Sunday, April 17, 2011

Old Bus Depot Markets (Canberra)

Address: Kingston Foreshore, Canberra ACT
Trading Hours: Every Sunday 10am-4pm. See website for details of trading outside this time.

Being a skeptic of all-things-Canberra it took me 2 years to finally get motivated to go to the Old Bus Depot Markets out in Kingston.

The motivating factor was a work colleague ranting & raving about these Hot Cross Bagels - fresh, fruity and full of flavour. I am pro-bagel (if not a slave to carbs) so this is what got me out of bed on a sunday morning...

Apparently these markets are 'award-winning' and honestly, I was delightfully suprised at the variety & quality of produce on show.

Here's a photoblog of my food 'haul':

Above & below: Freshly squeezed orange juice & lemonade. This guy must have been making a killing... the lemonade was like a really sweet lemon squash drink without the fizz, so the fresh orange juice was my personal preference (I think they juice the oranges whole so the bitterness of the rind was present in the flavour).

Alongside the cold beverages were a series of cauldrons with "mulled wine","ginger & lemon" and "hot lemonade".

Below: Churro - a Spanish doughnut dipped in chocolate sauce.

Below: Laosian Chicken & Prawn Rice Paper rolls, served with a homemade dipping sauce & crushed cashews. The flavour of the filling was fresh and pleasant, still a slight soapy flavour in the rice paper though but probably the most authentic rice paper roll you'll find in the Canberra region.

Above: Turkish Gul Borek - baked potato with a tomato-based relish. The pastry is a lot firmer & crisper than I anticipated (I thought it would be more like a filo pastry). Flavours of the filling was quite pleasant, but not mind-blowing.

Below: Chocolate pizza topped with lollies - this is the million-dollar idea that started in the mind of a school mum looking for a fundraising idea. At $25 a pop, its not a bad wicket to be on.

Below: Nut free, gluten free satay marinade - the flavour was really fragrant and lemongrass-y. I bought some because I thought it would go great on white fish. Really amazed how much flavour they got out of this concoction...

Below: I haven't had my favourite Pastilla & Nash Walnut & Prune log for awhile so I was keen to try this - Merlyn's version is much softer (more fruit) and I was told she uses dark chocolate and bakes them to control the texture. Can definitely taste the dark chocolate - lifts the flavour and emphasises the bitterness.

Above: Macaroons - Left to Right: strawberry, chocolate, lime & basil. pistachio, apricot. These are officially my favourite macaroons - just the perfect bite size, and potent with flavour. I particularly enjoyed the chocolate which was almost like a dark chocolate butvery riddled with cocoa. The lime & basil was like a cocktail captured in macaroon form while the apricot was the sweetest and creamiest.

Below: Chocolate brownie and White chocolate & macadamia brownie - that chocolate one had a deep, cocoa flavour and just the perfect amount of chewiness.
The white chocolate version was much sweeter and was reminiscent of a friand type texture.

If you are in Canberraon a weekend and strapped for time, I highly recommend a visit to the old bus depot markets - great local produce showcased at its best with an assortment of arty knicknacks to impulse buy.