Melbourne’s first New Zealand Street food trader selling traditional hāngi has opened at Dandenong Market.
Run by Jae Tuhi and his family, NZ Street Food started as a street food van in 2015, regularly attending Dandenong Market on weekends and for festivals. Realising the popularity of his offer at Dandenong Market, Jae decided to set up a permanent presence for NZ Street Food in Dandenong Market’s Meat, Fish & Deli Hall.
NZ Street Food offers a range of New Zealand delicacies but is best known for the hugely popular hāngi, a traditional dish made with chicken, lamb, potato, pumpkin, sweet potato, cabbage, stuffing and fried bread. “The secret to the perfect hāngi is fresh ingredients,” Jae said. “It’s a dish that is uniquely cooked, but most of all it is made with love – that’s the number one ingredient.”
“The recipes on my menu are generally well known recipes in NZ,” Jae said, “however I have tweaked them slightly to suit my own style.” For example, a hangi is normally cooked in the ground, however Jae designed a steamer that would create the same familiar taste as the traditional hangi.
NZ Street food also offer other delicious NZ ready-to-eat food, including creamed paua, fried bread, mussel fritters, NZ kina and steamed pudding with custard.
One dish sure to be a big seller at Dandenong Market is the Kiwi breakfast: an enormous and filling hot breakfast with an NZ twist: two fried eggs on fried bread, bacon, tomatoes, sausage, hash brown and your choice of creamed paua or creamed mushrooms. Jae buys all his meat, vegetables, fish and bread at Dandenong Market from other traders. “Dandenong Market is renowned for great produce at a good price so it’s a great way to support other traders whilst offering fresh, seasonal ingredients to my customers,” he said.
NZ Street Food also sells sweet treats and grocery items imported from New Zealand, including New Zealand’s favourite biscuits Griffin’s, Huntley and Palmers crackers, Bluebird’s Rashuns, Curlies and Munchies, Eta Munchos, L&P and Fresh Up.
NZ Street Food is already proving popular with New Zealand ex pats and Islanders: “some of the people who have made their way to us have come as far as Werribee, Altona and Traralgon. Islanders love the seafood and fried bread so will travel far to get it,” Jae said. “The food we sell is traditional Maori fare and we’re one of the only food traders in Melbourne to do so, so we’re developing an enthusiastic following across Melbourne.”
Jae also has a stall at the market selling his popular Maori carvings, jewellery and Kia Kaha products, Jae Tuhi Maori Carving in The Bazaar. Both the street food van and Maori carving stall are well and truly family-run business: Jae and his partner receive help from their three daughters, as well as Jae’s mum, dad, Auntie, niece and sisters, brothers, father-in-law and sister-in-law.
Customer can message their hangi orders through: 0430 076 854.