I am an academic and writer living in Melbourne. I love to travel and I also love writing about all the things Melbourne, regional Victoria and other parts of Australia have to offer.
Published January 10th 2020
Street Food at its Best
The not-for-profit, community-focused, Dandenong Market is a truly multinational and multi-ethnic experience and even more so this year with the newStreet Food Market Tours, which take place on select Tuesdays and Fridays. My advice? Book early and arrive at the tour hungry!
Would you believe there are 156 nationalities under one roof? Traders and food stallholders transcend political, religious and food biases and coexist very happily alongside each other tempting market shoppers with their delicious food. During this tour, you are guided through a multi-ethnic food experience with a well-informed food guide who tells you about the people behind the stalls and the food you get to sample. Just the sound of some of the dishes will transport you to far-away places you have visited or plan to visit and it's all authentic. Poffertjes, mantu, gozleme, hopia conjure up images of those places but there are also well-known Aussie and even New Zealand delicacies such as jam doughnuts, cinnamon scrolls, fish and chips and even the traditional hangi, meat and vegetables cooked in the NZ tradition.
Spices in bulk -just like at a Middle Eastern Bazaar
On the food tour, you get to taste many of these and believe me you will be full after the 90-minute tour. And if not, you can always go back and buy some more, or take it home to enjoy with family or friends. The food tour is exceptionally good value for $20 per person($10 for pensioners and children under 15) and even better, in January there is a 2 for 1 deal but you will have to be quick to book these as there are only 3 tours left for this month. February tours will be online in the next week. Groups have a maximum of 12 people and you must book beforehand. For bookings and other information about the tours, please check here. Private group tours can also be organised through the website.
One of the best things about this food tour and market, besides all the delicacies and learning about food, is the sense of community you feel among the market traders, food stall owners and visitors. So many nationalities but so much friendliness, banter, knowledge and goodwill are extended to all - a mirror of all the best aspects of Australian multiculturalism.