Saturday, December 14, 2013

Queen of Sheba and the Nicholson South Popup Market

222 Nicholson Street
VIC 3011

We wandered down to the the Nicholson South Pop-up Market not quite knowing exactly what we'd find. There were more stalls than I expected and plenty of tables and chairs set up in the street, as well as a stage at the southern end of the street. After checking out a few of the marquees, picking up some Christmas gifts and having a look around the Colour Box Studio we were hungry so sought out some grub.

There were a couple of food trucks, including the Taco Truck and lil' nomnoms in attendance, however based on some appetising plates of food we spied, we decided on the Queen of Sheba Ethiopian restaurant. I'm glad we did especially after reading about the challenges they face at the moment in The Age. We received a friendly welcome on entering and were offered specials for the event as well as the standard offerings, we opted for one each of the large veggie and chicken special combinations. We found a table near the restaurant with a view of the stage, it was great to be able to enjoy the wonderful weather out on the street. Unfortunately the licence hadn't come through and as beers weren't allowed out of the Colour Box Studio I made a quick trip for byo beers, assuming it was OK to drink outside as we'd spied the mayor enjoying a Corona.

The veggie combination a couple of wats or lentil based Ethiopian curries, salad, vegetable stew, rice and a darker injera than I'd seen before. The wats were beautifully spicy and the large size was plenty for me!

The chicken combination contained similar ingredients, with the addition of a couple of drum sticks and a small serve of a beef based stew.

We'd only ever eaten at one of the African restaurants on Nicholson streets ''Little Ethiopia'', mainly visiting the sadly now closed Taj Palace when in this end of town. The owner of the Queen of Sheeba came out and she briefly explained that she'd moved from Brisbane and set up here after her children got uni places in Melbourne. It was certainly a tasty and great value meal, and we will try and make a return visit soon. Hopefully this strip of shops and restaurants can survive the challenging time with their direct link to central Footscray shut until the bridge re-opens and the new offices nearby open. The pop-up market seemed to be a success and a return, either before or after the work is completed would be great.

Queen of Sheba on Urbanspoon

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