Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Melbourne Trip: Victoria Market

Assalamualaikum.

Queen Victoria Market - the attraction
Queen Victoria Market (QVM),  a MUST go place when in Melbourne. Kira-kira macam wajib jugaklah. Kalau tak pergi macam tak cukup rukun 'Trip to Melbourne'.

From where we stayed, at the Nova Stargate Apartment, it is just a 10 minutes walking distance. You can repeat your visit as many times as you like per day. You can even walk back to the hotel if you need to go to the loo while shopping.... (Ssshhh).... that's how close Victoria Market is to where we stayed.

The market sells vegetables, fruits, wet products, dairies, clothes and souvenirs. Just like our local pasar malam, it sells everything but with a major difference. The difference is that the Victoria Market is soooooo clean. No cats wondering around. No water ponding found. It's a thumbs up. As any market are, the QVM are divided into sections. There are fresh fruits and vegetables which are house outdoor, while the dairy products and wet products are in another closed building. In the open building you can find people selling the many sourvenirs ranging from t-shirts, handmade items, leather goods, Merino wool jackets, lots and lots of keychains and magnetic deco. So if you plan to get something for the loved ones back at home, QVM is the best place to get those items. The price is much cheaper if compared with those in the shops around the Melbourne CBD along the La Trobe street (we made our study about this very well).

The wet products at QVM
The ripe and tempting cherries
Vegies that are not available at our hometown
The wet products such as meat, fish, lobster are all sold behind the glass. Very hygiene and systematic. To purchase, you can just point to the item that you want. No touching, no squeezing, no pressing. That is something mothers would not like if buying fishes at our local wet market. We would like to turn the fish, check the eyes for sign of freshness. But, it is not how it is in the QVM. The price? A bit pricy for our currency. I can see lobster selling for $199 AUD per kilo!!!! They even have section for dairies, a place where you can get your cheese from (but I can't guarantee that its halal. It is interesting to see the many varieties of cheese selling there unlike the limited choice that we have at our supermarkets. Anyway, cheese is not part of our daily routine, why bother. I found a unit selling coffee beans. The variety of coffee beans. It smells so good.


Night Market at QVM 
We walked to the market from our apartment at about 7am in the cold and breezing weather. The sellers are still laying out their goods. As we arrived, we were greeted by a Chinese man. Showing the sourvenirs that he sells. He can even speaks a little Bahasa Melayu as he claims his wife is a Malay Muslim from Jinjang, Kuala Lumpur. He is the same person few of our friends had been telling. They claimed that he gives the best bargain. We agreed. Grab few items and move on for more hunting. The fresh market are all ready waiting for us. There's a wide variety of vegetables. I was so excited. Unfortunately it is impossible to bring it back home. We met with an Indonesian lady selling T-shirts. We had a chit-chat with her, bought few items from her. When asked for halal food around the QVM, she cautioned us only to eat from a Turkish Cafe there as the rest of the stalls are non-halal. Thank you sister, May Allah bless you and tour family.
A place for souvenirs

The market does not open daily. It is closed on Monday, Wednesday and most public holidays. The opening hours is from 6am to 2pm. And it opens the night market on Wednesday night seasonally.

We are lucky enough to experienced the night market. They only sells cooked food at the night market . You can see a very large crowd at the market. Tasting the variety of foods sold there. It is during this night market that we get acquaintance with GOZLEME, a Turkish food (itu je yang halal pun kat night market tu). Gozleme is something like pratha where you place some fillings onto it plus cheese, fold it into half, pan baked it for a while and serve with variety of sauce of your like. The sauce can be tomato ketchup, cheese, mustard or mayo. There are churros too ... but the queue was too long, and we are not sure whether it is halal or not even though the recipe is clean from any non-halal ingredients. We did not had the chance to find out.


Wassalam.

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