A Sydney culinary adventure

Kids in Cabramatta

I’ve been doing this parenting gig long enough to know better than asking the kids what they’d like to do on the weekend.  The answer always ends up involving long distances and full bellies. Needless to say, I wasn’t at all surprised when I asked them where they’d like to head in the Ford Territory Titanium that we’re driving for the Voices of 2014 Paint the Town Ford Challenge, and they responded with “for noodle soup” and the slightly more ambitious “around the whole world?”

Right. The Ford Territory Titanium is certainly feature-packed and with its sexy spacious leather interior it’s also quite luxurious but I’m fairly certain it doesn’t have a private jet mode. Nor, I suspect, is it sea worthy. But if it’s noodle soup and an around the world jaunt the kids want, its noodle soup and the world they’ll get.

With more than 200 different ethnic cultures here in Sydney, we’re spending our weekend on an urban adventure putting Terry-Lulu’s (the kid’s still can’t agree on a name, or a gender, for our shiny red friend) built-in GPS through its paces and immersing ourselves in the different atmospheres, foods and traditions that can be found in the international communities dotted throughout our city.

Given that Vietnamese pho is the kids’ noodle soup of choice the first stop on our world tour has to be Cabramatta, Sydney’s “Little Saigon”. If we can find a parking spot in the busy suburb, that is. The Ford Territory Titanium’s reversing camera and sensors prove our saving grace enabling us to squeeze the sizable vehicle easily and safely into a snug but coveted spot. Celebratory fist pumps ensue!

Lucky Cat

We head straight for Pho Tau Bay and a bowl of Pho Tai (rare beef noodle soup) so enormous that we could take turns doing back stroke in its steaming broth. Mind you, the sliced onion, slivers of raw beef and spring onions piled upon the submerged island of rice noodles might prove a slight obstacle for any aquatic activities. But I digress.

Pho Tai at Pho Tau Bay, Cabramatta

We wander through the shops on John Street, frolic in a playground or two and pop by a couple of House Temples, the cute weatherboard and brick temples festooned with flags and other ornamental offerings. Vinh Nghiem Temple in John Street is my favourite but the red brick number with its cheeky little figurines across the road gets the kid’s vote.

House Temples and playgrounds in Cabramatta

Raffles and Sugarpuff feel like ice-cream so we decide to indulge them Italian style and head to Haberfield, Sydney’s “Little Italy”. I grab takeaway coffees and cannoli from Papa Pasticceria and the kids go two-scoop crazy at Dolcissimo.

Gelato at Dolcissimo

We take the molto deliciosa delights to the leafy Piazza Federazione where the kids play imaginary chess… and drip.

Kids in Piazza Federazione

After hosing them off we peruse the aisles of Lamonica, a suburban supermarket so packed with cured meats, pastas and chattering nonnas that it wouldn’t be out of place in Roma.

Haberfield food

I could lose myself perusing the shelves for hours but the siren call of Terry-Lulu’s built-in DVD player beckons and instead we set the kids up with a movie for the drive to Lakemba.

It’s Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting and from sunset until the wee small hours, when devout Muslim’s break their daily fast, Lakemba’s Haldon Street comes alive with street food. We’re here not only for the Middle Eastern cuisine but for our children to experience the warm hospitality of the Lakemban locals.

Haldon Street Lakemba

That happens fairly quickly when a kid around Raffles age asks him if he’d like to know about how Muslim’s break their fast. A fascinated Raffles wanders off to discuss secret boy’s business while his parents coo over Sugarpuff and we enjoy a mint tea.

As the sun sets it’s time for camel burgers!

 Camel Burgers in Haldon Street, Lakemba

Yes, actual camel. The burgers are a tradition during the Haldon Street food festival and Raffles, after initial reservations, eats two. He claims it’s because the proceeds from the burger sales go to charity, but we all know it’s because he’s a bottomless pit!

kids eating camel burgers in Lakemba

Day two of our culinary world tour and we’re starting in China. Or at least in Chinatown.

Chinatown, Sydney

We breakfast on pan-fried pork dumplings, fried you yiao breadsticks wrapped in egg pancake and fresh warm soy milk at Mother Chu’s in Chinatown. I almost wish I had a hangover to do the fried carb overload justice.

kid sin Chinatown , Sydney

We bump into one of Raffles best friends, whose family has had the same idea. And, after fighting it out with chopsticks for the last dumplings, hit up Chinatown’s produce market.

kids in Chinatown, Sydney

From Chinatown we drive thirty minutes or so to Harris Park for lunch in “Little India”. Here within the weatherboard houses of what seems like a regular suburban neighbourhood are dozens of Indian grocers, restaurants, spice stores and sari shops.

Kids eating cake in Harris park

Sugarpuff soon arms herself with dozens of pretty pink bracelets and, jingling all the way, we stroll to Haveli for a South Indian Thali packed with vegetarian delights, the best butter chicken this side of Mumbai and a few pretty pink sweets.

Haveli Harris Park

After lunch we set Terry-Lulu’s GPS for Europe, or Petersham, Sydney’s “Little Portugal” for a little foodie window shopping. At Tahlo Portugese Butcher we’re seduced by the chouriço, hanging hams and boxes of bacalhau (Portuguese dried and salted cod fish).

Tahlo Portugese Butcher

But in all honesty we’re just here for Sydney’s best flaky Portugese Tarts at Sweet Belem and quickly demolish a boxful.

Kids eating portugese tarts

We’ve managed to eat and play our way around six countries in a couple of days but there’s one last stop on our whistle stop world tour. That’s for the not so exotic but definitely iconic Aussie styling’s of Harry’s Cafe de Wheels and their hotdogs and pies – dinner of weary world travelling champions.

Kids at Harry's Cafe de Wheels

Thanks to Ford Australia and Kidspot we’re delighted to be enjoying our adventures in a new Ford Territory Titanium as part of the Voices of 2014 Paint the Town Ford Challenge. This is the second of three posts we’ll be sharing as we get to know Terry-Lulu over the next six weeks.

40 Comments on A Sydney culinary adventure

  1. Karen Gould
    July 28, 2014 at 9:26 am (2 years ago)

    What an eye opener, and a terrific reminder of what an urban adventure can offer. Making plans for next weekend already!

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      July 29, 2014 at 10:25 pm (2 years ago)

      Glad to hear we’ve inspired you a little 🙂

      Reply
  2. sandyeime
    July 28, 2014 at 10:41 am (2 years ago)

    Such a foodie bonanza right here – under our noses. Thanks

    Reply
  3. Kate
    July 28, 2014 at 11:03 am (2 years ago)

    What an amazing place Sydney is – it has been changing more than I’ve noticed over recent years! You’ve inspired me to get out more!

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      July 29, 2014 at 10:16 pm (2 years ago)

      Yay! That’s what we’re trying to achieve 🙂

      Reply
  4. Leah
    July 28, 2014 at 1:03 pm (2 years ago)

    Love and adore eating out in Sydney. Last weekend we up your adventures on pause to attend school parties. I wasn’t particularly happy about this until we arrived at the party and saw the food. My daughter has a diverse group of friends and the party girl is Vietnamese. Rice rolls, noodles and so much goodness greater us! Oh my, when is the next party?

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      July 29, 2014 at 10:18 pm (2 years ago)

      Fantastic. Raffles has more than 5o language backgrounds at his school. His friends come from such diverse backgrounds that it makes for some very tasty playdates 😉

      Reply
  5. Louise Barker
    July 28, 2014 at 1:28 pm (2 years ago)

    Can I come riding with your in your Ford!! WOW, inspirational. Embrace our culture and other cultures, this is what we love about Australia, it is not one dimensional.

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      July 29, 2014 at 10:18 pm (2 years ago)

      Anytime Louise 🙂

      Reply
  6. Seana Smith
    July 28, 2014 at 2:02 pm (2 years ago)

    What an inspiration to get the hell out of the north shore and head south and west to scoff the best of Sydney. This is a really handy resource post, one to refer back to. I had no idea about Sydney’s Portuguese enclave and must visit, and the kids hav never been to Cabramatta – oh shame!

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      July 29, 2014 at 10:20 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Seana. More Sydney foodie enclaves to come. Watch this space 🙂

      Reply
  7. Louise Shergold-Baker
    July 28, 2014 at 7:08 pm (2 years ago)

    I wish I was one of your children – food, travel, food, play, food – what a neat weekend. And only the best way to travel – around town with Ford.
    Around countries with Ford sounds so exciting. Does Terry/Lulu get a complex?

    Reply
  8. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    July 28, 2014 at 8:00 pm (2 years ago)

    What a fun adventure for the kids! I can’t believe how much they can eat-very impressive Aleney! 😀

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      July 29, 2014 at 10:23 pm (2 years ago)

      Raffles will kill me when he’s a teenager. The kid is a pelican. 🙂

      Reply
  9. Francisca Gomiz Rodriguez
    July 28, 2014 at 8:33 pm (2 years ago)

    I love reading about your adventures!! You always find the way to squeeze Sydney in unimaginable ways

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      July 29, 2014 at 10:24 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Francesca. Spain next?

      Reply
  10. Mary Djani
    July 28, 2014 at 8:38 pm (2 years ago)

    Love those crazy scoops ! Off to Dolcissimo right now !

    Reply
  11. Lisa
    July 28, 2014 at 9:24 pm (2 years ago)

    Oh that all looked soooooo good (especially the pho – my favourite). We will have to visit the Netherlands (Wetherill Park) one weekend 🙂

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      July 29, 2014 at 10:21 pm (2 years ago)

      Sounds fabulous Lisa 🙂

      Reply
  12. acutlc
    July 29, 2014 at 12:40 pm (2 years ago)

    Wow, what a great foodie adventure, I think you might get a few passenger requests for terry-lulus next adventure

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      July 29, 2014 at 10:21 pm (2 years ago)

      Good think Terry-Lulu is a seven seater because the requests are coming in thick and fast 🙂

      Reply
  13. Deborah Dickson-Smith
    July 29, 2014 at 4:47 pm (2 years ago)

    I can’t believe how much your kids manage to eat in one weekend! I feel like curry now… that thali looks scrumptious.

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      July 29, 2014 at 10:22 pm (2 years ago)

      The Indian was AMAZING Deborah. And yes they do take a lot of filling but really it was just breakfast lunch and dinner with an arvo snack – just done international style 🙂

      Reply
  14. Have A Laugh On Me
    July 29, 2014 at 7:55 pm (2 years ago)

    That is some seriously awesome car and in RED my fav colour! I’ve always been a Ford girl. I could not LIVE without my reversing camera and beeping thingee! That food, those kids, what a great mumma you are 🙂

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      July 29, 2014 at 10:25 pm (2 years ago)

      I have to say I’m a convert. I love that car! 🙂

      Reply
  15. maidinaustralia
    July 29, 2014 at 11:15 pm (2 years ago)

    I love how adventurous your kids are when it comes to cuisine. When I was in Darwin a few months ago, even I couldn’t bring myself to try camel burgers! (And that car is shiny)!

    Reply
  16. Colleen Hinch
    July 30, 2014 at 12:16 am (2 years ago)

    I want to be one of your kids! They are already adventuresome souls and will continue upon this journey. Can’t wait to see what you guys do next – inspiring. Love the car too!

    Reply
  17. Pauline laight
    July 30, 2014 at 1:41 am (2 years ago)

    You have made me feel hungry. I have eaten at Harry’s their bacon buttes are to die for.
    Well done Aleney.

    Reply
  18. Sally Braga
    July 30, 2014 at 11:24 am (2 years ago)

    OMG! That’s so cool. How do you get your kids to try so many different foods? I cant get mine to eat anything

    Reply
  19. Amanda Kendle (@amandakendle)
    July 30, 2014 at 10:12 pm (2 years ago)

    What a whirlwind tour! I especially love Portuguese tarts. I am impressed by the brave camel-burger eating boy though! I have only been offered camel meat once and it was by the same people whose camels we had just jumped off after a ride near Uluru and I just couldn’t bring myself to try it – bad timing, right?

    Reply
  20. Haidee
    July 31, 2014 at 2:19 am (2 years ago)

    Wow, you guys are so lucky touring around in that racey red TeritoryTitanium! I always feel like I want to go out for dinner or book another holiday when I read what you’ve been up to! X

    Reply
  21. yinyangmother
    July 31, 2014 at 10:52 am (2 years ago)

    This is great Aleney – what wonderful adventures you guys have, although I have to say I feel full to exploding just reading all about it. You take the most beautiful photos too.

    Reply
  22. UK Trev
    August 1, 2014 at 6:48 am (2 years ago)

    I have a shiny red Ford too but you guys have tried more types of food thanks to yours than me. Just like your last post I feel really hungry now!

    Reply
  23. stephiemesh
    August 1, 2014 at 9:44 am (2 years ago)

    Wow, we really must adventure further than our favourite yum cha house at the weekend. Some great ideas there to get us on our way. Thanks.

    Reply
  24. Alicia - One Mother Hen
    August 1, 2014 at 11:13 pm (2 years ago)

    Love Sydney for a food bonanza, the smells, the tastes. It’s all there, and what better way to see in a shiny red Ford! 🙂 I’m hungry!

    Reply
  25. Stephanie
    August 3, 2014 at 9:47 pm (2 years ago)

    Wow a serious foodie’s tour around Sydney! Looking forward to your next instalment!

    Reply
  26. Mr Eatsworld
    August 4, 2014 at 3:33 pm (2 years ago)

    Those camel burgers were seriously good, but I think my favorite was the breakfast at Mother Chu’s. The coffee was pretty good too.

    Reply
  27. Amanda @ Cooker and a Looker
    August 5, 2014 at 1:37 pm (2 years ago)

    The first time I ate camel was a burger pattie at Kings Creek Station on our honeymoon., great memories. What a great adventure. That car looks good on you! xx

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      January 11, 2015 at 9:17 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you. They are pretty adventurous, Keisha.

      Reply

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