By now most would have read or heard about the overwhelming success of the first Twilight Hawker Market, a part of the Eat Drink Perth festival. If you haven't, now is a good time to catch up on some excellent write-ups and porn-y food pics by fellow Perth food bloggers:
The turnout for the inaugural Twilight Hawker Market was quite phenomenal with queues forming rapidly around some of the stalls shortly after the market was opened and continued to be busy until they sold out. A common complaint was the poor use of space, where all the stalls were crammed into the small area, whilst the main square at Forrest Chase was left unused. Some stall holders were also caught on the back foot with the popularity of their offerings, with the paella and Singaporean hawker stalls selling out well before 7pm. Others, like the satay and empanada stalls had queues all the way until stumps.
So last Friday night, I made my way back down to the Twilight Hawker Market again determined to sample foods that I missed out on the previous week. The organisers have taken the comments and suggestions to heart and extended the stall area, providing more space to for visitors to move and queue for their favourite foods. There were also more seating setup so people can sit down to enjoy their meals and were able to wash up afterwards with a few hand washing stations dotted throughout.
First stop at the market was Marcelita's Empanada run by Matt of Abstract Gourmet and his lovely wife Marcela. Despite the early hour of the day, there was already quite a queue forming for their tasty deep fried treats. Fortunately, I bumped into a fellow friend who was in the queue and managed to sneak an order in with his. Mine were an all time favourite, pulled pork and lime with coriander with a side of guacamole. Hot, crispy little pockets filled with delicious shredded pork. The limes cutting through the rich meaty flavours and providing a lovely contrast. My friend Seng, who was trying the empanadas for the first time, had a sample of each flavour but also agreed that the pork was the outstanding winner.
While waiting for our empanadas to be served up, I wandered down to Red Hot Spatula, a stall serving Singaporean style curries and snacks which I missed out on the previous week as they sold out quickly. From the stall, I had their signature hoi sin glazed chicken in wonton cup, a dish that is inspired by the classic Pekin duck but given Yvonne's unique intepretation. The chicken was garnished with grated cucumber and sprigs of coriander. The combination of flavours and textures worked really well with the salty chicken tempered by the cool, bland cucumbers and coriander providing a touch of sharpness. The crispy wonton skins provided a lovely crunchy textural base bringing all the elements together. I also had a deliciously rich and aromatic beef curry served with warm roti pratha.
Despite preparing a larger batch of food and adding new dish (Gado Gado) to the menu, they were completely sold out by 7pm. Yvonne has vowed to make an even larger batch of food for next week's market and add yet another dish, quite probably a curry as that was immensely popular.
In the meantime, Seng wandered off and got himself an entree platter from Thali - comprising of a pair of tandoori drumsticks, 5 curry prawns, a samosa and some salad