Thang Ngo's intention to hold this event is to highlight Fairfield to Sydney and to the rest of the country. The nearby suburb of Cabramatta is extremely well known for it's Vietnamese cuisine, culture and shops galore but Fairfield is less well known. With the help of Fairfield City Council which had sponsored all the food, Thang Ngo has been able to get this tour up and running.
Well, I decided to apply for a spot. I had not been to Fairfield before and was intrigued to find out more about this suburb.
But I lucked out, I didn't get selected. However, to cut a long story short, I got a tweet from Thang the day we returned to work after the Easter break asking me to check my email and lo and behold there was an email from Thang informing me that as I was the first on the reserve list I was chosen to fill in an empty slot as a blogger from Canberra couldn't attend. Wow! I was stoked and said yes immediately.
There was so much to write about and so many photos to show. So I have decided to split the my posts into 3 parts.
We all met up at Paula Continental Cakes. I was a bit nervous as the rest of the bloggers that Thang selected were well established in the Sydney blogger world. I felt quite insignificant actually. We met Helen Pijaca from Fairfield City Council, she was such a lovely lady. She was a veritable walking dictionary on all things Fairfield.
|Simon Leong wearing a great t-shirt!|
Fairfield has 900 business in the CBD. 2 out of 3 people who reside here speak a language other than English. The residents here speak up to 70 different languages and there are 133 nationalities represented in Fairfield. Fairfield has the largest settlement of Iraqis outside of Iraq.
After some quick introductions around the table and a little infologue about Fairfield we started our food odyssey!
Paula Continental Cakes
This unassuming pastry shop holds lots of dessert gems. As we were sitting there having our coffee, getting to know each other and savouring all the glorious pastries that was being served to us, the stream of locals coming in and out was constant. It is an obviously popular place for getting delicious pastries and cakes.
We met Daniela Casanova who explained to us some of the delicacies baked in-house. The store was opened in 1982. Initially it was based in Liverpool and a few years later they moved to Fairfield.
They were so generous with all that was brought out to us. I tried to hold back and not have everything that was served because I was mindful of the number of places we were intending to visit.
My favourite was the Torta Milhoja, which had layers of caramel and was topped with delicious nuts. The textures and flavours were amazing. Another cake I found to be truly delicious was the Tres Leches. The sponge cake was light and the cream on the cake deliciously smooth.
Paula Continental Cakes
Shop 2/9 Barbara Street
02 9726 2379
Afghan and Arabic Bakery
Again, another unassuming corner store. We walked in and guess what greeted us? Stacks of freshly baked Afghan bread, also known as Naan. Habib, the owner of the bakery, was such a nice and humble man. He happily explained the process they go through to bake the bread and the number of shifts they have per day. In general, they bake approximately 800 to 1000 breads during the day and the night shift bakes about 3000 breads. Such hard working and dedicated people. And dare I say extremely humble too.
I was fascinated by the very hot wood fired ovens (known as Tannur ovens) that was churning out all the bread. The oven was at a constant temperature of 200 degrees.
Habib's assistant Mehr Dae was only too happy to pose for us bloggers. They were really very sweet to us.
We tasted bread fresh out of the oven and we even got a taste of a sweet bread which was baked with cardamom. According to Habib, the bread has enough flavour to eat it on its own. The best accompaniment is a cup of good coffee or strong tea. So simple really but delicious!
Suzy (The SuzChef) was so impressed by these bakers and their very freshly baked bread, she immediately bought a packet of the Naan for home.
Afghan and Arabic Bakery
Shop 2/13 Nelson Street
02 9728 1832
I know I have said the word unassuming at least twice prior to this but it is such an apt word to use. What a gem! This place is a grocery store, a take away and a mini cafe. And all in a tiny store that was brimming with all things Filipino. I loved it! When we arrived, there was a table waiting for the group with plates of food already on the table.
Rowena kindly described some of the dishes and they started to bring out labels depicting the names of the dishes. How lovely! I went to kitchen and had to take a photo of the 2 cooks who were labouring away.
There was Chicken adobo, Filipino pork sausages, Fried noodles, Green jackfruit with coconut cream, Pork with tomato sauce (Menudo), Kaldereta and so on. It was a spread and the food was delicious. My favourite was the green jackfruit dish. It was so different and unique to the Filipino cuisine.
|The Filipino sausages were so, so good!|
|My favourite - Green jackfruit in coconut cream|
I couldn't help myself, I had to buy some of the snacks home to try out. I can actually see myself coming back here and having a quick meal or getting take away.
A truly hidden gem.
13/52 The Crescent
02 9727 3146
Note: My next post will be part 2 of this series.
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