What is Welcome to the Jungle?

Published on 20 February 2020

Photo: Shannon Martinez of Smith & Daughters is among the line-up at Welcome to the Jungle (credit: Josh Robenstone)

Plant-based eating is about to get wild as Queen Victoria Market plays host to a party celebrating plants in all their forms.

What’s all this about a plant-based party?

To celebrate the plant kingdom, we’ve asked Melbourne’s Queen of Green, Shannon Martinez, to headline a party, Welcome to the Jungle, that’s 100 per-cent meat free, right down to the drinks. All are welcome, no matter where you’re at on your quest to get more plants into your life.

Get your pals together and head down to Queen Victoria Market to wander among the wall-to-wall plants and food stalls featuring more than 15 dishes from some of Melbourne’s favourite chefs and restaurants. Bringing the party vibes are The Tarantinos, Melbourne’s (Australia’s?) premier band covering the songs from Quentin Tarantino’s movies.

It’s time to throw away the clichés about plant-based eating and get down.

What’s on the menu?

From Fancy Hank’s to Bar Saracen, we’ve covered just about everything your plant-loving heart could desire.

Shannon Martinez is bringing the Smith & Daughters touch, with tacos al pastor and a ridiculously fun Piña Colada cream pie, while Fancy Hank’s will be doing amazing things with vegetables and a smoker, creating pit-roasted yams to go along with cumin-fried cauliflower and their signature fried corn ribs.

The Bar Saracen team will dip into their bag of tricks to deliver three drool-worthy Middle Eastern dishes, including a hummus topped with mushroom shawarma, and Charlie Carrington of Atlas Dining and Lomah fame will handle the all-important falafel wrap. On the burger front, the Mary’s crew will be coming out to play after opening the doors on their first Melbourne location, bringing three different meat-free burgers for your pleasure. Plus Jerry Mai of Annam is creating roast duck banh mi that’s 100 per cent plant-based.

How many dishes are we talking here?

Every chef will be creating at least two plates for the event, some of them never seen before, some of them just for this party, so that’s at least 14 great new vegan dishes for you to choose between.

What if I don’t want to choose?

You’re very welcome to order them all. That’s what we’re going to do.

Is it just as awesome on the drinks side?

While you decide on what you’re going to eat (if not everything), you can work your way through a menu of tiki cocktails from the legends at The LuWow, plus vegan wines and beers from Victoria’s best.

Sign me up! Where and when?

The plant kingdom will be taking over Shed X at Queen Victoria Market from 5pm on Friday 27 March.

Do I need to buy a ticket?

Yep, entry is $25.

What do I get for my money?

The cost of the ticket covers all-night entertainment and live music. Food and drink is available for purchase, with most dishes between $12 and $18. The Jungle is cashless – bring your credit or debit card.

Shannon Martinez says:

"It's not about deprivation. It's about debauchery." Amen.

Welcome to the Jungle, 5pm-10pm, Friday 27 March, Shed X, Queen Victoria Market, Queen St, Melbourne. $25 entry with food and drink for purchase. Tickets on sale now.