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Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Queen Victoria Market - Ultimate Foodie Tour

After doing the Prahran Market Tour a few weeks ago, thought it was about time we did a tour of the Queen Victoria Market. Off we went last Saturday for their 11am Ultimate Foodie Tour.  Not having had breakfast, we did arrive at the meeting spot eating (the usual hotdog from the bratwurst shop for Emi and borek for me), much to the surprise of our guide who assured us there would be plenty of tastings.  Emi was sceptical and lets face it there was no way he was going to pay a visit to the QVM and NOT eat a hotdog.  Some things are sacred.

Gorgeous QVM 
The French Shop sells French stuff
Right, so breakfast out of the way and shopping bag in hand, we were on our way.  The tour provides a bit of history on the market and lasts for just under 90-minutes.  We wandered around the various heritage listed market food halls and yep, there were plenty of tastings thrown in. 

Started with a slippery freshly shucked oyster, moved onto Tribal Tastes for some dried bits (didn't do anything for me), then several stops to sample cheeses, cured meats, antipasto and pasta.  Highlights for me was the pasta from the Traditional Pasta Shop and the goodies from The French Shop.  Obviously the marketing teams for these shops (and the Polish Shop next door), stuck to the KISS principal when coming up with a name.  Which is good.  Less confusion and you (sort of) know what you're getting.

And this place sells assorted goodies
The other must have at the QVM is of course a hot jam doughnut from the American Doughnut Kitchen van.   They've been operating here since 1950, and they serve 1000's of people every week with a recipe that has remained unchanged since they started.  I love these sugary little beauties and probably being limited to just 1 was a good thing.  Or not.  Anyway, the line was long and we got a shortcut to the window - woo hoo. 
And the Polish Deli sells Polish stuff

Final stop was for some mulled wine and a fruit platter at ReWine. A very civilised was to end the tour.  

The tours are $69 each and depart at 9am and 11am on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.  You get a shopping bag (not as nice as the Prahran Market ones) and a $5 voucher.  Worth it?  It was interesting enough, but I would have like a bit more info on the history of the market, so probably not. Ever on the lookout for a bargain, I got our vouchers through a deal that Red Balloon had that was only $49 for 2 people - so for that price, definitely a bargain for all the goodies we got to taste.

I have since found out that they do a free 10 minute welcome tour for newbies.

We love the QVM.  Spent many days here - especially when we first arrived in Melbourne.  One of my fave stories is of Emi going off shopping with our not-so-trusty purple wire shopping trolley.  Didn't have a car in the early days so the number 8 tram was his chosen mode of transport on the day.  Shopping complete, he arrived at our stop on Toorak Road, and hopped off, carefully carrying the trolley filled with goodies down the step placing it down on the road only to have it burst apart.  Sorry I missed the sight of him trying to chase after escaping oranges and stopping cars so they wouldn't squash his chorizo (a Spaniard would go a long way to stop his chorizo from getting damaged). After retrieving all the renegade items, he had to push the thing home holding it all together.  Several bruised tomatoes, no missing sausages, 1 trolley for repair.  It did last several years after that incident, but has since gone to trolley heaven.

I loved that purple trolley.

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