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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Bairro Portugues: Petersham Portuguese Festival


Chorizo, sardines and custard tarts.

We headed to Petersham after the St Patrick's Day parade looking for lunch and a little treat or two. Audley Street was shrouded with the cloud of charcoal and the sun beat down mercilessly on the hungry crowds.


Brazilian Sambadoro beer

Espetada beef skewers

BBQ sardines

goan cuisine
Goan food stall


Mixed seafood with bbq prawns $10.00
and apa de camarao $3.00 [back left of plate]
baked brioche bread with spicy prawn filling

After much torturous decision-making, I settled on the mixed seafood plate from the Goan food stall. Whole fresh prawns had been fried to a crisp on the hot plate, the spicy marinade had my lips tingling with chilli. The prawns were so crunchy I munched down most of the shells. A little scoop of mussels were mild and creamy, the rice was fragrant, and the salad refreshing.

I also tried the apa de camarao, a gourmet prawn pie, according to the sign. This was indeed a muffin of brioche bread, although we found the prawn filling more bland than spicy.


Dessert soon beckoned and, for research purposes, I tried a filhoses de albobora.

pumpkin cake
Filhoses de abobora pumpkin cake

This eggy-tasting donut reminded me of the Chinese donuts from yum cha. Soaked in a sweet syrup and dusted with cinnamon sugar, I could only faintly taste a pumpkin flavour.

pasteis de nata
Pasteis de nata Portugese custard tarts $2.50
from Sweet Belem

Our ultimate dessert goal was, of course, the pasteis de data, Portugal's national treasure. It was utter chaos inside the Sweet Belem cafe, but I joined the queue and patiently waited for the next batch to come out of the oven. My fellow waiting tart-lovers watched the whole baking process: the pressing of pastry into tins, the splotching of custard into each shell, the impatient wait for the trays to come out of the oven, watching them cool, and then salivating as a snowdrift of cinnamon was shaken over each batch.

We barely took three steps outside the cafe before we were crunching down on our oven-fresh tarts, the pastry shattering noisily in our ears, the custard creamy and warm.


The Bairro Portugues or Portuguese Festival is an annual event that takes place on Audley Street in Petersham, the focus of Little Portugal in Sydney's inner west.

The 2007 festival was held on Sunday 11 March.

Related GrabYourFork posts:
Petersham Portuguese Food Festival 2006
Petersham Portuguese Food Festival 2005
3 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 3/17/2007 10:29:00 pm


  • At 3/18/2007 12:19 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    Wow! The festival food looks awesome! I am not too familiar with Portuguese cuisine, so it is nice to see the photos.

  • At 3/18/2007 12:38 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Your photos are a lot better than mine! :D I took one look at the queue at Sweet Belem and decided to go back anor day. I have yet to try theirs but they look worth making a special trip for! I had the pumpkin cake things as well. Very tasty. Ditto the espetada though I found mine a little too salty for eating on its own. I should have taken the offer of a bread roll!

  • At 3/19/2007 7:35 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I missed the festival AGAIN!!! Now I have to wait a whole year.... Luckily, I am having dinner at Petersham next week.... - Nora


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