The Two Review: ‘Melbourne from A to B’ – Luna 1878

0 Posted by - 24/08/2013 - Blogs

The iconic Queen Victoria Market has been a Melbourne icon for well over a century. For locals and students, it’s favoured for its cheery vendors and their cheap, fresh fruit and veg. Despite this, The Two headed to the Victoria Market for something a little different this week.

Every Wednesday night in August, the Victoria Market lights up for Luna 1878 – the winter night market. The Two are massive fans of the summer night market. Hot summer nights, sangria and loads of great food – what’s not to love? But on a dreary cold night, The Two wanted to see how the winter night market could compare. The Two decided to rate the night out of ‘Queen Vics’.

Atmosphere

B: We arrive just after 6pm and although there are a few people around, it’s relatively quiet. Without the big crowd, it’s easy for us to walk around and scope out what’s on offer. We’re the only ones dancing in the silent disco (much to the other spectator’s amusement), but by the time I decide exactly which cuisine I fancy out of the huge array on offer – I’m very indecisive – the silent disco tent is packed and most stalls now have queues. The performers and musicians have attracted large, lively crowds and the atmosphere is friendly and fantastic. Given that this Wednesday is the last night market, you can probably expect the lively atmosphere (and crowds that follow) right from the start.

Verdict – 4.5 Queen Vics

Food 

B: One thing that can’t be faulted is the variety of food on offer: American Philly steak; Nepalese; Polish; Sicilian; Hungarian street food; German pretzels; Irish beef; and Guinness stew and meatballs – just to name a few! The aroma and buzz coming from the food stands make every single meal enticing. This makes the decision to choose just one thing incredibly difficult. Not to mention the friendly faces behind the stalls like this guy!

Polish food

Disclaimer – no Polishmen were kissed in the making of this post.

While there are dessert options such as waffles, lollies and macaroons, these treats are slightly more expensive than the savoury items.

Verdict – 5 Queen Vics

We both managed to select delicious and filling meals for just $10 – bargain! What did we have?

A: Soup in a bread roll

I don’t know about you, but in winter all I crave is a huge bowl of soup to warm me up. I also love a hot bread roll. Amongst all the different ethnic food on offer, I didn’t expect Luna 1878 to provide me with the best of both worlds!

Soup in bread

So for dinner I’m literally eating soup in a bread roll – something I’ve never seen before! There are many different flavours to choose from; such as chicken and sweet corn, pumpkin and sweet potato. In the end, I decide to have the vegetarian lentil, which is amazing. It is so filling with the bread, and my only criticism is that the soup is a bit too salty. Overall though, it is incredibly enjoyable and delicious to consume.

Verdict – 4.5 Queen Vics

B: Sicilian fisherman’s stew

As intrigued as I am about the Nepalese goat curry, I can’t get the Sicilian fisherman’s stew out of my mind. It comes in a bowl that compared to Ally’s soup is quite small, which leaves me concerned that it’s not going to be enough. Three quarters of the way through, I know I needn’t have worried. It’s a delicious concoction of seafood, pearl barley and spices. It reminds me a bit of seafood risotto, with a rich tomato flavour and spicy kick. Although my tongue feels like it’s on fire, it’s the perfect dish to warm you up on a winter’s night.

Verdict – 4 Queen Vics

Sweets

A: If you read The Two’s first blog post, then you would know I have a love for macaroons. To my delight, there is a macaroon stand at the night market. This company is different to the one that sells macaroons during the day, but they are just as good! For $15 (not the cheapest you can get, but they are quite big) I buy the pistachio, raspberry and salted caramel macaroons. The salted caramel is the best, and there isn’t a single crumb left once I finish it! Because I have such a sweet tooth, I also indulge in some raspberry liquorice, which never dissapoint!

Verdict – 4.5 Queen Vics

Macaroons

Drinks 

B: The mulled wine stand has a decent queue, but if that’s not quite your poison there’s not a great deal else to choose from. There are two bars offering local wines, beer and ciders at average prices but the choice feels a bit limited compared to the summer market.

Verdict – 3 Queen Vics

Gifts/Market Stalls

A: There are also a few gift stalls full of candles, beauty products, stationary, fashion and art. One worth visiting is Two Tree House, which has amazing homemade lip balms and hand creams. Another one not to miss is 22 Degree Candles, which has beautiful, locally made candles in some delicious scents such as pineapple and coconut! The Vintage clothing stall has some great finds on their $10 and $20 racks, and we’re drawn to some gorgeous handmade leather books – until we check the price tag. This is the only downfall with the night market’s clothing stalls – their slightly expensive prices put them well out of the average student’s budget.

Verdict – 3.5 Queen Vics

Entertainment 

A: The market is full of entertainment, constantly surrounding us with enjoyable distractions. We observe a live Mexican band, a small puppet show, angels on stilts, an acoustic band and even a marching drum band! There is a silent disco too, but Brittany will inform you about its amazingness later. The Mexican music is great to dance to, and it gives the market a great vibe. The puppet show is completely intriguing, with a line of people waiting to watch a show in a box the size of a microwave! We can’t keep the smiles off our faces as we take in the surroundings, because it seems something is always catching our eye.

Verdict – 4 Queen Vics

Silent Disco

B: Venture to the side of the market and you’ll find a free silent disco! Grab a pair of headphones, select one of three DJs to listen to and dance away in the tent for free. Given that not everyone can hear the music you’re listening to, be prepared for some peculiar looks from non-silent disco goers. Those judging looks have absolutely NOTHING to do with your terrible dancing. Or so Ally assures me. Leave your ID at the desk and you’re even allowed to keep the headphones on as you walk round the market. Did we mention that all this was FREE?

Verdict – 4 Queen Vics

Silent Disco

Full of great food, music, drinks, gifts and entertainment, Luna 1878 is definitely worth braving the winter cold. Grab your friends, rug up in your warmest jacket and nab a much-coveted spot by one of the fires.

The Two Review’s final verdict:

B – 4.5 Queen Vics

A – 4 Queen Vics

Open from 5pm – 10pm, the last Luna 1878 is this Wednesday. So mark it in your diary, make a Facebook event AND set an alarm on your phone – you don’t want to miss it.

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  • […] post was first published as part of Brittany’s Catalyst blogging residency, ‘The Two Review’ with fellow student Alexandra McManus. The Two Review offered a unique double review of all […]