I must say, I really do love festivals - regardless of what they are officially for, whether it be for food, writers, art, music, culture and etc. Why? Well because they always, ALWAYS! bring about some great food offerings. Without great food you can't have a great time, they pretty much go hand in hand. Thanx to the Sydney Festival 2013, I've finally had the opportunity to try out the infamous El Loco (that amazingly awesome taco shop that is probably turning us all into little fatties). I really have no excuse for not trying out the actually restaurant in Surry Hills, I go to work and uni just on the other side of Central Station, yet Surry Hills seems to be that shadowy place that must never be ventured too. This popup shop gave me the perfect opportunity to sample their menu + big bonus that it was at Sydney Harbour, the vibe you get from sitting against the Opera House, staring out at the bridge munching away on delicious little tacos, yum yum.
|El Loco at the House for the Sydney Festival 2013|
|El Loco Popup Shop Menu|
|Carne Asada (Beef Taco, Salsa Verde, Fresca) $6|
|Camaron (Prawn Taco, Salsa Verde, Pico De Gallo) $6|
|Corn Chips (Guacamole & Salsa) $6|
|Pink Cuco (Tequila Slushy with Grapefruit, Lime & Ginger) $13.50|
|Tropicana Mocktail (Pineapple, Cloudy Apple & Passion fruit) $4|
Chinatown Friday Night Markets
Ah the Chinatown Friday Night Markets, this was an absolute blast after work or uni on a Friday afternoon, when sometimes you want to just grab a quick bite with your mates and not have to wait out for a restaurant and get all fancy schmancy. This would probably be the only reason I would ever go back to Asia - the night markets: Cheap, delicious street food with a vibe.
I'm kinda sad that I won't be able to visit this place as often any more. Being out of Sydney kinda makes it impossible aye.
|Authentic & Affordable Takoyaki|
|Mixed Takoyaki (Two Octopus, One Crab & One Prawn) $6|
|Box of Octopus Takoyaki (Eight) $10|
|Potato Slinky & Korean Street Food|
This place also sells that famous Korean street food, which I vow to try some day, the day I learn how to eat chilli of course. I believe its Tteobokki (may be wrong) but its the glutinous white rice cakes floating around in what looks like a very red and chilli soupy sauce
I normally skip the remaining stores at the Night Markets, mainly because they either offer only meat (I've been told they are absolutely delicious), they do soley yum cha, which I can do at home or in the west for a fraction of the crazy Chinatown prices or they are Asia warm sweets. Actually I'm gonna conclude that its mainly the price that puts me off most of the places.
|Potato Slinky ($5) (Tornado Potato)|
Apparently that is what they are called in Korea
Besides the food stores, there are also plenty of stores of all sorts - from figurine USBs to quicky Asian decor to tea shops, fashion ware, accessories and makeup, colour and decorative contact lenses, Mario figurines to phone, tablet and computing accessories and the odd fake stuff here and there.
Hazel Tea Shop
Recently noticed that this shop has re-branded itself, it was previously known as Sweetie and it sold Asian desserts much like Meet Fresh (but it offered sago - only reason we went here instead of Meet Fresh was because my friend wanted sago) the owner seems the same but they now specialise in bubble teas. Also the interior has gone under major refurbishment - new chairs, tables and decor, all decorated in that classical Asian style.
We stopped by because they were having a buy one get one free promotion! I can never say no to $2.50 bubble tea, I even turned down half price Starbucks green tea frappuccino for this.
I ended up with two drinks since we had an odd amount of people and whos going to pay for one and not get the other one when its already free. The store had a really wide range of teas on offfer, much more than Easy Way and Chatime, they also had the full range of toppings.
|Hazel Tea Shop|
|Left to Right: Pomegranate Green Tea with Herbal Jelly, Blueberry Green Tea with Pearls, |
Coconut Milk Tea with Sago & Brown Sugar Milk Tea with Pearls
~$4.50 - $5.50 (Promotion: Buy One Get One Free)
Drinks wise, anyone who enjoys bubble tea more for the tea than the crazy flavours and sweetness, will probably like this place very much, the green tea I had was very nice, not overly sweet and I actually tasted the tea, unlike Easy Way and it seemed a little stronger than Chatime. The herbal jelly was slightly different, it wasn't the smooth ones you get from Meet Fresh, rather it had some of that rough seaweed that you get with herbal desserts sometimes (never had this type of seaweed anywhere outside the house)
Who could visit Chinatown without grabbing a couple of these yummy custard puffs. Little cheap addictive things. The day I was there, the mother had her little girl helping out, she must have been about 8 to 10 and she was dressed in this yellow princess dress (yes I attempted to take a photo, I got told off because the mother thought I was trying to steal her technology - dam Asian stereotypes)
|Emperor's Custard Puffs (3 for $1, 8 for $2)|
But! the ones in Cabramatta are nicer in my opinion. If you're ever down in the West, try and grab some, they are smaller and probably cheaper but they have a slight crunch and a thinner pastry casing, therefore the custard just oozes into your month, ahh so mouth watering, now I'm craving some after writing about it