Perth's Forrest Place is home to the Twilight Hawker Markets, a weekly event for some of Perth's food vendors to gather together and showcase their menu's to a rather diverse audience, from city office workers on their way home, to dedicated food travellers looking for a fix before their next overseas journey.
Kate, Mikah and myself headed to Forrest Place on Friday night to see what all the fuss was about. Kate and I have tried a few different foods on our journeys in the past, including deep fried insects and catfish cooked on a stick on our recent journey to Thailand, so we thought we'd head in to see if we could find something a little out of the ordinary to get us through until our next adventure.
We ended up choosing 3 market stalls to visit, starting with a chicken and seafood paella, followed by a serve of satay sticks and then topped off with some asado (or beef ribs).
While in many countries, the appeal of the Hawker stalls is in the price and the variety of foods on offer, the usual Perth price and serving creep has hit here too, with slightly smaller than usual portions for slightly higher than usual prices. One of the things Kate was looking forward to at these markets were the spiral spuds she'd tried in Thailand, but at $6 for a serve, as opposed to $1 for the same serve in Thailand, they got skipped over.
I've included a few photos of the asado, as the were probably the food I was most looking forward to while waiting in the queues (and they were all that I took photos of). While overall I was very happy with the asado, I was a little disappointed with the toughness of the meat. I don't know if this is the standard for beef ribs, but with the delicious selection of spices and some very tasty and meat juice soaked fat, if the meat had been more tender it would have made it perfect. I don't feel I can lay all the blame at the chef though, as the space and time available at these markets must make these one of the hardest meals to get just right. I have a feeling that if they'd cooked these ribs low and slow enough to have the meat falling apart tender, there would have only been a handful of ribs actually available to sell, and even at the $10 a serve price, they wouldn't have been able to sell enough to make it worth while turning up.
If you want to see some photos of some of the food we ate and the markets we visited in Thailand, check out the album on flickr