REVIEW: Queen Victoria Night Market
This post was first published as part of Brittany’s Catalyst blogging residency, ‘The Two Review’ with fellow student Alexandra McManus. The Two Review offered a unique double review of all things Melbourne. Below, however are just Brittany’s parts of the post.
Summary: The Two Review whether it’s worth braving the cold wintery weather for the Luna 1878 Night Market.
The Two Review: Queen Victoria Night Market
The iconic Queen Victoria Market has been a Melbourne icon for well over a century. For locals and students, it’s favoured for its cheery vendors and their cheap, fresh fruit and veg. Despite this, The Twoheaded to the Victoria Market for something a little different this week.
Every Wednesday night in August, the Victoria Market lights up for Luna 1878 – the winter night market.The Two are massive fans of the summer night market. Hot summer nights, sangria and loads of great food – what’s not to love? But on a dreary cold night, The Two wanted to see how the winter night market could compare. The Two decided to rate the night out of ‘Queen Vics’.
B: We arrive just after 6pm and although there are a few people around, it’s relatively quiet. Without the big crowd, it’s easy for us to walk around and scope out what’s on offer. We’re the only ones dancing in the silent disco (much to the other spectator’s amusement), but by the time I decide exactly which cuisine I fancy out of the huge array on offer – I’m very indecisive – the silent disco tent is packed and most stalls now have queues. The performers and musicians have attracted large, lively crowds and the atmosphere is friendly and fantastic. Given that this Wednesday is the last night market, you can probably expect the lively atmosphere (and crowds that follow) right from the start.
Verdict – 4.5 Queen Vics
B: One thing that can’t be faulted is the variety of food on offer: American Philly steak; Nepalese; Polish; Sicilian; Hungarian street food; German pretzels; Irish beef; and Guinness stew and meatballs – just to name a few! The aroma and buzz coming from the food stands make every single meal enticing. This makes the decision to choose just one thing incredibly difficult. While there are dessert options such as waffles, lollies and macaroons, these treats are slightly more expensive than the savoury items.
Verdict – 5 Queen Vicd
B: Sicilian fisherman’s stew
As intrigued as I am about the Nepalese goat curry, I can’t get the Sicilian fisherman’s stew out of my mind. It comes in a bowl that compared to Ally’s soup is quite small, which leaves me concerned that it’s not going to be enough. Three quarters of the way through, I know I needn’t have worried. It’s a delicious concoction of seafood, pearl barley and spices. It reminds me a bit of seafood risotto, with a rich tomato flavour and spicy kick. Although my tongue feels like it’s on fire, it’s the perfect dish to warm you up on a winter’s night.
Verdict – 4 Queen Vics
B: The mulled wine stand has a decent queue, but if that’s not quite your poison there’s not a great deal else to choose from. There are two bars offering local wines, beer and ciders at average prices but the choice feels a bit limited compared to the summer market.
Verdict – 3 Queen Vics
B: Venture to the side of the market and you’ll find a free silent disco! Grab a pair of headphones, select one of three DJs to listen to and dance away in the tent for free. Given that not everyone can hear the music you’re listening to, be prepared for some peculiar looks from non-silent disco goers. Those judging looks have absolutely NOTHING to do with your terrible dancing. Or so Ally assures me. Leave your ID at the desk and you’re even allowed to keep the headphones on as you walk round the market. Did we mention that all this was FREE?
Verdict – 4 Queen Vics
Full of great food, music, drinks, gifts and entertainment, Luna 1878 is definitely worth braving the winter cold. Grab your friends, rug up in your warmest jacket and nab a much-coveted spot by one of the fires.
The Two Review’s final verdict:
4.5 Queen Vics