Okay, here I go talking about Fairfield again. So this is the final part of the food tour we did about 2 weeks ago. As I went through my previous posts about Fairfield and as I was vetting the photos that I wanted to upload, it really and truly sank in. The reality of how much food we had during that 5 hour marathon of feasting.
Suzy posted a comment on my Part 2 post reflecting on how much food we had. And yes, we had a tremendous amount of food but we appreciated all of it and did not take any of it for granted.
Green Peppercorn was our final stop. It is located at Fairfield Hotel. When I stepped into the restaurant I was immediately taken by the decor of the restaurant. It felt brand spanking new, there were Lao artefacts everywhere and a SMH Good Food Under $30 Best New Restaurant award siting proudly on a counter. I also found the hanging bird cages fascinating, it reminded me of Angel Place in the city which have heaps of bird cages hanging high up over the inner city lane.
Thang Ngo introduced us to Tona Inthavong and when we were arrived at the special function room, we met Ketty Inthavong. The brother and sister team run a tight ship. After all, running restaurants run deeply in the family's veins. There is Holy Basil, a successful set Lao restaurants run by their brother.
Ketty proceeded to demonstrate to us the steps for cooking the sticky rice, this is a staple of the Lao diet. Interesting that after the rice is soaked over a period of time, it is steamed in an open container for only about 15 to 20 minutes. We then had a demonstration of the Tam Mak Hoong (Lao Style Green Papaya Salad). All the fresh ingredients are mixed in a mortar and with a pestle are gently combined with the crab paste and shrimp paste, fish sauce, chilli, sugar and lime juice. The combination and balance of flavours are an essential part of Lao cuisine; saltiness, sourness and sweetness together with texture makes it unique in its own right.
After the cooking demonstration was over, we proceeded sit down for the proper meal. And here it goes, the endless list of dishes which we thoroughly enjoyed.
Tam Mak Hoong (Lao Style Green Papaya Salad)
Lao Sausages (home made pork sausages, made more special because it is made every day by Tona's dad) - so delicious may I say!
Yum Nua (Tiger Beef Salad) - thinly sliced BBQ beef tossed with herbs and spices, toasted ground rice powder, with mint leaves, kaffir lime leaves, shallots, coriander and lemon grass. What a veritable combination of flavours dancing in my mouth as I savoured the salad.
Nem Kao - Crunchy rice salad mixed with cured pork, shallots, chilli, kaffir lime leaves and peanuts. All this served with iceberg lettuce and mint leaves. Yummm!
Beef Jerky Lao style - succulent pieces of charcoal barbecued beef, served with their mum's special sauce.
Before I forget, poor Mel (The Adventures of Miss Piggy Eats) was just about heaving from all the sumptuous food, she had to lie down on one of the round sofas. And this was even before the lunch actually started! I didn't get a chance to take a photo but Suzy did. It was quite a funny picture!
Just as we thought 'what else can there be'? Well, we could not forget about desserts, could we?
Fried ice cream - made famous by the Holy Basil restaurant. The tradition continues at the Green Peppercorn. The layers of flaky pastry was superb and it was served with a caramel sauce and topped with crunchy peanuts. This dessert was divine!
Then out came 2 types of Creme Brûlées; Pandan and Black Sesame. Extremely classical desserts but with a Lao twist. These desserts were delicious.
I thought to myself thank goodness that is it! I was just about to explode with all the goodness of the food we had been consuming but Tona surprised us with one more dessert. Another Asian classic; Coconut Black Sticky Rice served with ice cream and coconut sauce. This was my favourite of all the desserts. The warmth of the sticky rice melted the coolness of the ice cream and the clash of the hot and cold sold me over. I couldn't help myself and just had to have more of it.
Tona spent a considerable amount of time chatting to the group. He was such a lovely young man, full of enthusiasm and extremely passionate of his heritage and cuisine.
It was an extremely delightful morning and afternoon. I met new people, both bloggers and Fairfield residents. I tasted so many different cuisines and discovered so much of Fairfield than I anticipated.
To top it off, we all received goody bags from Green Peppercorn and from Thang Ngo himself (from his sponsors Lenovo and SBS). Wow! What can I say?
All I can say as part of this final series on the Fairfield Feast Food Tour is 'Thank you Thang'. Your time and effort to this cause is greatly appreciated. I hope you will continue to do this for other foodie havens around Sydney and may lots of other bloggers have the opportunity to spread the word. Hopefully one fine day I can join another one of your adventures in the future!
Thank you Helen and Fairfield City Council. Without your sponsorship, this wouldn't have come to fruition.
Thank you to all the people we met at Fairfield. You are all marvellous and ever so hospitable to us and for that I thank you for your generosity of spirit.
To the other bloggers who were part of this group, thank you for your companionship on that special day and I am so happy to have met all of you. Happy eating and happy blogging!
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