About Me

Food is one of my many joys in life. It is a common bond I share among my friends and family. Combining food and travel makes it all the more interesting. I enjoy going out for a good meal with friends and family. The array of various cuisines and our fantastic array of produce really makes Sydney such a great city to live in. Blogging is my hobby and my posts on restaurant meals I have had are paid for and not gratis. Any gratis provided to me will always be stated beforehand.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Fairfield Feast Food Tour - Part 1

So here is a short story on how I ended up joining this tour. Thang Ngo, a well known photo and video blogger, put out a post on his blog Noodlies. The post was about an upcoming food tour of Fairfield, titled Fairfield Feast and it was open only to bloggers, with certain conditions listed in his post. The deadline to  submit a request to join the tour was March 31 and once he had selected the 6 to 7 bloggers, they would be informed accordingly and the rest would miss out, for this time anyway.

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.
Torta Milhoja
Tres Leches
Thang's favourite was the Queen's Arm. A rather interesting name for a cake! Honestly everything I had was delicious. I could have kept going but I had to stop. We all had to stop.
Queen's Arm
A truly local gem and one that I want to return -  to buy more of the deliciously sinful desserts.

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
There was a delicious dish of banana fritters drizzled with honey.

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.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Simon Leong said...

great pics and love the photo of me in my blogging tshirt hehe :-)

thesuzchef said...

Great post, was lovely to meet you! I loved the Ding Dongs as well, wish I bought more packets - but I'm back in Fairfield this week so will pick some more up!

Cindy said...

I did like your T-shirt Simon! Very eye catching! :)

Cindy said...

Hi Suzy, I am envious that you are going back to Fairfield so soon...hmmm..I must plan a return trip soon.

Thanks for your lovely feedback!

Missy Piggy said...

It was really lovely to meet you Cindy - I'm glad you got a spot on the tour. And your blog is significant - it matters to you and it's how you express your passion for food. That's what it's all about...and the best thing about blogging is the people you get to meet. We'll be seeing you again I bet.

I loved the Torta Milhoja too at Paulas and the sweet bread at the Afghan baker was amazing...would be great with peppermint tea. And the chicken adobo at the Filo joint - so amazing...I'm so glad that I finally got to try adobe. A great post -- cannot wait for the others.

Cindy said...

Thank you so much Mel for your support and lovely comments! :-)

Charmaine said...

Makes me want to go to Fairfield and check out all these places.