Queen Victoria Market @ Melbourne: Everything is fuss-free here

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Spent another two days in Melbourne after my short two-day stay in Sydney. No, this post is not about kangaroo meat. The above photo collage basically sums up my first day in Melbourne. I enjoyed myself the most at the Warrook Cattle Farm! 😀

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No visit to Melbourne is complete without stopping by the famous Queen Victoria Market! Opened in 1878, the Queen Victoria Market is more than just a market where locals get their fresh seafood and meat from. This 19th century market is a historic landmark as well as a tourist attraction for people like me and you :)

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Like most shopping areas and markets, the Queen Victoria Market also has a food court — the Vic Market Place Food Court. It can be quite difficult to get yourself a table during lunch time! There were about 8 to 10 food stalls and after weaving in and out of the crowd for what seemed like eternity, I decided to buy my lunch from funkfish.

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Don’t expect anything fanciful here! Almost everything I see were served on paper plates and bowls. Cutlery is disposable too. Quite a generous portion of Fish and Chips (AU$8.90) with an equally generous serving of salad. The fish was very moist on the inside. I couldn’t tell what fish was it. Most probably dory fish. Very simple yet satisfying lunch!

Queen Victoria Market
513 Elizabeth St
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: 03 9320 5822

Opening Hours:
Tue and Thur
6am – 2pm
Fri
6am – 5pm
Sat
6am – 3pm
Sun
9am – 4pm

Harry’s Cafe de Wheels @ Sydney: Famous pies on wheels

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The history of Harry’s Cafe de Wheels dates back to as long as many many many.. many.. many years ago. You get the drift. I was doing some online research prior my trip and happened to come across this humble pie cart. Pardon my cheesy pose. I was feeling a little overjoyed that I was able to locate Harry’s 😛 This is what being a food blogger can do to you.

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Extracted a bit of its long long long history. This happened in 1945.
The phrase ‘Café de Wheels’ came about as the city council of the day insisted that mobile food caravans move a minimum of 12 inches a day. Harry dutifully obeyed and thus the name was expanded to Harry’s Café de Wheels.

A minimum of 12 inches a day? Hahaha okaaaay…

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You can read about Harry’s history here.
A very colorful past indeed!

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I half expected this guy to blabber in perfect Mandarin but his English is pretty good! I didn’t wanna stand there gaping at the menu so I got him to recommend some pies to me. His immediate response to my question was, “Usually, Asians prefer………”

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Hidden under that hot, flaky crust were chunks and chunks of scallops, prawns, white fish and salmon. Never have I seen so many seafood ingredients all in one pie! However, the Seafood Pie (AU$4.80) was a little too dry. It could have won me over with more cream sauce.

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Now this is a little confusing. I’m still in a confused state myself. So let’s just say that the next recommended pie was the Chicken and Mushroom Pie but we had upgraded it to the Harry’s ‘Tiger’ (AU$5.50), which is a signature dish named after founder Harry ‘Tiger’ Edwards. Instead of beef, we had it substituted with pieces of juicy tender chicken meat and fresh slices of mushroom all cooked in cream sauce, served with mashy peas and potato and gravy on top. In case you are wondering, no we didn’t just sink our teeth into the pie. We were given a plastic fork :)

So what initially was supposed to be a tea break turned out to be something quite filling for a party of four! Other than pies, hot dogs, soups and sweet treats are also available on the menu :) Currently, Harry’s Cafe de Wheels operate in six different locations, only in Sydney.

Harry’s Cafe de Wheels (Haymarket)
Hay Street (near crn of George)
Outside Entrance of Capitol Square Shopping Centre – Next to Paddy Maguires Pub
Haymarket, NSW 2000
Tel: 02 9281 6292

Opening Hours:
Mon and Tue
9am – 10pm
Wed and Thur
9am – 1am (next day)
Fri
9am – 4am (next day)
Sat
10am – 4am (next day)
Sun
10am – 10pm

Hurricane’s Grill @ Sydney: It blew us away!

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Hello I’m back from Australia, a long time ago actually. I’m so glad that I met up with my dearest tennis partner YP, who has been studying in Sydney for about two years. She knows where to head to for good food! :) I got to know about Not Quite Nigella through her. We took a long leisurely stroll from the The Great Southern Hotel where I stayed over for two nights, to Hurricane’s Grill at Darling Harbour’s Harbourside Shopping Centre.

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We went in as soon as it was open for business so the place was empty. However, the waiter ushered us to the tables outdoors because we did not make any reservations. At that point in time, I was thinking.. What? There isn’t a single customer.. Don’t tell me ALL the tables located indoors are reserved? Power.

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It’s a good thing that the view from the second floor is nice. Sorry about the trees. I’m tempted to say coconut trees :X Plus I enjoyed the nice cool breeze.

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The place was empty when we were seated. But as we were looking through the menu, placing our orders and waiting patiently for our food, the crowd streamed in slowly.

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A dozen Natural Oysters with Lemon (AU$37) served as a good start to our meal. These oysters were shucked so all we had to do was to just squeeze some lemon onto them and slurp them down. I’m sorry that I have to say this, but for those who don’t eat oysters, you don’t know what you are missing out on!

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Supposedly a local favorite, the Garlic Prawns (AU$18) were a bit of a letdown. The memorable thing was that it was served bubbling hot and it reminded me of a witch’s couldron. Haha. There were about 5 or 6 pieces of prawns that were fairly huge and succulent. The downside was that the taste of garlic was pretty mild.

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The soup of the day happened to be Potato and Broccoli Soup (AU$11) and we had a Garlic Roll (AU$4.50) to go along with it. I have never had potato and broccoli soup before. At first I thought I would faint on the spot if I see a soupy version with vegetable pieces in it, but thank god, no! I’m glad to say that I have never tasted such awesome soup. Rich, creamy, and sweet. Its consistency was perfect, so perfect.

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We were here for their ribs and you get to choose among pork, lamb and beef, half or full rack. We had a Full Rack Pork Rib (AU$34), the photo shows only half a rack 😛 Hurricane’s make their own rib sauce and I can only say that it’s finger-lickin’ good! (Sorry KFC!) The ribs were grilled to near perfection, meat was tender and juicy, a little charred on the sides.

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We were given bibs to put on! Hmm, you can choose to say no if you don’t want to. Heh.. 😛 And don’t bother about eating with a knife and fork. Use your fingers! More shiok.

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In case you were wondering how can two girls manage to eat so much.. It was actually a table of five. The more the merrier, more food coverage too! Haha. Unfortunately, I did not find the BBQ Chicken (AU$27 Whole, AU$20 Half) particularly impressive. The BBQ sauce tasted somewhat similar to the rib sauce. Or maybe we had ourselves to blame for eating a mouthful of ribs and then another mouthful of chicken, repeat cycle X 10. The chicken was quite oily and too charred for my liking.

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Hurricane’s was almost packed by the time we were done! And when we went back to the area to do a bit more shopping, there was a long and messy queue during dinner. Seems like a pretty popular place! It has to be the ribs. It must be!

Hurricane’s Grill & Bar
Harbourside Shopping Centre,
Shops 433-436, Level 2,
Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia
Tel: 02 9211 2210

Opening Hours:
Mon to Sun
12pm – 3pm (Lunch)
5.30pm – late (Dinner)