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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Auburn Street Festival

gozleme women

Another weekend. Another festival.

A sun-drenched summery day--all blue skies and not a cloud to be seen--greeted today's Auburn Street Festival. It was a tough call between the Bankstown Bites Food Festival and the Auburn Street Festival, but the allure of dondurma ice cream was too strong to resist. Besides, I had checked out Bankstown Bites last year, whereas the Auburn Street Festival was completely new to me.

auburn street festival

Auburn Road and several side streets were closed to traffic and taken over by white tented stalls, selling all manner of treats and trinkets. There were rides for the kids, air tattoos, face painting and even a quest for an Auburn teen Idol.

Dondurma Turkish ice cream stall
Mado ice cream stall

dondurma sign
Dondurma Turkish stretchy ice cream

Its unique elasticity comes from salep, a flour made from wild orchid roots.

gozleme makers
Gozleme stall

hot dog and pides
Hot dog and Turkish pides


Hookahs, a water pipe used for smoking

The heat soon led the legs to Mado Cafe for some much welcomed ice-cream refreshment.

pistachio and maras dondurma
Pistachio and maras dondurma
(in front of the dondurma stretching barrel)

The pistachio was quite tasty but the maras was unbeatable with its super elasticity (at times the threads that extended resembled melted mozzarella). The maras dondurma contains a higher ratio of salep, which makes it thicker, stretchier and that much more satisfying!

On a hot day like today, the dondurma was pleasingly refreshing without being sickly sweet. The sensation of chewing on ice cream can never be tired of, either.

Then it was time to hit the shops for an Auburn grocery catch-up:

Persian lavash
Lavash bread from Azar Bakery

In addition to some lavash and flat bread, I also picked up some Persian sweet bread.

Persian sweet bread
Persian sweet bread

The sweet bread, the shopkeeper explained, is usually eaten for breakfast with a cup of tea, or had as a snack in the afternoon. For $2.40 I just nodded, and added it to my bag.

Later nibbling revealed it to be like a biscuity bread. It has a mild sweet taste that would be perfect for those days when you don't really feel like breakfast. The surface has a sweeter crunch to it, and this combined with the toasted sesame seeds reminded me a little of Chinese fried sesame balls.

Morello cherry jam, grilled eggplant puree and sujuk

After a quick browse through Gima and Arzum Market, the shoulders were sagging with a jar of morello cherry jam, some grilled eggplant puree (a new favourite--its supreme smokiness is deliciously addictive and it has been invaluable for sandwiches, pastas and last-minute pizzas) and a coil of sucuk spicy Turkish sausage. A tray of pashmak Persian fairy floss may have also snuck in.

cheese pide
Cheese pide from Buket Cake Shop

A late lunch was had courtesy of Buket Bakery: a long skinny boat of pide filled with a tangy white cheese and flecks of parsley, and a sesame-encrusted ring of simit, all crisp and toasted on the outside; soft, fluffy and butter within.


The Auburn Street Festival is an annual event. This year's festival was held on Saturday September 23, 2006.

Related GrabYour Fork posts:
Auburn dining: Al Sofra Pizza, Pide and Kebabs
Auburn dining: Mado Cafe
Auburn food shopping: Harkola Food World Wide warehouse
Auburn photographic food tour, August 2006
Auburn photographic food tour, July 2006
5 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 9/23/2006 11:58:00 pm


  • At 9/24/2006 9:02 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    it almost seems like you should change the name of your blog to "the festival diaries" or something. I love seeing and reading about all these festivals!

  • At 9/24/2006 1:52 pm, Blogger ragingyoghurt said…

    did the entire gozleme cartel of greater sydney converge on the market? looks like you found at least two. :D

    that persian sweet bread looks yummy! i think that i must return soon; the dondurma calls me.

  • At 9/24/2006 3:54 pm, Blogger Tubby said…

    I really want to try those pistachio and maras dondurma (icecream?) that you've been having both at this festival and at that Turkish cafe! Elastic-like? Hehe interseting! I'll probably take a trip to the Turkish cafe this week some time =)

  • At 9/24/2006 11:49 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    great photos as usual... makes the food look so delectable and always make me hungryy! i havent tried dondurma but sounds like a must-have experience. The sweet bread also looks interesting as its holey 0.o and pides always make a great after uni snack nyummm^^!

  • At 9/29/2006 12:16 pm, Blogger mira said…


    I love your blog, gives me some great ideas of places to go and try.

    I just wish I knew in advance about all these food festivals, they look great but I always find out about them after the event!

    Maybe we need a blog on upcoming festivals!


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