A couple of months ago now my dear friend B and I ventured to Northshore Hamilton to do some investigatory work (involving the stomach of course) and suss out the Eat Street Markets and the November Containerval Festival. It was a perfect balmy Brisbane evening that required only a skirt and tee and we happily made our way there on a sunny Friday afternoon after work.
Pulling up outside the front entrance of Containerval, you’re greeted with a double height graffitied shipping container on the right with a Vintage inspired caravan to the left. This new concept aims to revitalise the area with local merchants and food stall owners cranking the atmosphere each weekend in a Mecca of shipping containers, serving up their delicacies and selling their wears. Art installations, market-like stalls showcasing local craftsmanship, food providores and even a big screen for the Brisbane International Film Festival filled the space, while people milled, munched and listened to the live music. The night we visited it was buzzing and had a great vibe – exactly what B and I were hoping for.
Our culinary journey began at Chitty Banh Banh – a vietnamese inspired “container” run by the gorgeous and ever-effervescent Jake and Elle (runners-up of My Kitchen Rules 2013). Ordering a chilli caramel pork Bánh mì to share with a serve of lotus chips on the side we gushed over what a cool concept it was (and how they were robbed of their rightful titles as MKR winners) and were lucky enough to score two refreshing ginger and mint ice teas on the house! Crisp and not too sweet it was perfect for a warm night with that quintessential tannin-y element of cold tea at just the right intensity. Jake then dished up our giant Bánh mì with wonderfully tasty and tender pulled pork piled high, slathered in a hoisin-like BBQ sauce and topped it with crushed nuts…it was seriously good and went perfectly with the lotus chips which had the texture of a crunchy pear and tasted like an amalgamation of Granny Smith apple and potato. Intriguing and hard to describe, but I wholly recommend them as a must try!
After sitting at the artificial lawn donned tables munching away at out first course and sipping our teas we thanked Jake and Elle and promised to return (hopefully when they have their liquor licence in the near future) and were farewelled by Jake fashion in style…
Thank you, have a chitty day!”
Our stomaches then led us just next door to Taquitos Mexicano Craft Beer & Wine Bar for a bit of mexican. Ordering two mini soft tortilla tacos filled with avocado, spicy pulled pork, sour cream and green chilli chutney and tender beef with tomato and red onion salsa – we sat perched on cushion-topped tin drums and sipped (quite decent) Pinot Gris.
As the movie began on the large screen behind us we made tracks further into the Eat Street market area, following the hum of people and live music and the wafting aromas of global cuisines. After passing Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake), straight-off-the-boat seafood, adorable Korean mini sliders, strongly spiced Indian curries, sizzling German Sausages, crispy crust pizzas, Greek Souvlaki, freshly prepared rice paper rolls and Vietnamese salads, organic pressed juices, creamy yoghurts, gelati and decadent pastries we opted for something completely different to satiate our dessert cravings…freshly kneaded, rolled and fried Roti Canai with banana and condensed milk. The delcious Malaysian bread/pastry was dense but fluffy with the right balance of salty (it is savoury in nature) and sweet (from the banana and condensed milk) and had that perfect crispy outer layer that flaked away as you took each bite. It was a delicious and unexpected “dessert take” on what I normally eat with Malaysian curries and wholly satisfied as the finishing touch to our foodie “investigation” of Eat Street.
After digesting our meal with a refreshing cider in hand we meandered further into the retail area, admiring hand crafted jewellery, soaps and ceramics, home wares, hand picked orchard fruits, stunning artworks and alternative knick-knacks. Needless to say I purchased almost all of the above coming away with a stunning olive green Labradorite statement ring (which I can happily confirm I wear daily i.e. cost per wear is zilch) from Erica’s Gems – Erica was more than accommodating in helping me decide among the sea of gems and precious stones and has a clear passion for her work -, mouthwateringly pungent apricots, peaches and strawberries from a local Queensland orchard and an adorable read entitled “Make the Most of You: 170 ways to be the best you can” from Dandelyon Gifts.
It was a wonderful Friday evening with good food and good company (thanks again B!) and I can’t wait to head back to Eat Street for some more delectable market-fresh treats…those Korean pork sliders did look good…
Have you checked out Eat Street yet?