Monday, October 24, 2011

Remembering Wakefield Market In Wellington

Migrants from Malaysia and Singapore are more "tum chiak" (greedy for food in Penang Hokkien) than migrants from other countries ;)

We belongs to that tum chiak group! We came from a small island (Penang) synonymous with good food. Penang is well known for its abundance of authentic hawkers’ delights which the locals claim, cannot be duplicated elsewhere!

 Shortly after we arrived in Wellington, 1988; we found to our horror; there were no hawkers fair in this "Coolest Little Capital" of New Zealand!

All you can get is "take away" of adulterated "Chinese food" to suit local taste!

We were ecstatic when our friends took us to the only "hawkers centre" at 181, Wakefield Street!  The "centre", a small space on top of an office block has only four food stalls; beggars no choosers, we were happy!

Hawkers centre or Asian Food Court come and go in Wellington, the last one was situated at Wakefield Market. We loved this old, run down venue!

From the outside the market looks old and really run down. There was only a small sign on the wall, indicating  that they sell food in there. But once you enter the place, you can smell food, glorious food!

There were a range of stalls, mainly Asians; Indian, Malaysian, Singaporean, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican foods were on offer. They were all very good and the price was cheaper than any where else!

My favorite was the stall serving Malaysian and Singaporean food, it was operated by two friendly young Singaporeans. I love their nasi biryani!

A popular Indian Muslim dish of saffron rice and meat. It is sold by both Indians and Malays, and is essential at Malay weddings.

Sorry I forgot your names! But thanks for your excellent services, great food and big smiles!  Hope you girls find what you are looking for!
 Then there was the stall that sell our favorite "won ton" dried noodle! Their BBQ pork was really yummy too!

Ah Kim, owner of the said noodle shop with his staff. Kim has passed away couple years ago :(
Ah Kim at his stall, notice the sign board on the wall showing all their famous dishes at $8.50 each!
The popular Roti Chenai and Lion City food stalls at the Wakefield Market.
On the 28 October 2007, Wakefield Market is closed for good. The building is torn down and to be made into a fancy apartment block by Watermark.

Famous Last Words:

We drove pass the demolished site this afternoon, what do you know; it is still EMPTY ;)

According to the National Business Review...

"The scale of Wellington luxury property development Watermark has been slashed after the struggling project’s financial issues reached tipping point."

Adios Wakefield Market, you will be missed!


heather said...

I miss places like this.They should be preserved for the people.The integrity and character of Wellington seems to be going down the drain with the loss of such places.
Mammon rules.. it seems.The buzzword is ...progress!

Anonymous said...

Oh boy, I missed this place some. Welly was never quite the same without it - especially since nobody else sold the stir-fried radish cake that Lion City sold! =( (But I shouldn't complain - I'm back in Singapore enjoying my hawker fare!)


Anonymous said...

has ah kim passed away any idea on whether or not his work mates are still around making the pork mee goreng

cy.leow said...

Hi...So far I did not see Ah Kim's buddies in any eating place in Wellington. I will post the info here if I find out.
Cheers - CY

Anonymous said...

I wish I knew what happened to the card reader that was in the markets, she was really good.

Unknown said...

Does anyone remember yakatori rolls at rhe wakefield markets?