Sunday, November 11, 2012

Spanish Night Market

I have this really bad habit of signing up to newsletters, updates and clubs. I'm just a sucker for a good deal -or even the possibility of one. As a result, I have a wallet that is bulging billion loyalty cards threatening to explode at any moment and an inbox with filled with deal websites that needs to be cleared daily. I think it must be a girl thing.

"Lucy" I hear you say, "It's so easy to kick the habit! Just throw all your cards away and unsubscribe to those websites!"

Let me assure you, dear readers, I'm not complaining. In fact, I frequently stumble upon all sorts of weird and wonderful gatherings such as the Spanish Night Market in town. 

At some point during my university years, I must have signed up to the Hispanic Club on Orientation day and promptly forgot about it as I moved to the signing sheet of the next club. Since that day, I never heard anything about any club events until a few weeks ago when I received an email at work telling me about the first of many Spanish Night Markets held at the Hispanic Club at the Premier Building.

It took me by surprise and I almost took it for junk mail, but curiosity (and my love of paella) got the better of me. 

The entrance to the Premier Building is situated in a small alleyway tucked away between a couple of bars. It is actually a little hard to find if you don't know what you're looking for and I would have walked straight passed it had it not been for Jason's keen eyes. 

The last thing I expected when I pictured "Spanish Night Market" in my mind was "apartment looking" but, once we scaled 3 floors, we pleasantly surprised. Temporary tables and chairs had been set up in what is usually a Latin dance studio and the room was packed with all sorts of people speaking Spanish in loud voices -the atmosphere was fantastic! The line to the front counter was very long so we took some time to enjoy the Spanish music and decide what we wanted.

Estrella Damm - $5 and Sangria - $6
We started off with a bottle of Estrella Damm and a very generous glass of Sangria. The Sangria was full of flavour and not too boozy while the Cerveza (beer) was refreshing and tasted quite similar to Corona. 

When we finally reached the front of the queue, the reason for the long wait became very clear. As you can imagine, a dance school isn't equipped with state of the art cooking equipment (or any at all!) so our poor hosts were producing their empanadas from a small household toaster oven, churros from an electrical frying pan and making their sangria as they are ordered. At least no one could complain that the food wasn't fresh!
Empanada - $3 each

The empanadas proved to be a great starter with crispy pastry and filled with beef mince and mixed vegetables. They weren't super special or anything but kept our hunger at bay while we waited for the main event.

Chicken Paella - $10
The main reason we came to the Spanish Night Market was for the Paella and, I have to say, I was very impressed. When given a choice, I usually go for a seafood paella but, tonight, the pan with chicken and chorizo looked more alluring. Like everything else, there was a big wait but it was worth it to get the first bowl out of a new batch! The paella trumped any I've had before with generous amounts of chicken and chorizo and other goodies like onion, peas and lots of sweet paprika. It even had the authentic sticky, crunchy bottom!

And then I instagrammed it.
The generous helping of paella meant that we didn't have the tummy space left for dessert which was just as well because the line still ran to the entrance but let me assure you that the churros with dulce de leche looked fantastic!

If you, too, want to enjoy authentic Spanish food in the Big Little City, check out the Spanish Night Market every Friday evening at the Hispanic Club -Level 3, Premier Building, 2 Durham St East and be sure to try their amazing paella! 

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