Today I got the opportunity to visit and wander around the Fremantle Markets. The last time that I was in Fremantle was for the America’s Cup way back in 1987 when I was about 3 years old – hmmm so how old am I? All I can remember from that time is fireworks, which frankly I’m surprised I’m able to remember that much. This time around I am surely old enough to remember a little more – unfortunately there was no fireworks to speak of. As I am over here for work I haven’t really had a chance to get out and do much but today I got the opportunity to go somewhere other than the gym.
One of my workmates and I headed down to check out the markets on what has been a ridiculously cold, wet and windy day – the wind is still howling outside. Sadly hoping for warming weather I left my trusty ugg’s in Cairns and despite being confined to the space of the little apartment I’m staying in my toes are like ice. Yes I’m bred in the tropics that’s for sure.
Anyway so as usual I read a few reviews on Trip Advisor about the markets – some good, some bad – and I decided I wouldn’t listen to the haters and I would have to check it out for myself and after running in soaked from the car park because it was literally bucketing down I was greeted with the smell of sizzling bratwurst. Wouldn’t every day be a good day if you were greeted with the smell of sizzling bratwurst?
My workmate and I parted ways, agreeing on a time to meet back at the bratwurst stand and off we went…
There’s quite an array of food to choose from at the Fremantle Markets. One of the reviews on Trip Advisor said that the Fremantle Markets was disappointing and no where near as good as Adelaide Central Markets. Well, as someone that has never been to the Adelaide Markets I cannot confirm or deny but seriously why can’t people just enjoy the markets for what they are rather than comparing them to one over 2700km away? If I compared the toned figure that I had this time last year to the one I have right now well I’d be pretty damn disappointed now wouldn’t but it’s kind of like comparing apples to oranges, or lemons to oranges (whatever the hell that saying is). You just don’t do it.
The Fremantle Markets, according to the Fremantle Markets website, is situated in a heritage listed grand old Victorian building that was first opened in 1897. With a mix of fresh produce, food stalls, arts, crafts, jewellery stalls, home wares and even buskers it’s home to more than 150 stalls and is a bit of a must-see for locals and tourists alike.
When I arrived at the markets I actually had every intention of observing but not eating anything, despite the aroma of bratwurst and the homemade blackberry jam donuts a couple of stalls down. That was until I came along a little stall that sold Indian and Sri Lankan food. Given my Sri Lankan heritage I know all too well the delectable savoury treats that my nana used to make when I was a little girl. Sadly though my nana passed away over 20 years ago now and pan rolls and fish roti are pretty much non-existent in Cairns. My mum was just 8 years old when she immigrated to Australia with the rest of her family and although she makes a mean curry, deep fried Sri Lankan pastries take a little more time and care. To get my fix I have to rely on either travelling to Melbourne or begging my aunties to bring some with them when they come to Cairns for a visit. Given this rarity when I saw a stall selling pan rolls at the Fremantle Markets all my observation bets were off. I bought a Beef and Potato Pancake Roll and a Seeni Sambol Paan roll. They were both delicious, albeit a little doughy, and devoured in less than 5 minutes.
I continued on passing a few other food stalls… Crepes, Japanese Noodles, a Burger Bar, raw food, a bakery, cookies, cupcakes, a deli, Hot Dog stand, Argentinian food, paella, gozlemes, fudge, sushi, jerky, honey and plenty more! It all looked delicious and there were plenty of tourists and locals enjoying the fare these stalls had to offer.
At the other end of the market is a large selection of fresh produce – a bit like Rusty’s Market’s in Cairns but smaller. Both my workmate and I were a little upset that we hadn’t come to the markets sooner as we only have a few more days in Fremantle left. We would have saved a lot more money if we had spent last Saturday buying fresh fruit and vegetables from the Fremantle Markets rather having daily visits to Coles down the road *sigh*.
Anyway so after a pancake roll, a paan roll, a bag of jerky and a taste of my workmates Beef, Spinach and Fetta Gozleme I was as my father would say “up to pussy’s bow”. So much for my self control *sigh*.
The Fremantle Markets are well worth a look for anyone that is visiting Fremantle but do yourself a favour and unless you’re going specifically to eat, don’t go when you are hungry because if you can resist the pan rolls, the fresh made jam filled donuts, the paella, the bratwurst hotdogs or the giant cookies I guarantee you won’t be able to resist the copious amounts of locally grown juicy strawberries or the freshly baked sourdough bread. Mmmm sourdough….
Corner of South Terrace and Henderson St, Fremantle WA 6959
Opening hours : Fri 8am – 8pm, Sat and Sun 8am – 6pm