The Chatswood markets, like most markets, took a break over the Christmas and New Year period but did not reappear even by early February. I started to get worried when barriers sprung up sectioning off parts of Victoria Avenue Mall, as there have been notices up for a while regarding the mall’s revamp which involves the laying of grass amongst other things. Although it is nice for the local council to be redoing this high paedestrian traffic area which has uneven surfaces in some parts, my first concern was of course the future of the markets and the ability of my stomach to still access their foods! The weekly markets are not exclusively comprised of food stalls alone, but they do make up the bulk of the stall holders.
But as of a few weeks ago, the familiar market stands have reappeared but are now cramped down the eastern end of the mall instead of being spread across the length of it as in the past. I’ve previously mentioned my love of the Mojo Picon stall which seems to constantly have a sea of people around it but then there’s also the gozleme stand…
Oh, how I do love a good, fresh gozleme! The filling to crèpe-like crust ratio mustn’t be too high or low and the crust cannot be soggy nor rubbery. This stand at the markets always seems to get it right in my opinion but, alas, I do not know their name! Be prepared to wait though, as everything is made fresh and it is popular with the masses.
The other stall which keeps drawing me back is Jackie M with its Malaysian cuisine. Perhaps it is the lack of access to Malaysian food in Chatswood, or perhaps it is the rich aromas of garlic and soy which emanate from their little gas burner woks. However the most important thing is that the food is decent and affordable.
On an afternoon walking past before Christmas and in desperate need of a snack, I had the following interesting combination: roti with kaya (squishy, flaky, coconutty and buttery goodness for $5), chicken satay skewer (sweet and very nutty) and vegetable curry puff.
More recently for dinner, Monsieur Poisson and I bought a couple of things before seating ourselves in the Lemon Grove food court to enjoy them. We had one of ‘The Works’ as I was captured by the variety of curry dahl, cucumber, chicken satay skewers, coconut rice, roti and choice of curry (beef rendang for us). I had several gripes about this box unfortunately which included everything being at roughly room temperature and nothing being piping hot. The other gripes were about the chicken satay skewers being noticeably shorter in the meat department than previous and why was the sauce such a creamier, paler shade now?
However all was redeemed with the char kway teo with chicken. It was steaming hot, fragrant of garlic, fried shallots and chilli and had nicely separated flat rice noodles as well as Hokkien egg noodles.
I have a big weakness for markets, be it for stalls of food or little knick-knacks. I may not necessarily buy anything but I am always curious to have a look. My husband is a sucker for stalls that sell corn on a stick. Are you a fan of markets? And is there a type of stand you can never walk past without taking a peek?
Chatswood (Willoughby Council) Melody Market
Eastern end of Victoria Ave Mall, Chatswood NSW
Opening Hours: every Thurs 10am-9pm