Things to do in Melbourne this week
The Hawker 88 Night Market brings Asian tastes, sights and sounds to the Queen Vic Market’s sheds. Running every Wednesday night from September 19 to October 24, over 20 stalls will be set up to sell authentic street food direct from China, India, Vietnam, Korea, Malaysia and Japan. You can expect traditional dishes like Filipino barbecue, Korean pork belly, Malaysian satay, plenty of Indian curries and so much more. Drinks-wise punters can get amongst Melbourne’s new independent brewery Brick Lane Brewing Co. who have created a new craft beer for the occasion.
The Tesselaar Tulip Festival takes over Silvan’s Tulip Farm during September and October and brings almost a million tulips in bloom to 25 acres of farmland in the Dandenong Ranges. Located an hour away from Melbourne, this tulip festival turns regional Victoria into a mini version of the Netherlands with tulip bulbs flowering in the majestic spring sunshine. While the tulips are undoubtedly the stars of the show, the festival also features live entertainment, market stalls, food offerings and themed weekend celebrations.
Every year, the Melbourne Fringe Festival makes jaws drop and eyes widen across the city with their out-there line-up of theatre, comedy, art, music and events. This is Melbourne at its weirdest and one of the best ways to get a feel for the city's cultural underbelly. There's more than 400 events each year across roughly 160 venues in and around Melbourne. This is your opportunity to take risks on bold new works. Jump in, and enjoy the ride.
RECOMMENDED: Top picks of the Melbourne Fringe Festival.
Some come to the Show for the rides; others come to marvel at award-winning edible sculptures (otherwise known as cakes). Crowds flock to pavilions filled with baby animals and champion dogs. All are united in a mutual love of show bags. Foodies at the show are also well catered for. Sure, you could go for the traditional dagwood dog or cloud of fairy floss, but the Show has far more gourmet options awaiting in the food pavillions. And no trip to the Show is complete either without a gawk at the woodchop pavillion.
Collingwood bistro Congress is going in the complete opposite direction to its usual meaty fare, offering an all-vegan five-course dinner for two nights in September. The event is in partnership with Fitzroy's Northside Fruit & Veg, and on the menu are dishes like salt-baked beets with cashew cream and horseradish, sticky rice cake with mushrooms and black garlic, and radishes sourced from Congress’ own community garden with sunflower tahini and chickpea wafers. Each course comes with matched Australian wine (a pet-nat to begin, a port to finish, and delectable drops in between), and it is all 100 per cent plant-based.
Mamma Mia! is the jukebox musical to end all jukebox musicals. It’s one of the most commercially successful pieces of entertainment of all time, having grossed US$2 billion since its 1999 West End premiere. So why does the show – with an inconsequential and frequently illogical story about a young woman on the weekend of her wedding trying to learn which of three men is her father – continue to inspire people all around the world to open their wallets and head out to the theatre? It owes its success almost entirely to the ABBA music it hangs its hackneyed but gently funny narrative off.
Body Worlds: Vital is an exhibition that will help you better understand your body and the way it works. An educational exhibit about human anatomy, it features 150 real human bodies, which have been 'plastinated' and put on display. There are whole bodies, individual organs and transparent 'body slices' that demonstrate the human body in all its forms – healthy, diseased and everywhere in between. All of the specimens have been voluntarily donated for this express purpose, and the process of donation has been thoroughly documented.
Art collective Field Theory has created a work that is part reality show, part public spectacle and part art installation to explore the nature of fame – and make an ordinary Melburnian into a celebrity. The team from Field Theory has moved in with a Melburnian for 48 hours, learning everything they can about their habits, loves, hates, dreams, family, friends and life. The climax of all this attention will be a giant party in Federation Square, celebrating the person.
We know Melbourne is sick for a dumpling, which is why the Oriental Teahouse's first Dumpling Degustation went bananas. Happily for anyone who missed out last time, the dumpling house is doing it all again at its Chapel Street location. This is not a drill – it's a six-course dumpling degustation. The degustation will include traditional flavours like chilli prawn coriander shu mai and chilli and kaffir lime wagyu beef dumpling served with in-house chilli sauce, along with more modern and adventurous varities, like tea- smoked duck breast and Long jing tea soup and flame thrower pulled pork dumplings. For the sweet tooths, there will be a dessert dumpling of lychee and red bean dumpling with coconut shavings & palm sugar sauce. The degustation is $55, or $85 with matched wines and umeshu. After dinner, head upstairs to digest over drinks at the 1930’s Shanghai-themed bar, Zhou Zhou. But first, book those tickets. You don't want to be the kid holding the empty steamer basket.
The ever-brilliant Linda Cropper (aka Offspring's Geraldine) is back on stage at Melbourne Theatre Company for the premiere of Aidan Fennessy’s (The Way Things Work, What Rhymes with Cars and Girls) new play. Part of MTC’s focus on new Australian writing, it tells the story of the terminally ill Helen (Cropper), who is forced to find a temporary carer when her partner John heads off on a brief overseas trip. When she takes in a young drifter, an unexpected bond forms between them – until the tables begin to turn and Helen has to make some big decisions.
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