October 8, 2009

Moon Festival

On the weekend Daz and I went down to Queen Victoria Market to celebrate Moon Festival. I love me a festival, especially when there is food involved. And since its spring, the festivals seem to be popping up quicker than the weeds in my garden!

I have a feeling that this was the first year that it was hosted at Queen Victoria Market, there didn't seem to be alot of stalls, and when we turned up it was a little light on people. But towards the afternoon it started to get quite crowded. There were heaps of activity planned, some singing, an impressive sword dance, and my favourite of all - a Lion dance. Oh those lions are so cute with their huge fluffy eyebrows!

So onto the food right?, that's why you're all here! We decided to buy one dish at a time and share it between the two of us, somehow in my mind that equaled more dishes to try. While walking back from the awesome display of sword dancing I spotted a stall deep frying squid. Crispy fried things taste better straight out of the oil so I snapped some up straight away. They were crispy, hot and delicious!

deep fried squid

Next I followed my nose. *sniff* *sniff* I can smell something bbqing *sniff* *sniff* I can smell charcoal and satay and so my nose lead me straight to the satay stick man. The best thing about being at a festival when there isn't a big crowd is getting piping hot food. We ordered 4 sticks and watched as they were grilled for us right before our eyes. Things always taste better when you have to wait a little for them. I was standing right in front of the charcoal, so my clothes got a good dose of meat perfume, so I could savour it later in the day.

satay sticks

We walked past the dumpling place a couple of times, and thought that the line was too long to bother. But then I thought, if there are so many people lining up, its gotta be good right? We ordered a serve of pork dumplings. Sadly they weren't so good. I was pretty disappointed. The skin was really rubbery and the insides was a little dry and not very tasty. I felt a bit ripped of. So I needed something else to quench my rumbling belly.

pork dumplings

inside pork dumplings

Japanese octopus balls (takoyaki)?? What in the world are they?? We stood around and watched the lovely young ladies cooking these. They look so similar to dutch poffertjes!!

batter goes in

The batter goes in

salad goes on

Then a little lettuce

octopus goes in

Then a little octopus

fliping the balls

You gotta flip the little buggers so they get nice and round

balls come out

Then pull them out so they can get into my belly!

Oh man these were delicious! So the balls are covered in Japanese mayo, tonkatsu sauce, nori and Benito shavings. Oh man so mouth watering.

takoyaki japanese octopus balls

I only got a small serve, oh I wish I had gotten the larger serve. I love Daz, but I'm sure he ate more than his share! grrrrr! How will we ever get married if we cant learn to share??

takoyaki japanese octopus balls 2

And of course I had to get the obligatory inside shot. Look at those cute little tentacles resting inside there batter cocoon!

insides of takoyaki japanese octopus balls

Before we left we hang around for the lion dance. We were treated to not one lion, but TWO! Even though I've seen the dance so many times, I still giggle like a little school girl when ever I see them.

After a great day out, with lots of good food and interesting entertainment it was time to go home. Daz HAD to have some beef jerky before we left, so $2.50 and 3 bites later we were ready to leave. Sadly I have no photo, I now know that my reaction time is about 4 bites long....nuts!


Arwen from Hoglet K said...

Mmm, following your nose to satay sticks sounds like a good idea. I like the lions!

Conor @ HoldtheBeef said...

Ooohhhh octopus balls, I haven't had those for ages! After watching the Amazing Race tonight and reading this just now I'm desperate to jump on the first flight to Tokyo!

Rilsta said...

I debated whether or not to go to this and laziness won over! I'm sure if they do it again next year there will be more stalls which hopefully means more food selections!

The octopus balls are delicious, though it is sometimes good to find a good one! Love the photos of the lion dance!

Maria said...

Wow, I've never heard of Octopus balls before! I'll have to keep an eye out for those the next time we out at a Japanese place, because with a name like that I'm not sure if I would've experimented without knowing what they were :)

Kat (Spatula, Spoon and Saturday) said...

is lion dance meant to be a feature in the moon festival? well i suppose neither is takoyaki.

uzu cafe in caulfield used to do decent takoyaki and they actually cooked them right in front of you. i'm not too sure if they still do them.

sometimes i feel like buying those frozen ones from the japanese grocery store but have always decided against it for some reason.

Ravenous Couple said...

love the little comments :) just discovered your sites from Anh's.

Iron Chef Shellie said...

Oh I didn't know there was a festival going on down there! Will try to go next year!