QVM Winter Market Preview (Invited)

Monday, June 19, 2017 Sharon Halim 3 Comments

We waited briefly outside the Dairy Hall entrance as we were a bit early. Once we’ve finally been let it in, I was surprised by the completely changed ambience of the market. We entered the doors to a red-lit space that had a very smoky, almost mystical ambience to the hall. The jazzy smooth sounds from a ‘puppet’ manoeuvred by a mime ventriloquist added into the mysterious vibe of the place. The atmosphere was very fitting for the Fire and Light theme of this year’s Winter Night Markets.

QVM is magical with the warm LED lights and the fog machine. You know you are doing something right when, as soon as the door opens, everyone takes out their phone and camera and starts taking pictures. They take some very talented performers, fire artists, hula-hoop, animal balloons, they all adds into the atmosphere. But one stood out from the rest for me. The singing skeleton marionette. It was so live like. It can ever interact with the mike stand, the typical lean it to the side and hold it like a lady, wonderful. One suggestions though, I think they should scatter some well-lit tables for people to take picture of the food. Otherwise, the atmosphere was perfect. The halls were packed within minutes and I started off with a boozy apple cider. It was slightly too boozy for me, and I still preferred Two Girls’ non-alcoholic cider! But they were still good, punchy and tart.

I made my way next to the Amore booth and saw someone made a real mozarella ball from scratch in front of me! The mozzarella was very sticky and the man expertly stretched it over and over again, before rolling it into small balls. The mozzarella balls were surprisingly not very gooey, but I liked the warmth, freshness and saltiness of the cheese! This is one way trip with no going back. The cheese was made in front of me. First, mix curd with salt, massage to mix, then add very hot water, mix a bit more and you would see the texture change. Then, either invoke the spell of fire immunity on your hand, or spend years in the kitchen until your hand developed a very high heat tolerant, then mold it into bitesize. Eat while still warm. This give a whole new meaning to “eat while warm”. When it comes to any other food, it means that it is eaten fresh out of the kitchen, while still warm. If this is applied to cheese, usually it refers to the fact that the cheese are heated / baked / melted. But not this one. This is warm, because it is just made, and this is only way to eat mozzarella cheese, everything else, is culinary abomination.

The beef bone broth was first brought out. The broth was made from the same people that brought out the absolutely delicious apple cider last year (Those Girls!). The broth was a great, warming start to the evening. ‘Brewed’ for around 48 hours, the clear soup packed a lot of flavours. I talked to the owners and they told me that they would be serving the chicken broth version as well as their apple ciders alongside new fruity flavours in the Winter Market! Will definitely pop over their booths to try some! 

Amore Carbonara. I tried the carbonara from Amore next that was super cheesy. The texture was too claggy for me, and the new addition of really tiny mozarella balls didn’t really add into the texture or flavours. It ended up tasted like nothing because of the cheesiness of the sauce. Amore is a cheese specialty. I think they designed their pasta in a way to accentuate their cheese. Although I can taste the cheese, and it was good. However, the pasta itself falls flat as a pasta dish. It is quite bland in the taste.

Amore - Beef Ragu and Polenta. A new addition to Amore’s Winter Night Market menu, the beef ragu is delicious with fall-apart, tender beef. The strong parmesan cheese also added into the flavours of the ragu, but I’m not sure that polenta was the right accompaniment to the tasty ragu.

Pacos Tacos - Beef Tacos. I haven’t had any tacos in a while so these tacos were so good for me! The pieces of beef in my taco were delightfully succulent and smoky, and was paired off with a smoky sauce that I’ve never really had before. The smokiness was balanced with the  by the freshness of the pickled habanero and the salsa. Loved it!

Butterlake Pancakes. These Taiwanese Pancakes resembled a dorayaki. Also resembles Indonesian mini martabak. They were various flavours: Nutella, peanut butter and jam, Oreo, coconut and Hershey's. I couldn’t taste all the flavours but I loved the Oreo and Hershey flavours because the gooey chocolatey flavours had crunchy textures that went well with the fluffiness of the pancakes! 

Another fun and amazing night by Queen Victoria Market. I'm very convince that they can truly throw a good party every time.

Queen Victoria Market
513 Elizabeth
Melbourbe, VIC 3000