One of the things I love about Melbourne are the markets. For someone who’s a bit of a food geek, I can happily wander around a market and amuse myself for a couple of hours. Poor Alastair has been dragged around many, many food markets during our travels.
Prahran market is the oldest continuously running market in Australia and was established in 1864. It has been on its present site in Commercial Road for over 125 years. Interestingly, it’s actually located in South Yarra and not Prahran. So why Prahran Market and not South Yarra market? It’s because the market used to be located in Prahran on Greville Street. In 1881 it was moved to the present and larger location in South Yarra, but retained the name.
And if I had to sum up Prahran Market in one word, it would be quality. All the goods and produce are displayed beautifully and its evident that they are of high quality.
There is so much to find under the market roof. Not only are there the usual stalls selling fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood, Prahran Market also hosts several deli stalls, egg and honey supplies, fresh flower sellers, a party supplies shop and even an old fashioned shoe repairer.
The market also has cafes, cake and gelato shops for any necessary caffeine or sugar fixes. If you need some sweetness, I particularly loved these Hungarian pastry twists. Made of a yeast dough, the cinnamon and sugar one was amazing – sweet and crispy, with a soft and smooth inner.
Many stalls also sell hard to get ingredients. Lee’s Asian Grocery has a large range of Asian ingredients – both fresh and packaged. In particular, I was pretty excited to see fresh shiso, fresh turmeric and fresh pandan.
In the meat hall, all orders of meat and beast are displayed beautifully. Everything from poultry, beef, saltbush lamb, organic meats and even game meat.
The John Cester Poultry and Game stall specialises in poultry but also has different varieties of game available seasonally. Fancy rabbit? On the day I visited they had both wild and farmed rabbit.
They also had fresh quail, pheasant, milk fed baby goat meat and partridge.
For other unusual ingredients, the Eggs Plus stall sells regular hen, duck and quail eggs, but also, when in season (around September / October), emu and ostrich eggs. I really want to get my hands on an emu/ostrich egg. I’m not 100% sure what I’d do with it but that doesn’t matter, right? Maybe a mammoth souffle or a bucket of scrambled eggs?
If you’re like me and love your seafood, the market has several fishmongers for all fish and seafood needs.
And if the sight of all the seafood makes you feel a bit peckish, Theo and Sons Seafood also sells freshly shucked oysters. And here’s a hot tip: if you take the receipt to Rumbles Patisserie around the corner you can get a discount on a glass of champagne. How’s that for a trip to the market? Complete your food shopping and then relax with freshly shucked oysters and a glass of champagne. It sounds like my perfect day out!
View Off the spork in a larger map
163-185 Commercial Road
Phone: 8290 8220
Opening hours: Tues, Thur & Sat 7am-5pm, Fri 7am-6pm, Sun 10am-3pm