A trip to the Coventry Square Markets today resulted in an excellent foodie find in a little shop called The Spice Wagon. Being full of yum cha and amazingly hangover free, today I found myself with a few hours to indulge in one of my favourite weekend pastimes, wandering aimlessly around a market for a few hours. Coventry Square is good for this as the place is huge, and being that it’s still relatively new and still finding it’s feet as a market destination, new shops are opening all the time. I’m generally a fan of the Station Street markets in Subiaco, but finding a parking space there is a nightmare and you do kind of have to fight your way through the hordes in the fruit and veg shops, which is a fun adventure every now and again, but those of you looking for a more convenient, sedate experience will appreciate the large amount of free parking and less claustrophobic atmosphere at Coventry Square.
Anyway, I digress, back to the topic at hand. I was initially enticed into The Spice Wagon by their dukkah tasking out the front, all of which, as I was soon to learn, is made on site to their own recipes using their industrial spice grinder hidden away out the back. There were a number of different varieties, and Mike (the enthusiastic and very helpful staff member) explained the differences between each and also suggested ways in which they can be used in the kitchen. This is why I love little places like this. Although not the owner, Mike was clearly passionate about the wares he sold and only too happy to have a conversation about anything spice and food related. The Spice Wagon is also all about increasing people’s knowledge of and confidence in using spices, so on a weekend they regularly cook up a few dishes, get people to try them in the store and then have pre-packed spices attached to recipe sheets ready to go so you can attempt it yourself at home. Brilliant! They also have a number of other recipe/spice packs, so if you’re looking to impress your friends with your cooking prowess but are a little lacking in kitchen confidence, or if you’re just looking to try some new recipe ideas, then definitely give them a try. They deliberately use unusual/underappreciated ingredients too, so even dedicated foodies are bound to learn a trick or two.
Beyond that, this seemingly tiny store holds a surprisingly large array of herb, spices, teas, sauces and all manner of culinary wonders including some hard-to-find varieties of mexican chillies (which impressed me no end). So if your kitchen life is a little lacklustre and could use some spicing up, or if you’re just looking to learn a few new tricks, then definitely head down to The Spice Wagon and have a chat.