Melbourne Bratwurst Shop and American Doughnut Kitchen

513 Elizabeth Street
Melbourne VIC 3000 

Victoria Market is the happiest place in Melbourne, at least for a foodie. For everyone else it seems to be pretty low on the ‘things to do on a day out’ list, unless if you happen to be an interstate visitor. But really, why walk around a shopping center fawning over that TV you can never afford when instead, you can spend a day tasting cheeses and antipasto, drinking wine samples, browsing hand-carved wooden animals, and fighting the tough old Italian ladies for that last loaf of artisan ciabatta. And once you emerge hungry and breadless – because you will never, ever be able to beat those wiry and tough senior citizens; they’ve been doing this for decades – you can fill up on boreks and bratwurst, topped off with a couple of the famous hot jam donuts, for less than $10.

It will only take a couple of seconds to convince yourself that yes, you most certainly can make room in the fridge for all the gourmet treats you are about to ply yourself with. Cream cheese wrapped in prosciutto, black olive fettuccini, kangaroo salamis, organic honey in every shade between eggshell yellow and dark amber, just to name a few. And I didn’t even need to do more than walk through the meat section to start hungrily eyeing up the plump scallops and juicy rib-eye steaks.

There’s no shortage of things to eat on the spot either. Organic pizzas made with rainbow-coloured dough and buckets of fried chicken ribs. Flaky, freshly made boreks stuffed with lamb and onion mince, or tender cubes of apple and dusted in sugar. And for those with a sweet tooth, colourful macarons, rich vanilla slices, and an old-fashioned candy shop beckons.

But without a doubt, the busiest food stand is by far the Melbourne Bratwurst Shop (excuse the blur, big families with prams were trying to get by). There will be a queue outside no matter what time of day it is, but service is speedy with a smile, and most people know exactly what they want.

Mild Bratwurst with Tasty Cheese ($7.2)
Spicy Bratwurst with Sauerkraut and Mild American Mustard ($6.4)
Tempted to join the hungry people standing next to a narrow ledge just outside the store, chomping down on their bratwurst, we nevertheless managed to hold off until we got to the food court, where we could sit down and enjoy our sausages in peace (after a few photos on my part). Chris ordered a Mild Bratwurst with Tasty Cheese($7.2), whilst I went for a Spicy Bratwurst with Sauerkraut and Mild American Mustard ($6.4). The lack of condiments in Chris’ hot dog showcased the simple but delicious flavours of the sausage, which had a snappy casing and a mouth-watering meaty char to it. Mine on the other hand was a much more balanced affair, with the tangy sauerkraut and mustard offsetting the richness of the peppery sausage, which whilst less well-grilled, was made up for by the resulting juiciness.
Spicy Bratwurst with Sauerkraut and Mild American Mustard ($6.4)
It really is nice to have a proper sausage that has a casing with resistance, and juicy innards that have a real meatiness to them. You can even see the chilli flakes they used in the spicy bratwurst.

If going go Vic Market and not getting the bratwurst is like going to China without seeing the Great Wall, then not getting some of the hot jam donuts from the American Donut Van is like… not getting the hot jam donuts from the American Donut Van. It’s such a heinous crime it doesn’t even need an analogy to describe it. The queue may be double the length of what’s outside the bratwurst shop, but it moves rapidly, with a smiling matron at the window popping donuts into a paper bag and sealing it with a twist, and two young men in the back frying and filling the donuts with practised ease.

Hot Jam Donuts ($1ea)
Hot Jam Donuts ($1ea)
Being the reasonable people that we are, we got just three Hot Jam Donuts ($1ea) to share between the two of us. These irregular little pastries were fried until golden, with insides of a similar buttery colour, and a texture most aptly compared to brioche. They were then filled with a squirt of hot jam before being rolled in a blizzard of coarse sugar. I can’t even being to describe how great it is, sinking your teeth through the gentle crisp of the exterior to the warm and fluffy center, accompanied by the crunch of sugar crystals. If I had to complain about anything, it would be the small quantity of jam on the inside – just a tantalising half-teaspoon worth. 
A trip to Victoria Market is always an eye-opening experience for me. It’s also a reminder that sometimes, simplicity is the best. You don’t need fancy machines and crazy cooking techniques to make something delicious. All you need is excellent fresh produce, and just a little bit of innovation. It doesn’t hurt to go back to basics. 
Rating (overall food and experience): 15/20 – back to basics. 

Melbourne Bratwurst Shop on Urbanspoon American Doughnut Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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  • Reply sophler 14/07/2012 at 10:28 am

    Yum! I haven’t been to Vic Market in ages. But you have mentioned the Borek’s and they are the best. Whenever I’m there, I always get those. I definitely agree what you mean when you say simplicity is the best. After a busy day, it’s such a good feeling to unwind and relax – and look at life, the simple way! Keep up the great posts!

    • Reply ming 16/07/2012 at 12:16 pm

      Oh I absolutely love the boreks too – $5 for 3 and you have yourself lunch AND dessert :D

  • Reply Akika (Ichigo Shortcake) 15/07/2012 at 1:23 pm

    Oooo I love Vic Markets! Used to go there a lot when I was at uni and worked in the city…haven’t been to eat food there in a while though. Those doughnuts look delicious!

    • Reply ming 16/07/2012 at 12:16 pm

      Thanks, I hope you’ve had those doughnuts at some point or I’m going to have to scold you severely :p

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