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Gastronomical ramblings

All the #fresh #fruits!
#travel #eurotrip (at Mercat de la Boqueria / Sant Josep)

Food adventure @ Christmas Markets, Berlin

When it comes to Christmas, the Europeans love it. They go all out with their glitzy street decorations, Christmas carols and Christmas Markets. Fortunately for us, the first day of the Berlin Christmas Markets fell right onto our last day in the city and country. We decided to check out the food stalls for a little snack prior to dinner. But of course ended up eating to our stomach’s content, leaving no room for dinner at an actual restaurant. Ah well, worth it! 

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This lot of markets (there’s a few around the city) was located in the square between the French and German Cathedrals. 

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The festive mood was very infectious. Either that, or we were just super excited about the food. 

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Free chocolate cakes from a panda. 

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That fried aroma wafting from the langos store caught our attention, and we just had to give the Hungarian fried treat a go. 

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Langos, with sour cream, garlic, cheese and pepper. 

When you have something fried that’s also smothered in sour cream and cheese, you know you have something great on your hands. Not so good for the waistline (and maybe the arteries), but great in taste nonetheless. The crunch of that langos complemented the creamy and cheesy topping to a T. 

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Waffle stand. 

This was another stall that got our olfactory systems going…

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Waffle, with custard cream and chocolate sauce. 

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This store had amazing dips. We were allowed to try samples, and had we had access to a fridge back at our hostel, we would have snapped up some spicy capsicum dip in a blink of an eye. The addition of the jalapenos and red onions just brought the flavour profile of the dip to a whole new level! 

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Wood-oven baked pizzas.

Ahhhh, that smokiness may make your clothes reek, but they really added an impeccable flavour to the crunchy pizza. 

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The base sported much crunch, while the simple ingredients combination of an oozy cheese layer, spring onions and crunchy bacon pieces made each mouthful a heavenly delight. 

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Lastly, we couldn’t resist ordering a crepe to share. We had seen and smelt them all throughout our trip and during the stroll through the markets, and the temptation had finally reached critical point. 

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Check out that generous application of Nutella. Each bite resulted in squirts of Nutella! 

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Nutella and banana crepe. 

Surrounded by a jolly and festive atmosphere and great food, you can see why we got carried away with what was supposed to be just a snack and quick stop by. It was truly a great way to end our Berlin chapter with a bang, and the Christmas Markets (in any country) comes highly recommended. 

Suzuki Night Market 2013

It’s taken a while to get around to it but I’ve finally paid a visit to this summer’s night market. I didn’t think it was possible, but the once-a-week event seems to have lured in a larger crowd than previously. At least it seemed that way two Wednesdays ago when thehouseofem and I paid a visit. 

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While there were plenty of stalls to browse through, it’s the food that stole my focus. Some familiar stands have remained, while plenty of new ones have emerged on the scene. 

First thing on our agenda: a nice cold drink. Coming straight from a gruelling session of bootcamp, thehouseofem and I were in dire need of a thirst-quencher. We didn’t need to look very far before spotting a booth that sold what looked like lemonade slushies. 

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The first sip was heavenly. The sweet tanginess and the frozen coolness provided much relief to my thirst. Unfortunately, as with most of the other slurpees I’ve had before, I was unable to finish it and the drink became a nuisance to carry around as we tried to fight our way through the crowd. 

With our thirst at last satiated, it was time to begin our search for dinner. 

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We soon spotted the Meatball Company stand. The meatballs were tempting as soon as thehouseofem and I laid eyes on the stall but we decided to push our way all the way through to the other side just in case there was something better ahead. We should have known to go with our instincts. It took us a good 10-15 minutes to “walk” the remainder of the food stretch and back to the meatballs stall. Strategic skills were required to look for openings to dart around individuals in order to make our way through the masses of people. The task is particularly tricky when practically everyone else is looking to do the same thing. 

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The Italian BnB (balls in bun) - beef balls (ground porterhouse steak, mozzarella & parmesan in rich Napoli sauce), bocconcini cheese & basil pesto in fresh panini. 

I’m surprised the sandwich made it out in one piece as we fought our way to the exit. Not because we were tempted to eat it whilst walking but because the sandwich was on the receiving end of appreciative glances, oohs+aahs, and even a wolf whistle from several individuals. What a mighty fine sandwich and the sandwich knew it! 

With meatballs like these, it’s no wonder that meatballs have recently been making quite a splash in Melbourne’s dining scene. The meatballs possessed the perfect blend of aromatic flavour to soft melted cheese to tender meatballs. The pesto provided another strong herb element. Finished up with a crusty on the outside and soft on the inside piece of panini bread drizzled with olive oil. Hungry? I know I am…  

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Chicken balls (ground chicken thigh fillet, pancetta & sage in fresh béchamel sauce), with saffron ‘tater mash. 

Not surprising after such a fantastic encounter with the beef meatballs, the chicken ones were also very tender. Aside from undoing some of the bootcamp work, you could not go wrong with the creamy béchamel sauce. And the mash, oh what velvety smooth mash. The saffron addition compounded the natural sweet flavours of the potato but the taste was a pleasant contrast to the typical mash combinations. 

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A must-order each time we visit the market. 

Potato twists are quite the rage, with these carbs-on-a-stick even popping up in the new year festivals this year. We had first spotted a new booth located outside selling these spirals but unsurprisingly, there was also a ridiculously long queue. We returned to the original spot with the larger stall and while there were more queues, there were also more staff, resulting in us getting our chilli spiral in almost no time. 

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Spotted: American Monster pancakes. 

Of course they’re American! Unfortunately, we had no room for these beasts and I have put them on the maybe-to-try next time. Provided there’s at least four of us that is…

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10pm: closing time and STILL busy. 

With 6 more weeks left and what looks like good chances of encountering great weather on at least some of those nights (fingers crossed), be sure to get yourself down to the market. I know I will! 

Suzuki Night Market

Queen Victoria Market,

Corner Elizabeth & Victoria St.

5.00pm to 10.00pm. 

Suzuki Night Market, Queen Victoria Market

Night market has come and gone. Over the three months in which it was held, I’m sad to say that I only managed to go once. Despite having to push through hordes of people and the massive queues for virtually all food and drinks, it all becomes worth it when you finally get your hands on some food! 

A very lively atmosphere. On a warm night especially, there’s something that feels perfect about being here. I especially love the multiculturalism embodied by the various food stalls and even the market stalls. 

Korean potato twists. Chicken salt and barbecue flavoured. 

Ant’s Dumplings. So many dumprings!  

Malaysian pork and mushroom dumplings with a touch of hot sauce. I wouldn’t know what Malaysian dumplings were supposed to taste like but these tasted like normal dumplings to me! 

Chicken quesadilla with guacamole, sour cream and salsa. 

Nepalese dumplings. 

Nepalese vegetarian dumplings. I can’t recall exactly but going by the green, it’s probably safe to assume that these were the vegetarian ones. 

Seafood paella. 

Dutch pancakes with cream and jam. I just felt like scones after eating a few of these. Must have been the the cream and jam!