Friday, 27 March 2015

Wellington Night Market (A Local's Guide to Wellington)

Off Cuba Mall, Left Bank Arcade hosts a Night Market every Friday. 
If you're ready to get your jive on, let's mosy on over to the Slightly Raised Platform of Live Music, where some ill advised person had strung up paper lanterns in the windiest city in New Zealand. Luckily it was a calm night. Here you can be entertained with brass band covers of popular songs and people clogging up walkways as they stop to listen. 

Moving along, the main draw to the Night Market is the multitude of food stalls. You can find Filipino (BBQ pork kebab featured here), Vietnamese, French, Colombian, Moroccan, Korean and Mexican to name a few. 

We picked stalls based on the portion sizes. If they were providing snack sized food for a few dollars, we'd try it. An interesting one was the papas rellenas, which was a sort of Colombian fried potato-wrapped egg and flying animal construct that wasn't the easiest to eat with the plastic spoon they gave us. I'm pretty sure the flying animal was chicken, but can't know for sure. There were some stalls that we wanted to eat from, but they served full sized meals and we just didn't have the stomach room. We will be back for the Moroccan kebabs and the hangi. 

From Sweet Couple, I sampled a wondrous feat of culinary science: deep-fried ice cream. How is it frozen and yet fried? Only thermal scientists can know. 

And what better way to celebrate advances in molecular gastronomy than covering it in chocolate chips and caramel sauce?

For his dessert, Yannick ate a Korean pancake with black sugar, cinnamon and nuts. Watching a glob of batter be flung onto a skillet is jarring when you're used to the thin mixture of a French crepe, but once it was cooked through and sugary goodness was bursting out from the inside, our worries fluttered away. We had moved on from 'comfortably full' to 'one too many quills in the ink pot' and all for less than $30 for the both of us. 

The shops that line Left Bank also benefit from the increased foot traffic and stay open late. As you nibble on a burrito, you can peruse the aisles of secondhand books. The tortilla gives way and a travel guide of Tuscany from the 1970's gets a sprinkling of beans and cheese. You hastily try to scrape off the offending foodstuff before retreating shifty-eyed into the crowd, allowing the masses to shield you from shopkeeper fury.