Sunday, 11 July 2010

Explorations, conversations and degustation #VietTUB

This post is a joint effort with Frances Jones – you can find out more about our day’s exploits at

Explore any of Sydney’s suburbs and you’re bound to find pockets of migrant communities.  Along with them they bring the rest of the community an opportunity to tantalise taste buds and explore the joys the of living in a multi-cultural Australia.

Our first jaunt #VietTUB to Cabramatta was great fun so we were delighted that our next jaunt to Bankstown attracted such a fine group of people eager to spend the afternoon sharing and exploring together. The great thing about Bankstown (which Frances has beautifully captured in her post) is that it is a double-whammy when it comes to experiences. Highly visible communities include the Vietnamese and Lebanese. 

A tasty Vietnamese lunch was had at Bun Bo Hue Gia Hoi and there was much conversation around the table ranging from every topic.  It was invigorating, captivating and delightful.  I was superbly satisfied by the salt & pepper squid, spring rolls, grilled pork and vermicelli dish, finished with a most delicious coconut juice.

The day’s festivities concluded at Sweet City a specialist Arabic dessert & sweet diner.  Our request for a selection of “most traditional sweets on offer”  started with a sweet milky concoction known as sahlab, topped with coconut & cinnamon it proved popular with young and old (Read this great entry about the drink from Sydney blogger Anna of “Morsels and Musings”). We were then presented with plates of delectable delights with wonderful names like “Ladies Arms”, basmah, sweet rice (cheese), cream filled Turkish delight, rosewater syrup (pour from a squeezy bottle), ftirah (versions with custard and cream), of course mixed baklava, and knafeh. Cheese featured among the desserts with various consistency (Akkawi or Nabulsyya cheese) – one a haloumi-like chewier version and a creamy whipped style very much like ricotta.  Washed down with hot dark coffee, though not for everyone I find it the perfect accompaniment to cut through the syrupy sweetness of the desserts.  You can sample the French influence on the Lebanese culture from the window of cakes and petit fours at Sweet City as well.

Having lived in a predominantly Greek neighbourhood since moving to Sydney I am fascinated by the voyage of ingredients across the silk route.  The use of rosewater, sugar syrups, honey syrups, pistachio, almonds, cinnamon and semolina.  Different combinations of the same ingredients creating regional delicacies.  Had a lovely conversation with CafeDave and KDragon on the subject. And am now inspired to whip up some Indian sweets soon – time to master the technique!

If you want check out Bankstown as well head along to the Bankstown Bites Food Festival on 31 July 2010

Posted via email from Radhika's posterous


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Hey thanks!