The South Melbourne Market and chai-infused apple ‘dim sims’.

I love food markets.

There is something about the atmosphere, the people and the wafts of cinnamon donuts that is just so inviting.

I love wandering around the stalls, speaking to the stallholders and tasting what they have to offer. And my mother has a $10 jar of rhubarb & rose geranium jam as a result.

Over summer I experienced London’s Borough Market (a must do for all foodies), drank mulled wine at the Christmas Markets in Paris & London, ate very nice strawberries from the market in Nice, France (see what I did there?), and enjoyed many foods on offer at Melbourne’s Night Noodle Market & Queen Victoria Night Market.

But it has been a while.

Waking up to a photo of friends experiencing the Borough Market in London had me longing for cheese tasting and the aroma of roasted chestnuts. So as I sat drinking my instant coffee (previously mentioned friend moved out and took Nespresso machine) on a rainy Sunday morning with nothing urgent to do, I decided to tick off another Melbourne foodie hotspot.

The South Melbourne Market.

Forty minutes later, I was wandering the aisles and smelling the aroma of Simply Spanish’s paella cooking on Cecil Street. I admired the fresh bunches of baby carrots and beetroot  and made a mental note to check out the $1 bag of vegetables on my way out.

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As I got lost, market-goers were enjoying freshly shucked oysters and purchasing fresh sourdough. Some were simply enjoying some people watching, with a coffee and peanut butter & jelly donut from Clement coffee. Oh, how they looked divine.

But then I found Mecca. A nut lovers Mecca.

Also known as Rita’s coffee & nuts

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I was instantly drawn in by the mound of pomegranate and pistachio turkish delight sitting on the counter, and the large display of fruit & nut mixes.

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I wandered around the store mentally note-taking present ideas and laughing a little at the activated organic almonds.

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There were homemade italian biscuits on the counter, and a mound of pistachio & almond halva waiting to be devoured.

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Dried fruits, nuts and muesli mixes. Coffee and tea by the scoop. Fresh Licorice and chocolate-coated freeze dried strawberries. Bottles of sauces and jars of nut butters, and bags of lentils and grains.

There really was something for everyone.

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I even got to meet Rita.

That’s the thing about markets. Stallholders actually run their stalls. And they do it with so much passion too.

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Rita sliced chunks of turkish delight and nougat for myself and other shoppers. They were a winner, as was Rita. She was hilarious, looked after her customers and had me coming back. That is, after I found an ATM. Word of advice: take cash.

I returned, spent more money than I intended, and left with some chai tea and a small bag of Helen’s Organic Sensation fruit & nut mix. (Those chocolate and nut mixes get me every time.)

Before I left the market, I had one more thing to do. For I didn’t think my south-melbourne-market-acquainted friends would approve if I left without trying the famous South Melbourne Market Dim Sims.

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It was okay though. My market adventures had left me feeling a little peckish.

So I had a fried dim sim. I believe if you do it, you should do it properly. Although, they do sell them steamed as well.

It was good. Very good.

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You should try one too.

After all, it is Wednesday and the market is open.

But if spontaneous mid-week market trips  don’t work for you, spice up your hump day with my market inspired chai-infused apple ‘dim sims’.

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I think they are delicious.

Happy Wednesday.

Emma xo

Chai-infused Apple ‘Dim Sims’

Makes two


1 1/2 Granny Smith apples

1 tbsp sultanas

2 tsp Chai tea

1/2 cup boiling water

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp maple syrup 

1 sheet of filo pastry

Melted butter/margarine for assembling


Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Place tea in tea infuser (a tea bag will also work) & allow to brew for ~5 minutes.

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Core & dice the apples, leaving the skin on for extra fibre.

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Place apples, tea, sultanas, cinnamon & maple syrup (I liked this addition, omit/change if you like ) in saucepan, and simmer until apples are tender & liquid is reduced.

Remove from heat & allow to cool.

Cut pastry into 15cm x 15cm squares (my sheet divided into 6 squares).

Using a basting brush, brush each piece of pastry with melted butter.

Line two cups with baking paper and three sheets of filo, and divide apple mixture evenly.

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Fold in each corner of the pastry; ensuring to brush each time.

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Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

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Enjoy with a dollop of yoghurt.

Although, vanilla ice cream would go alright too.

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