This Saturday we FINALLY made it to the Otara Market. Its probably my new #1 favourite place in the world so far. Half flea market, half veggie market, with rows of the most crazy deep fried sugar coated sexy sex junk food on this island, musicians from all over the world playing every nook and cranny, the smell of hotdogs and kettle corn in the air….. yeah. So nice. And SO chill. Its just adorable chubby families, wandering around, smiling carrying Sponge Bob balloons and $5 bags of donuts in the sunshine. Needless to say, as with everything I get out of bed for, I was there for the food. And my mind, was, el blowno. I just kept thinking how there was probably no better place to go when hungover.. and this is why…
First off, we enter the market, and immediately I am like omgtotes4real™. I’m already overwhelmed with where to start, but I just take my usual position in life, slightly behind CB, using him as a wave breaker through the throngs of people, and we make a beeline to the coffee truck.
2 small flat whites to open our little eyes, and then we scurry off like little fat boys to a picnic for FRY BREEEADDDD! You couldn’t hear that, but my voice just sang that out like a wicked guitar solo sound.
When CB was in NZ for the first time, he and his then flatmate, and our now flatmate, Rosie, went off on a food adventure together to Otara, while hungover to an incredible degree. He sent me pictures of them sharing fry bread together, and how it instantly cured their hangovers and imbued them with the ultra-vitalities to continue their quest through the crows and the sun. The picture was of an unusually pale Rosie, gob stuffed with fried goodness, giving a thumbs up and looking like the happiest one in the world. Since then Ive been wanting it! TWO AND A HALF YEARS have led to this moment! And it was worth every painful day without it. Now every saturday I have off, must include fry bread and coffee.
The flavour of my soul is hot fry bread with butter & golden syrup. UnNgGnGgHhHH.
We sat outside of the market under tall trees enjoying our treasures and being pleased.
Then CB noticed behind us was a community centre, and that it was full of old ladies. And that combination of things always means good stuff! At the front doors was a Fijian couple selling donuts and something called “banana poke” pronounced, poke-eh. We asked about it, and she told us its very ripe bananas, mashed up with arrowroot powder, and baked, and then cut and covered in coconut cream. She warned us that “it’s very heavy” and we replied in unison, “that’s okay, so are we!”So we definitely bought some. And then walked a few feet away to immediately eat it out of view. It’s so fucking GOOD. The texture was like cubes of the best banana bread pudding, stiff and slightly jelly like but yielding and melting in your mouth. I thought it was going to have kind of a sticky jelly like texture, like an asian glutinous dessert but it wasnt, it was more like under baked banana bread. Which also doesn’t do it justice, but trust me, amazing. And then just covered in straight up coconut cream. Those Fijians man, bloody genius. We could only eat a couple of spoonfuls each until we were like wooooahtoomuchhhhh. So we ran back to thank them and tell them they are tops in our books and thank you for enlightening us to the ways of the poke. And then we went back to the market for more!
After walking back and forth reading the menu boards on all the food trucks, we decided to try a giant whitebait fritter from these two maori ladies who were just going like machines on this little LPG powered flat top grill, flipping eggs and steaks and mussel fritters. Yum.
I told her this was my first whitebait fritter, and she put it on a piece of fry bread instead of white bread for me!
It was.. tasty but kind of weird. Like a thin omelette full of tiny white fish staring up at you with tiny little black eyes….. I couldnt eat most of it.. The taste was lovely, but I think if I have whitebait again I would prefer it in a less eggy form. Something about fish and eggs makes my brain go NO NO NO! Especially when the fishy egg has like 20 faces staring out of it.. anyway, we washed that down with a giant spicy bratwurst!
We did a bit more wandering, while giving our tums trying to figure out what the fuck just happened to them. I thought the magical food ride was over until I saw her…
The Pineapple Hut Lady! And her small, overly serious son! As you can see in this picture, this woman is weeping openly about the majesty of the pineapple ice cream she’s about to eat. AND I WAS NEXT IN LINE! NOBODY COULD STOP ME!
Look look look! LOOK AT IT! LOOOK!!!
YOU DIDNT LOOK ENOUGH! LOOK MORE! LOOK MORE!
Oh sweet baby jesus in his dirty little pig trough manger, how beautiful is that. Vanilla icecream, covered in passionfruit sauce, and underneath chunks of super ripe pineapple, and then the melty vanilla ice cream mixes in with the pineapple juices and makes this .. sweet… creamy.. pineapple… y.. *weep*
And then it was time to go home, in our little red speed machine. Yeah, I parked like that, I don’t even give an F-Word about it!
At home CB made us a pork chop and broccoli dinner, to give our body some of those vitamin things everybodys always talking about. Wyatt watched us eat, in silence, waiting for his…