Queen Vic’s Melbourne Winter Night Market is about to wrap up a stellar run. And usually, that means Melbourne is cast into a market-less wasteland for several months, until QVM gears up for the Summer Night Market in December.
But not this year.
Hawker 88 is a brand new concept. It’ll be a 3-month, Asian-themed hawker market, running through spring.
“We want to get to the point in two years that we can turn around and say to Melbourne, every Wednesday night is market night at Queen Vic Market,” says CEO Stan Liacos. “We’re going to stretch it out across the year.”
So how will Hawker 88 be different to Winter and Summer night markets? Well, for starters, Stan says there’s going to be more seating (thank god), fewer queues (sweet Jesus yes) and a “smaller and more intimate” experience. Sounds like the best of QVM, minus the dodgy bits. Plus the whole thing will be Asian-centric.
“We know Melbourne loves Asian food,” says Stan, “so we think it’s a safe bet. We need to bring in some additional food vendors to help spread the load, but we also have to make sure everyone’s making a profit. It’s a delicate balance.”
What they don’t want to do, Stan says, is run the same market every Wednesday for 52-weeks straight. Probably a good idea. “We’ll keep doing these 4–5 ‘themed’ markets each year,” says Stan. “There are even plans for a Mediterranean one down the track...”
Here are the deets. Hawker 88 will run every night from 19 September to 24 October. Expect food like Malay satay, Filipino barbecue, Indian curries and Korean pork belly, plus long communal tables so you don’t have to eat while sitting on a bin like a raccoon.
There’ll be six weekly themes too, running across the festival: Mooncake Festival, Durian Festival, Asian Festival, Filipino Festival, Bollywood Festival and Thai celebration.
PS. Melbourne’s Winter Night Market only has one week left. Get in while you still have the chance.
Where: Queen Victoria Market
When: 19 September – 24 October
For more info, click here.
Can't wait for the Asian food? We've got Melbourne's best yum cha right over here.
Image credit: Queen Vic Market