Ahhh, glorious sunny Brisbane weather! The perfect kind of day to amble through farmers markets that happen to be right in the middle of the city. Every Wednesday, Jan Power’s Farmers Markets descend on the space at the top of Queen Street Mall next to Conrad Treasury Casino. As the seasons were definitely taking a turn for the warmer weather, the produce was vibrant and there was colour everywhere.
There were cherry truss tomatoes, massive punnets of plump strawberries, huge mushrooms, bags of unshelled macadamias and a stand that sold many varieties of potted herbs and leafy vegetables. There were samples of chocolate fudge and mango. There were stands selling macarons and large cannoli for only $3.50 (which I forgot to go back and get!), and a stand selling mini lemon meringue pies and fruit tartlets that wouldn’t let me take photos… But there was too much food to be had to dwell on that sour note, although it did mean I didn’t go back to buy a sample box of their products before we left.
Monsieur Poisson and I did the rounds before deciding what goodies we’d be picking up for lunch. We started with a traditional Cornish pastie as the line was not too long there. For $6, we were rewarded with neatly-pleated crumbly pastry holding a hot filling of meat, potato and carrot bound together by a light sauce.
Next stop was for a knackwurst roll. This was by far the most popular stand with a queue weaving down one side the whole time we were there which coincided with the office lunch hour. We chose a spicy knackwurst for $5 which included grilled onions and your choice of sauces to add at the end. Mmmm, smoky spiciness enclosed in a frankfurt casing.
We smelt the aromas of buttery pastry before we even saw the stand shrouded in a black tent, which turned out to sell baked French bread and pastries. We came away with a chocolate croissant and apple Danish for $9.70 thinking we would have them at the end of lunch, but ended up being so full that we had to take them back to the hotel room for eating much later. The wonderful part was that the pastry was still lovely and flaky even after many, many hours.
By this stage we were in need of some refreshment and I had something perfect in mind. We had seen a fresh lemonade stand and I have an extreme soft spot for the lightly fizzed tanginess of fresh lemonade. What’s more, they were promoting a new frozen lemonade product called ‘kwiish’. A large cup cost only $4.50, was frangrantly lemony and so thirst quenching after eating that knackwurst roll under the direct heat of the sun.
Our last stop was a Turkish bakery stand that smelt wonderfully garlicky. Several goods are baked onsite, including pide, so we got to try a meat and cheese one that was extremely fresh. The pide was warm and slightly crusty with a light and doughy centre. The best part was that we found some seats looking at the back of the stall where we got to witness all the action of the cutting up and rolling out of dough. Several large buckets of dough sat nearby, silently rising and pushing off their lids.
I love markets. And if I lived in Brisbane, I’m sure I would have bought things to take home for cooking. But, with this not being the case, I had to be happy with trying the prepared goods from several stands – and we were more than happy do so.
Bridge end of Queen Street Mall, next to Conrad Treasury Casino, Brisbane QLD
Opening Hours: every Wed 10am-6pm (please check website for other locations and times)