Running from 7th June – 30th August is the Winter Night Market, located at the Queen Victoria Market, where foodies can come together to drink, eat, mingle, and shop. The market runs on Wednesdays, starting from 5pm and finishing up around 10pm.
First thing to note is that it is very crowded – but don’t be put off! Though the lines are long, they tend to move quite quickly. The last time I was here, I ended up eating three dinners and two desserts. This time, I tried to practise a little self control 😛
I was craving something salty and carb-loaded and headed straight to Simply Spanish for some paella. The wait to order was only about 5 minutes and by my turn I could tell that the people working at the stall were flat out and just trying to get orders in and out as fast as possible. Friendly service was lacking, and although it was obviously extremely busy, I still believe that customer service should not and does not need to be sacrificed for efficiency. The instructions to collect the food were vague – from previous experiences I would usually wait for the number on my ticket to be called out. However, after a couple of minutes, we realised that you had to line up again to hand in your receipt in order to get your food.
For $14, the portion itself was okay but the taste was rather bland. I was hoping for something more punchy and with a bit of a kick, but it was a much more subtle flavour. However, I did appreciate that they tried to get at least one or two of each of the ingredients onto each plate; I got two muscles and some bits of chicken and chorizo.
When it comes to market food, presentation is important because we often found ourselves walking by other people carrying plates of food thinking ooo that looks good! However, that’s certainly not enough as good word-of-mouth can be your best (or worst) friend. Competition is high at the Winter Night Market and you don’t want potential customers to be advised not to bother with your stall.
What are the main things you look out for at food markets?