Hank Marvin Markets
Guest post from The Baroness of Melbourne, featuring Hank Marvin Markets
Hank Marvin Markets serves well-behaved crowds of rugged up south side stunners with dogs and toddlers in tow. In was a veritable Best in Show as every dog breed in Victoria paraded along side their owners through Alma Park as their humans calmly sought out the best food truck amongst many.
Last year I brought you the survival guide to the Night Markets but the difference with the Hank Marvin Market is night and day. Set amongst the gum trees and grassy parkland instantly gives this market a more relaxed feel. Held every Saturday from 9am to 3pm, it's a market designed for locals to stroll down with the family and enjoy a range of delicious treats from the healthy to the alcoholic.
More exposed to the elements than it's nocturnal cousin, HMM has it's advantages and despite being adjacent to Dandenong Road, it is set back far enough that you really do feel a world away. Should a rain shower pass by there is a covered pop up mess hall complete with fairy lights that is very inviting. Otherwise, you can brave Melbourne's weather Gods and take up one of the many central outdoor low-rise wooden box like table and chairs.
As the resident DJ drifts out some happy tunes, stroll the circuit of food trucks and stall holders to get your bearings. You will know some purveyors from the Night Market such as Those Girls with their hot apple cider and U Fuculari Sicilian BBQ. The longest line award went to Snag Society, worth the wait if you are fan of tubular meats. The second longest line was for coffee, no surprise there. There was no ATM line because there is no ATM, so bring cash people.
Nuoc Mama had been extremely popular selling out of most things by 1pm but the Baron was able to get his hands on their chicken wings after our entrée of some equally popular Ant's Dumplings. We got the beef combo dumplings and were very happy with the quality and price. The price point overall at HMM seemed more friendly than the night market with most dishes around the $10 mark. Bravo HMM.
For my main I went the vego route and hit up Overdosa for a traditional potato dosa for $10. It was hot, delicious, well textured and filling. Other vego fare included The Little Mushroom Company, Shtetl bagels and the Pizza Wagon. To wash down your food there are many options, fresh squeezed juice, Extramile kombucha or if you need a little pep in your step there's mulled wine, beer and more wine.
Dessert is very well catered for, so well in fact we hit 3 quality stalls, first; Cobb Lane in fear that they might sell out. We snapped up to delicious donuts, $5 each, the Baron chose Orange salted caramel and I went for the quince and gingerbread. I regret nothing.
We then moved along to SallyCakes and made off with a buttery pecan slice; another big tick and a bargain at $3. We finished Tour de Dessert at The Brulee Cart with an $8 salted caramel crème brulee topped with popcorn of course. The chocolate alcoholic option was sold out, no surprise really, there were plenty of pram pushin' yummy mummies around who would have snaffled them early. Well played ladies, well played.
I thought about getting a crepe but tapped out at 3 desserts. The ubiquitous Kwak scrolls were also in residence and doing a roaring trade. Choose the traditional cinnamon variety for the win. Vegans, Citizen Cacao has got your sweet tooth well and truly covered.
After your DIY 5 course food truck degustation you can waddle over with the kids to the blackboards and let them go nuts or better yet get them onto the basketball court and shoot some hoops. If you brought the pooch, and lets face it, almost everyone did, now would be a great time to stroll through the park. Before you go though there are goodies to take home from The Nordic Food Co. vegan bread to completely non-vegan Uncle's Smallgoods and crafty handmade goodies for charity.
If you can leave the car at home, it would be wise, as this neck of the woods gets pretty busy around lunchtime. It would behoove the local church and school to open and charge parking for the day. Until that happens perhaps park a few blocks away and work up a hunger. Trust me, you'll need it so that you can eat all of the things.
Where to find Hank Marvin every Saturday from 9am - 3pm:
Hank Marvin Market
Alma Park East
204 Dandenong Road
St Kilda East