My readers and friends would know that I am quite a fan of foodie festivals. Having taken a bit of a break since the lineup from July, we thought that the Sugar Market held last weekend at Fortitude Valley would be a delicious way to break the food festival drought.
Situated on Alden Street, it was not far from Chinatown, which made it quite difficult to get street parking. We ended up parking near James Street, and walking back. Expecting a somewhat larger festival, we were a little surprised to see around twenty stalls, but hundreds and hundreds of patrons. I guess that since this is the first year they ran it, perhaps next year the venue might be larger.
Of course, we took the first 15 or so minutes of our time there exploring the desserts on offer.
There were alcohol spiked cupcakes...
cakes and slices...
And a very large amount of brownies.
After our hike from parking the car, both my companions decided that the best thing to start them off would be a Cafe Latte ice block from queen of pops. Skeptical at paying $5 for one ice block, I didn't purchase one myself, but snuck a bite from each of their pops. The super strong flavours really impressed me, and this was probably the least sugary, but most coffee intense ice block I've ever had.
Opting for another form of cold dessert, I headed to La Macelleria to get my gelato fix.
I ordered a double scoop, consisting of a fragola and a caffe latte. The strawberry fragola was definitely more of a sorbet than a milky gelato, and it had quite a fresh strawberry taste to it, but my companions did say that it looked more like watermelon sorbet than strawberry. Having tasted the extreme coffee hit of Queen of Pops, I was slightly disappointed by this more sugary, more creamy but less coffee intense caffe latte gelato.
Being a big fan of Portugese Tarts which you often see at yum cha, I often have my doubts on how authentic they are (since they are essentially an egg tart with a caramelised top). Seeing my opportunity to try authentic Portugese tarts from Lisboa Caffe, I pounced at the chance.
Between my companions and I, we shared two, one with cinnamon and one without.
I have to say, I was very impressed by the tart. With its delicately flaky pastry on the outside, its creamy custard inside and its deliciously burnt caramelised top, this was way better than any tarts I've had before (now I have to find out where their regular shop front is, so I can get more tarts!)
My companion also bought a whole box of the super aesthetically pleasing eclairs from Savour, and I was lucky enough to get a Chocolate Hazelnut eclair before she took the rest home. Compared to the ones we had from Flour and Chocolate, this was definitely smaller, but the toppings and the fillings definitely made up for it. The chocolate was very strong but rich, and the hazelnut praline was smooth and creamy.
By that time, we were exceptionally full, but still could not resist one last treat from Southside Bistro. If the lines were any indication, this was without a doubt the star of the show. And so we got in line and waited. After much waiting and even more chaos, we finally managed to get a cup of matcha puffles in our hot little hands. I'd have to say though, that the dessert looks a lot better than it tasted. The puffle, was not as cooked as we would have liked it, not that it was runny on the inside, but I couldn't help but feel that it wasn't really set yet. The marshmallow, whilst big and nice to look at, served to be quite challenging to eat without the utensils to tear it apart, but I did enjoy the contrast of hot puffle and cold ice cream.
Overall, I could see much room for improvement for the market, such as having more seating options and more drinks options, as well as more vendors and a larger venue, but for the first time we've had one of these events, I find it very promising, and can only hope that they bring it back soon.