Footscray Market – Opening Hours, Christmas 2012

In what is fast becoming a tradition, my local market, , has failed to post opening hours anywhere online. Opening hours for the market over the Christmas/New Year’s period 2012 are:

Monday 24 December (Christmas Eve): 7:00am-4:00pm
25-26 December: Closed
Thursday 27 December: 7:00am – 6:00pm
Friday 28 December: 7:00am – 7:00pm
Saturday 29 December: 7:00am – 5:00pm
30 December – 1 January 2013: Closed
Wednesday 2 January: 7:00am – 4:00pm

The regular opening hours for Footscray Market continue to be:

Tuesday and Wednesday – 7:00am-4:00pm
Thursday – 7:00am-6:00pm
Friday – 7:00am-8:00pm
Saturday – 7:00am-4:00pm

Christmas opening hours in 2013

Footscray Market Opening Hours – Christmas 2011

Another year down, another year where my local market, , fails to build a website. Opening hours for the market over the Christmas/New Year’s period are:

Saturday 24 December (Christmas Eve): 7:00am-5:00pm
25-27 December: Closed
Wednesday 28 December: 7:00am – 4:00pm
Thursday 29 December: 7:00am – 6:00pm
Friday 30 December: 7:00am – 7:00pm
Saturday 31 December: 7:00am – 5:00pm
1-2 January 2012: Closed
Tuesday 3 January: 7:00am – 4:00pm

The regular opening hours for Footscray Market continue to be:

Tuesday and Wednesday – 7:00am-4:00pm
Thursday – 7:00am-6:00pm
Friday – 7:00am-8:00pm
Saturday – 7:00am-4:00pm

Footscray Market Christmas Opening Hours 2010

As my local market still doesn’t seem to have a website, the posted opening hours for the Footscray Market this Christmas are:

Tuesday 21 December: 7:00am-4:00pm
Wednesday 22 December: 7:00am-6:00pm
Thursday 23 December: 7:00am-6:00pm
Friday 24 December (Christmas Eve): 7:00am-8:00pm
Saturday 25 December (Christmas Day): Closed

The market will remain closed until Wednesday 29 December. Consider my public service duties for the year fulfilled.

Tsukiji Market is not just fish.

whale meat

It also sells fat red chunks of whale meat. Not much of it though.

While the cubed cetacean is pretty hard to uncover (I only saw a single vendor), what does tend to get overlooked is that there is also a gigantic vegetable market next door. Compared to the speed and clatter of the neighbouring fish market, the vegetable sheds are downright sedate. Fewer forklifts and a general lack of food voyeurs striding amongst the hundreds of low rows of boxed vegetables than on the fish side.

tsukiji vege auction

The auctioning takes place on a set of bleachers in the middle of the warehouse, boxed vegetables opened in front of the crowd and quickly sold off.

Fresh wasabi root at Tsukiji

A box of fresh wasabi root. The general quality on show is overwhelming (not that I’m a great pick of wasabi in particular) – but there does seem to be a clear reason for the premiums paid on vegies in Japan.


This is where tuna ends

Tuna at Tsukiji
Whole frozen tuna on a forklift at Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo

I have no hope whatsoever for the future of tuna. The death warrant for Atlantic tuna was written at the last meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, ensuring that current tuna stocks will have a 50% chance of recovering in the next decade. The tuna is one of the only endangered species that you could buy at the supermarket to feed to your cat or rave about eating a perfect red shard atop vinegared rice without social repercussions. I doubt this prevailing attitude will change before the bluefin and yellowfin tuna are well dead.

Roughly, three quarters of the world’s tuna is eaten by Japan and from four in the morning, it looks like roughly three quarters of the Japan’s tuna is at Tsukiji fish market in downtown Tokyo. Frozen torpedoes of fish are lined up in a warehouse for auction, a visual cliche of Tokyo that wrestles for space in travel brochures with Goth Lolitas and that busy intersection in Shibuya.

The auction rooms are currently cut off to tourists thanks to its popularity and the propensity of tourists to fall beneath forklifts. (It appears that the auction area is actually open to a limited number of visitors each day (Cheers, Akila) – I must have missed the cut). Austin Bush has some excellent coverage of the auctions. I concentrated on what happens next.

Tuna at Tsukiji

The areas where the middlemen transfer and dismantle the tuna is still accessible for death by forklift. Tuna are transferred from the auction area into stalls on handcarts yoked to the elderly, motorised gurneys which appear to be the offspring of a motorcycle and a double bed, and your construction-variety forklift.

Whole frozen tuna on a cart

Tuna are kept cool with blocks of dry ice while they await the bandsaw. The smaller stallholders break down their morning’s buy into component cuts, dividing the buttery belly cuts from the coarser red flesh. It’s a much less sterile process that I would have expected with tuna heads piling up on the concrete floor before the flesh is removed from their cheeks, collar and eyes.

Filleting Tuna at Tsukiji

Fresh fish are hand-filleted. If you’re at all interested in the full Japanese 27-step process for breaking down a tuna, Cooking Issues comes up with the goods.

Tuna at Tsukiji

Once removed from the bone, fillets are further onsold; restaurants and smaller vendors picking up particular cuts to resell elsewhere in the city and sate the endless appetite for this doomed fish.

The sultry sounds of Queen Victoria Market

I don’t shop for food outside of my ‘hood all too often these days and so a recent visit back to the Queen Victoria Market made me realise the distinctiveness of the aural landscape of Melbourne’s markets. Markets in Footscray are dominated by vendors spruiking their specials in Vietnamese, generally whichever fruit is cheapest and in season. The Queen Vic Market is all in English, the specials are the “known value items” – foodstuff that most consumers can name the going price – especially, bananas.

Meat sales seem even more reliant on spruikers, especially as the morning wears on, and the afternoon bulk discounts kick in.

Footscray Market: Opening Hours

Opening hours for 2015/2016 are here. Below are the hours for 2011.

My local market doesn’t have a website, so as something of a community service, here is the opening hours of the Footscray Market over the Christmas/New Year’s period.

24 Dec – open 7:00am-6:00pm
25-28 Dec – closed
29-30 Dec – open 7:00am-4:00pm
1 Jan – closed
2 Jan -7:00am-4:00pm

Normal opening hours for Footscray Market are:

Tuesday and Wednesday – 7:00am-4:00pm
Thursday – 7:00am-6:00pm
Friday – 7:00am-8:00pm
Saturday – 7:00am-4:00pm

Queen Victoria Market Borek

Borek stall at Queen Victoria Market

Having Austin around did act as a handy reminder of the unparalleled diversity of food in Melbourne. For example, I live in a suburb dominated by two of the most disparate of the world’s cuisines: Ethiopian and Vietnamese. As I wander about a market named after an English monarch, I snack on Turkish (or maybe, Balkan(?)) street food because I can’t help myself.

Borek, QV Market

This borek is a spicy lamb-filled pastry, baked in flat rows on a tray, on site at the Queen Victoria Market. Served hot, the oil oozing from the pastry burns through the paper bag. They also do spinach and cheese, which compared to the lamb, is almost superfluous.

A decent length of borek still retails for $2.50; one of the great Melbourne bargain street foods.