Who needs a passport when you live in Sydney?
The woman selling durian on a street stall shields herself from the sun's blistering rays with a market umbrella. "It's just like Malaysia!" says Shez.
A passerby picks up a ripe durian and inhales deeply. She carefully checks the weight and then slowly inspects the other spiky fruits in the pile. The smell of durian, the heat, the jostle of shoppers, the curling trails of incense; you could almost convince yourself you have left Australia and arrived in another country.
Sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves
Having spent the morning shopping with Suze and Shez, we meet up with Howard for lunch in his local 'hood, Cabramatta. Saturday's 32C heat sends us in search of liquid refreshment whilst we wait for Howard to arrive. In Cabramatta, there is only one drink you must try and it involves avocado.
Custard apple shake $3.50, durian shake $4.50 and
avocado shake $3.50
We place our orders at Hung Vuong, a busy shop that is part restaurant, part dessert house, part takeaway stall and part fruit shake provider.
The avocado shake, for the uninitiated, is like a meal with a straw. Ripe avocado is blended with milk, ice cubes and a generous splash of sweetened condensed milk. Imagine an icy thickshake combined with a buttery avocado. It's a revelation for avocado fans, but its richness means it's one worth sharing.
A durian shake is also one for the durian lovers. Frozen chunks of durian are blitzed through the mixture for a fragrant creamy drink that speaks of the tropics. Custard apple shake is more of a soursop flavour, light and refreshing with apple and lychee and sherbet flavours.
Custard puffs 3 for $1
A snack of custard puffs is the perfect mouthful to tide us over until lunchtime. It's fascinating to watch the custard puff contraption clank and swivel and flip its way through the batter cooking process.
There's so much to see in Cabramatta, a maze of arcades running off the main drag of John Street. It's like Little Vietnam here - a sensory experience so great I included Cabramatta in my recent list of Rewarding Food Adventures as part of my Top 10 Sydney Eats for Tourists.
If you haven't taken a food tour of Cabramatta, I recommend you make haste and get there already. There's no need for instructions. Simply bring your appetite and open your eyes to appreciate everything on offer. Here's a visual preview to get you started...
Tubs of Vietnamese sweets and desserts at Hung Vuong
Containers of pre-packed takeaway food (perfect for dinner or lunch the next day)
Vietnamese mung bean cake with prawns
Choose your own combination of beans, jellies and tropical fruits
for an ice kacang dessert topped with shaved ice and a drizzle of syrup
Fresh sugar cane juice stand
Fresh sugar cane being squeezed
Fresh sugar cane juice
One of many arcades off John Street
You tiao deep-fried bread sticks 90c each
Micky Mouse headband and Spiderman slippers
A rainbow of plastic colanders
Restaurant tables for sale
Purple sugar cane
Mooncakes for sale
Wing Wah mooncakes
Fried dumplings and baked pastries
Thai desserts at the International Food Court
Thai black sticky rice and coconut desserts
Fruit and vegetable store
Banana, taro and sweet potato fritters 70c each or 3 for $2
Sweet potato chips $4.00/100g
Post-lunch we stop for fried snacks at Kaysone Sweets.
Toffee coated sweet potato chips and banana chips $4/100g
Banana fritters and sweet potato fritter
Mooncake box that doubles as a jewellery stand
(featured in my mooncake post here - don't forget to enter the competition to win a box of o-mochi mooncakes)
The fantastic food mural (with recipes!) off Freedom Plaza
View Larger Map
65 John Street, Cabramatta, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9723 7270
View Larger Map (Google maps doesn't cover Freedom Plaza but 59 John St is around the corner from Kaysone Sweets)
Shop 4, 59-61 Park Road
Tel: +61 (02) 9755 5759
Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Cabramatta food tour with Luke Nguyen
Cabramatta - Bau Truong (duck tongue and crispy sticky rice)
Cabramatta - Dong Ba (bun bo hue spicy noodle)
Cabramatta - Duc Thanh
Cabramatta - Tan Viet (crispy skin chicken)
Cabramatta - Thanh Binh
Cabramatta - Tuong Lai (sugar cane prawns)
Top 10 Sydney Eats for Tourists and Other Rewarding Food Adventures
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9/16/2009 01:12:00 am