Island East Markets is Hong Kong's own little farmers' market, taking place every Sunday in Quarry Bay, nestled among the Taikoo Place complex of skyscrapers. Dreamt up by noted Hong Kong food blogger, Janice Leung, Island East Markets has a little of everything for everyone!
Having only one Sunday in Hong Kong (the day that we landed), Island East Markets was a priority on our list of things to see. We arrived way too early for the market, thinking that we could explore the cafes in the area first. Turns out the cafes were all closed too, but we discovered that Taikoo Place houses several public art and we whiled away the time trying to discover them all.
As we were wandering around Taikoo Place, the Island East Markets opened up for business, and people began trickling in. While IEM is on the smaller side, the range of stalls are extensive and are refreshed regularly to prevent visitors' fatigue from the same old stores every week.
Be warned that prices of the food are pricer than street food but they are worth it, with most of them made from organic ingredients or home-made with care. We sampled the yogurt from Sour Times Dairy Company and radish cake from Patchun Foods. Also spotted among the stalls were lobster rolls, wines, cheese, various types of cakes and desserts, handmade fashion and jewellery, and of course, organic produce.
What I enjoyed most about the markets were the diversity of people who visited - expats, locals, kids and the odd tourist (like us) - and the rather odd location of the markets. Quarry Bay is tucked far away from the buzz of Hong Kong, a quiet little residential area that co-exists with Taikoo Place. Having seen Quarry Bay on a Sunday, I wonder what it's like on a Monday.