Popping Passionfruit and Traditional Rosewater, however we also tried the equally yummy Bustling Blueberry, Fresh Lemon, Crispy Apple, Mango and Maldive Mint.
Alba’s Patisserie: Hazelnut Baklava
The texture and flavours of this fresh baklava were on point. With a subtle sweetness which really accentuates the hazelnuts, this baklava provides the perfect treat to satisfy that craving, without being too rich.
Whilst wandering from stall to stall around the energetic and bustling market, it was clear that the traders have a passion for the products they sell. At each stop we were given detailed explanations of the ingredients and processes used to create each dish, and what flavours compliment one another. With good reason, they are proud of the quality of their fresh, local products. Lucky enough to live close to Prahran Market, I will most definitely be a regular customer, and am eager to try out the extensive range of goodies on offer.
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