Queen’s Wharf, just in front of the Museum Hotel in Wellington city, comes alive every Sunday with the bustling Harbourside Market. What an eye opener. (HEY! In Auckland, why do we cut silver beet off the stalk and not sell the whole plant like down here? It would stay fresher for much longer, for a start.) Stall after stall offers stunningly fresh vegetables and new season fruit. It puts a spring in your step, makes your heart miss a beat, all of that, I tell you. This past week there were mounds of those metal-green silver beet plants, bunches of the skinniest spring onions ever (just the ticket for Asian slaws), perky bunches of coriander, roots intact, just-picked nashi pears to sample with a mild passionfruity bite, red-fleshed Omega plums and Golden Queen peaches begging to be made into jam or chutney, or bottled in brandy (now, there’s a thing …). And mountains of beans, and avos, and late summer tomatoes, and much more as well. I love an unfettered market, no plastics, no mottled books, no ‘pre-loveds’, no junk, no junk food, just good fresh produce.
Then there’s the line-up of food trucks. You can eat Cambodian, Greek, Filipino, Dutch, Italian, Brazilian, Indian, Brahman, Israeli, Spanish, Egyptian, Chinese, Indonesian, Mexican, French and Moroccan dishes. Roti, dumplings, tacos, steamed buns, empanadas, paella, and rolled crepes all teased our nostrils but we settled on Indonesian, a slurpy, oily, spicy nest of freshly-cooked noodles and grilled chicken for me, and a tofu noodle combo for friend Joanne. It’s good tucker. Corner Barnett & Cable Streets, Wellington http://www.harboursidemarket.co.nz