If there’s one thing Hong Kong was lacking, it was a decent farmer’s market. Although people have tried – and I give them credit for trying – they were simply not up to the standard of the sort of farmer’s markets I knew and loved back in England.
Thankfully, well-known food blogger Janice Leung of blog E-ting the World and Vincent Poon, one of the duo behind HK’s first restaurant week, Springalicious, amongst other things, have come to the rescue, bringing us Island East Markets, a series of four gorgeous and exciting farmer’s markets on Tong Chong Street in Quarry Bay, lovingly sponsored by Swire Properties Island East.
My love for markets is such that I had ‘Island East Markets’ written in my diary for Sunday 30th September and the next three consecutive Sundays from the first whisper I heard about it. So, last Sunday, despite having had far too little sleep (my own fault entirely; I got carried away thinking I was the DJ somewhere in LKF), I set my alarm bright and early to get first picks of the market’s delightful treats.
With over 40 exciting stalls, ranging from colourful organic vegetables, to delicious homemade cakes and brownies, to locally produced honey, to scrumptious pies, to beautiful wines, to creative jewellery, to vintage clothing – you name it, there was literally something for everyone.
Not only that, but there was also a Miele Entertainment Area with live music, face painting stands for the kids, and cooking demonstrations at the Miele Puresteam Bar. In my opinion, the only thing that was missing was a stall selling fresh organic meat. Granted, there aren’t many local organic meat producers, but perhaps something along the lines of Pacific Gourmet wouldn’t have gone amiss.
I was completely in my element as I tottered from stall to glorious stall, tasting every freebie I came across; I could have spent all day there. It was great to see Chevonne and the lovely girls from Grassroots Pantry, Leslie from Bon Vivant Organics, Homegrown Foods, Classified, Tai Tai Pie Pies and many, many more.
Although I had pretty much had my share of breakfast and lunch just by accepting freebies, there was one stall selling snacks that I simply could not resist: Little Bao. Think of an oversized char siu bao bun, stuffed with amazing chunks of sautéed pork and spicy cabbage – seriously it was to die for and it totally hit the spot.
Now, I mentioned that Island East Markets is around for the next three consecutive Sundays. Word on the street is that if these four markets are successful, they may indeed become a permanent fixture. I neeeeed them to become a permanent fixture. So I ask you – no, in fact I beg you, I implore you – to go to Island East Markets this Sunday and help it to be the success that it has so much potential to be. After buying a Little Bao, a brownie from Classified, some locally made honey, a tin of foie gras (because…why not, right?) and a few bags full of gorgeous organic vegetables, I guarantee that you too will be a market fiend and will need Island East Markets in your life.
Island East Markets
Tong Chong Street
And hopefully more dates to come…!