I, like most other foodies, bloody love a good market. The sights, the smells, the atmosphere, it all just puts you in the best mood and gets your hungry little tummy yearning for some seriously good eating. Whether it’s buying fresh produce from stalls upon stalls of shouting traders or sampling one delight after another from food trucks and local chefs, there’s not much that beats a stroll around a food market. Having recently lived in both London and Melbourne, this time of year’s got me dreaming of Melbourne’s Summer Night Market every Wednesday at Queen Victoria Market (not to be missed if you’re there over summer) and the oh-so-dreamy wintery Christmas markets back home in the UK, so when Capital Market Wellington invited me to come along to their Food Fest and judge some dishes I jumped at the chance.
Capital Market Wellington is a vibrant, bright, international food market in the heart of the capital on Willis Street. It hosts a whole range of glorious delights and – bonus – a bar and live music too. It doubles up as a great place to nip in and grab a quick lunch and a perfect place to spend an hour or two sampling Wellington’s finest and sipping a few drinks. They recently hosted the #capitalmarketfoodfest to showcase the best their stalls have to offer and kick off Summer with a delicious bang.
First up was a deliciously tangy Berry, Beetroot and Chia smoothie from SJuice. It was so zingy and flavoursome. Having this juice in hand with the sun beaming through, you can’t not feel wholesome and pure… too bad I was about to ruin it by eating more than even I thought was humanly possible. When you get a whole bunch of food bloggers together and even they are defeated by the spread you put on, you know you’ve done well. Fair play to the guys at Capital Market who organised the event, it was superb.
My score: 20/25 (see full scorecard at the bottom of the post)
It wouldn’t be a food fest in Wellington without some sushi and Lord did this platter from One Sushi bring the goods. One Sushi is a firm favourite of mine for weekday lunches but I’ve never had the pleasure of a whole platter before. Since this was a food fest I was ready to get a bit indulgent so, while I normally stick to healthy sushi options, I sampled a few of the deep fried treats. Marvellous. Plus, you can’t get more insta-friendly than a big old platter of sushi goodness.
My score: 21/25
Appetites suitably whet (whetted?!), time for some popcorn chicken. This offering from Miss Kangsta was divine. So good. All of us foodies were in agreement, one of the nicest popcorn chicken dishes we’d ever had. It’s even gluten and dairy-free for all of you out there with dietary requirements. I highly recommend.
My score: 22/25
Next up was a big, sumptuous bowl of chicken noodles. My bad, I can’t remember which stall this was from. They were total comfort food. Next time I’m feeling a bit rough from a few too many gins the night before, I’m 100% heading to Capital Market for a big old plate of these bad boys.
My score: 16/25
Now for a bit of theatrics; a pork belly crepe from Bun Bun. We all headed/waddled (starting to fill up at this point) to the stall to watch an absolute artist fry up a crepe on a spinning top and fill it with treats before our eyes. Pork belly, bacon, spring onions, egg… I mean, I don’t really need to explain how good it tasted do I?
My score: 23/25
Where’s Charlie is a firm fave for Vietnamese in Wellington and its chicken noodle bowl didn’t disappoint. It comes with a little pot of vinegar so you can control how tangy you like it. Obviously I whacked the whole lot on; if you’re gonna do it, do it right. The combo of coriander and vinegar just automatically transports me back to spending my days eating tasty morsels in Vietnam a few summers ago… perfection.
My score: 23/25
Just when we thought we couldn’t eat another bite, along comes a huge bowl of oozy pasta. I’m not one to admit defeat so I dived straight in (probably a little too fast as, again, I didn’t note down where it’s from but from looking at the list of stalls I’d hazard a guess at La Buca). It was a prawn pasta in a cream sauce which sounds like it wouldn’t work having already eaten your entire body weight in asian food but it was so dreamy; velvety soft, thick, creamy. Another one for the morning after the night before I think.
My score: 20/25
If ever you need proof that a second stomach for desert exists, it’s the sight of 8 food bloggers full to various points of unbuttoning jeans/almost passed out/needing an afternoon doze all jumping up with delight upon being presented with a beautifully decorated (and ridiculously large) chocolate cake. Café Kangsta’s vegan chocolate cake is so fucking good. Oh lord, even just thinking about it is making me hungry. It’s got about a million layers and almost tastes more like a brownie than a cake. How bad can that be? It was my fave of the day and the well-deserved winner of the overall food fest. Massive congrats to Café Kangsta.
My score: 25/25 (obviously… look at it!)
Overall it was a fantastic day organised brilliantly by Capital Market. I’ll definitely be back…
Apologies for the stains/crappy handwriting… I was too focused on the delicious food to be neat!
Wait! There’s more! Not only did I get to sample all this tasty food on a gloriously sunny day, I also got to (finally) meet my fave Wellington food bloggers. I’m not sure how I ended up at the same event as these super talented ladies!