Address: Reddacliff Place (top of the Queen St Mall)
The end of May and beginning of June marks Italian Week in Brisbane. This is the time of the year to indulge in pasta, pizza and fresh breads. Yes, it is a lot of carbs, but on cold winter day, it is much welcomed.
Instead of a full fledged Italian market, the Italian specialty stores are woven between fresh food stores, German bakery, Asian eateries and other delights. The market looks small on the outside but once inside, it is easy to spend an hour without realising.
The first store I hit was this little Asian store called 'steamed'.The store only sells two products - steamed dumplings and steamed buns. The dumplings come in three variations - beef, vegetarian and pork. I tried two of each and was somewhat disappointed by them. The pastry was not as soft as I would liked and beef dumplings had a distinct lamb flavour.
However, the steam bun was to die for. I consumed one in matter of seconds and was highly tempted to return immediately for more. The skin was fluffy and soft and the filling had a very balanced flavour. Two enthusiastic thumbs up!
I managed to catch a little bit of the Italian cooking class at its end and was awarded with a taste of the freshly cooked vegetable penne. It was seasoned to perfection and a good change to the normal tomato or cream based pasta that you would normally get.
My absolute favourite however, was the banner on the store 'Eat or be Eaten'. Somehow, that really connected with me.
Recommended: the bun at Steamed
Direction: Exit Central Station, cross the Anzac Square and keep going until you hit Post Office. That'd be Queen Street. Turn right and keep on going pass all the shops until you hit water front. The market is right there.