Freedom Plaza - Cabramatta (taken from cityofsydney.com)
*I'd like to apologise to all my regular readers and fellow bloggers for my lack of presence around the place, have been caught up with other stuff and the family went up to Queensland over the weekend to be part of my cousin's wedding. Didn't realise that it would be so jam packed and that all my energy would be sucked out of me, didn't help that we were all running on minimal sleep and then had to do a 12 hour road trip back home. I've been going to bed early most nights since coming back and had to unpack and sort through and post up all my photos of the weekend.*
It's funny how there are so many things we take for granted but when someone comes along with a different view on the same subject/item it also influences your original view point. Cabramatta has long been a place that I take for granted and overlooked and being surrounded by people who had never been there before made me see that place in a different light. It probably also has to do with my recent deeper appreciation for all things edible.
Once upon a time Cabramatta to me, was just a suburb that was too far away to get to and was just 'that place my family dragged me too' every once in a while when I was a kid. I couldn't even remember the last time I had been there on my own accord. (Warning: the photos are not in line with my writing, I've placed them to break up the text a bit).
So Amy cookbookmaniac messaged me asking if I was interested to join some fellow food bloggers and friends/partners on an eating tour of Cabramatta one Saturday (John heneedsfood, Mr K, Betty bettysbites, Richard richardelliot, Maria scandifoodie, and Amy's partner Pizzaboy). 'Why not' I thought, it was also a good chance to meet some like minded people too. This would be my first 'food bloggers meet up'.
At first I actually was a little hesitant and not all that excited, it was 'just Cabramatta', I went with a 'take it as it comes' attitude so I guess I probably didn't come across as excited as the others in the group. Ryan was pretty much in the same mindset as me, he also had to work the Friday nightshift so we were late in catching up with the group. Unfortunately I didn't take many photos (still too shy to do it in public) but John, Richard and Maria have some fantastic shots and reviews from the day on their blogs - different perspectives too.
How do you spot a group of food bloggers? As Ryan and I walked down John street looking for the group but not really knowing what to look for there was a bunch of people huddled around in a circle sampling some food, Ryan spotted their cameras and pointed them out to me. Ahuh! I think I recognise some of these people from their profile photos.
Introductions are done (though I could have done it better, I'm never really good at meeting new people) and we walk along John Street, stopping by a huge supermarket along the way. I was in absolute awe as I don't think I've ever been in an asian grocery that was so big, my aunty's shop would only be a quarter of the size. Spotted some matcha powder which I had to buy knowing that I had trouble sourcing it locally. This shop just stocked absolutely everything you could think of. It's made me realise that Marrickville is quite limited when it comes to the availability of asian food products but then I guess the asian/vietnamese population isn't as concentrated as it is out west.
Banana Fritter Innard
There is so much food to see and it makes me wish I didn't live so far away. We reach the end of the arcade and I am greeted by a big mound of freshly fried banana fritters, at $1 (or $1.50?) each how can I not grab a couple. I adore banana fritters, though whenever we make them at home it just doesn't seem the same. At the same place there were mountains of containers filled with assorted sweets and snacks going for a really great bargain, I think it was something like 3 for $5. They all looked so good but upon closer inspection most of them were easily accessible at home as mum makes them.
There was one in particular though that caught my attention. It was a box of colourful strips coated in shredded coconut. This is a particular sweet that mum doesn't make often (as it's too time consuming). I don't really know what to call it but can describe it as being grated/ground casava mixed with glutinous rice flour and possibly some water or coconut milk and then steamed and cut into strips and tossed through dessicated coconut. I loved eating this growing up.
Next we walk along the back street adjacent to the car park stopping and looking at a few more grocers and a fish shop. Lot's of interesting fruits and vegetables that I don't usually see in Marrickville and the huge variety of seafood that was available was incredible. Unfortunately though it's getting later in the afternoon and I had promised Mum that I would come home and cook dinner (chilli crab with noodles) so we had to farewell the group.
I really didn't want to leave but knew we had a long drive home and we were both already a little exhausted and overwhelmed in the short time we were there in Cabramatta. It's a shame we couldn't come earlier and stay later as reading back on Maria, John and Richard's blogs I felt that Ryan and I could have experienced a lot more of the side of Cabramatta we didn't know about. Plus we had just met a bunch of awesome people, which I am excited to see again this weekend when we do a walking eating tour of Newtown - another suburb which I take for granted living so close by.