by Ellen Seah
Visit the Vic Market at lunchtime and you’re guaranteed to find a hoard of hungry customers surrounding shop 95. Simply labelled ‘Boreks’, this tiny stand’s exterior doesn’t reflect its devoted following in Melbourne.
Laminated sheets of paper display the three most popular menu items: spicy lamb; spicy potato and cheese and spinach boreks. The shop’s popularity usually means you’ll have to struggle through the crowd, but it’s all worth it for the fluffy $3 breads. The super-efficient Borek ladies have a divine system which ensures that a piping hot borek will be ready within 30 seconds of your order. There are a few other pastry options but non-borek orders are few and far in between and if it’s your first visit I’d highly recommend sticking to the script.
The freshly pan-fried bread is consistently crispy on the outside and gorgeously soft on the inside. There’s just enough oil to give the borek’s a warm, buttery flavour when they’re fresh and hot. Although there’s not heaps of filling in the pastry, the flavour-heavy herbs and spices more than make up for the lack of volume. The cheese and spinach has a mild taste while the spicy lamb is packed with flavour, so choose whichever (or both) to please your palate.
It’s easy to grab a bargain borek or two for a snack or lunch since Queen Victoria Market is short five minute walk from RMIT. While it may not be the most nutritious meal, who needs vegetables when you’ve got carbs like these around?
Where: Victoria Market, shop 95, Deli Hall
Opening hours: Closed Monday and Wednesday. Open all other days until about 2pm.
Favourite: Spicy lamb borek
Best for: Quick, dirt-cheap meal