Melbourne's #1 Food Market

Entertaining Ideas for Spring Racing Season

Saddle up Market friends because it’s Spring Racing season and we’ve got all the food ideas you need to throw the best day event or spring soiree to celebrate. So what are you waiting for? Giddy up and head to the Market!

Did someone say, food platters?

Entertaining platters are super easy to put together and they look pretty great too!

Fromage lovers wanting to make their cheese platter stand out from the crowd can really achieve the wow factor by cutting their cheese into different shapes. Don’t be afraid to get creative; a mix of log, round and wedge shapes look really great among accompaniments like fruit and quince paste. And if you love adding charcuterie to your cheese platter, then cured sausages, kabana, ham, salami (hot or mild depending on your taste) and prosciutto are a must. You can find all you need to create the perfect cheese/charcuterie look from our expert Deli Traders.

If a fruit spread is more your thing, then head straight to your fruiterers in Harvest Hall and pick-up some rockmelon, watermelon, pineapple, grapes and oranges. These fruits will help to refuel the body whilst you sip on bubbly after bubbly throughout the day. For something a little more decadent, try a strawberry platter with a small bowl of melted dark chocolate in the middle for dipping! We recommend preparing your platter no more than half an hour before serving for optimum freshness.

And, of course, there’s the seafood platter – which makes for a tasty starter for any lunch or dinner party. Load it up with oysters and prawns from our Bracher Arcade fishmongers along with a couple of lemon wedges to accentuate the taste of your seafood. For a larger platter, more suitable for a shared main, we recommend adding lobster, crab, smoked mussels, marinated baby octopus, smoked salmon or trout. Don’t forget to add a small bowl of seafood sauce to dip your prawns into! A great tip for keeping your seafood cold and fresh (especially for those large platters) is to place a layer of finely chopped ice underneath your ingredients. Just ask any of the fishmongers in Bracher Arcade and they will be happy to advise you.

Grab the bubbly!

What’s a Spring Racing get-together without a glass of something bubbly to get the party started?! Blackhearts & Sparrows have some fantastic new sparkling pours that we’re lusting over, like the Triple Trouble Bubble Rosé Pét Nat 2022, Cofield Sparkling Shiraz Durif NV and Box Grove Prosecco 2021.

Prefer a cider over some bubbles? Add their new-in Decideret Spontan 2020+2021 Pét-Nat Cider to your shopping list. This drop is bright, fun and incredibly delicious, plus it’s made sustainably with surplus garden apples and organic blackcurrants.

Shortcuts never tasted so good

It’s no surprise that we’re big fans of cooking meals from scratch, but when it comes to entertaining a big crowd, shortcuts can make life SO much easier. You’ll find an extensive range of ready-made, heat-and-eat options at Stir The Pot, Barossa Fine Foods, Cleo’s Deli and Sweet Greek. We’re talking family-sized pies, quiches, home-made pasta and tray-bakes that you can claim as your own.

Feel like shouting your friends to a traditional, Roman-style pizza? Give the crew at Farini a call to order one of their whole pizzas for pick-up.

Rivergum Grill has your salad options sorted (and will keep vegan guests feeling full and content). And, if you’re stuck on starters or looking for something light, visit Chaso’s Gourmet Deli to browse their pre-marinated, antipasto fare or Naheda’s Choice for a delicious selection of dips.

Backyard barbie favourites

When only a BBQ will do on Cup Day, be sure to load up on the best quality meat available from our Bracher Arcade butchers. The chicken thighs from D&J Poultry or Arthur’s Quality Poultry are a lot tastier compared to the breast and quick to cook on a BBQ.  If you like to have some bone then chicken chops (bone-in thigh) are a great option. Keep it simple and just rub the meat with some salt and oregano.

For a unique BBQ option, add some of Cester’s game birds to your shopping cart, like Spatchcock or Quail. They make for great eating just by basting with oil and seasonings before cooking, butterflied – keep basting and turning while you cook. If you have a bit of time beforehand, let them rest in your favourite marinade before you cook them. Greek flavours like garlic, lemon and oregano are also fantastic.

And if you’re like us and can’t go past a rib-eye on the BBQ, make sure that your grill is sizzling hot before you start. Paul from Neil’s Meats recommends turning the meat once, cooking a standard thick rib eye, 6-7 minutes on each side for the perfect medium steak.

Don’t forget that the Market will be CLOSED for Melbourne Cup day, so be sure to shop with our Traders in advance for all your Spring Racing feasting needs.

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