Eating our way around the West
September 18, 2011 4:37 AM   Subscribe

Sydneyfilter: An expatriate friend has expressed an interest in exploring the culinary delights of Western Sydney. For the purposes of this question, let's define 'Western' as everything west of, well, Newtown. We'll probably spend a Saturday exploring by train. My list of options so far includes banh mi in Marrickville and baklava in Lakemba. Where else should we stop and what else should we eat?
posted by embrangled to Travel & Transportation around Sydney, Australia (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Northern Chinese dumplings in Ashfield! (Shanghai Nights)

In Lakemba, go to Jasmine's for the giant servings and teeny tiny prices!

Pho at Pho An in Bankstown ("so pho so good")

That's just off the top of my head. These are all on different train lines though...sure you don't have wheels?
posted by mooza at 5:50 AM on September 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Lebanese ice cream in Punchbowl, right near the train station. It is made with mastica and the texture is just a little different, and the guy behind the counter has a great gappy smile.
posted by Trivia Newton John at 7:09 AM on September 18, 2011

You might want to hit the Portuguese bakeries in Petersham, but I haven't sniffed around there for about ten years, so I'm no help.

This group offers taste tours of Banstown, it might give you some ideas.

Will endeavour to give some more tips tomorrow, I'm staying in a Egytian/Chinese house in the South West myself right now. Food is our Main Thing.
posted by Trivia Newton John at 7:14 AM on September 18, 2011

Pasticceria Papa is very highly regarded. There is usually a queue that goes outside the door at Sunday brunch, so maybe pick a weekday or Sunday afternoon.

It's about a 20 minute walk from Summer Hill station on the Inner West line.
posted by trialex at 3:12 PM on September 18, 2011

Best answer: Jasmin's in Haldon St is outstanding. If you go there for dinner, be aware that it's no alcohol.

New Canterbury Road near Petersham Station is the centre for Portuguese, as Trivia Newton John says. If you get off the train at Petersham Station and walk up Audley St, there's Gloria's which does awesome feijoada, Silva's will do you an espada of lamb though you'll have to book for dinner and (my burger place of choice) Frango's for charcoal chicken and chicken burgers, which will forever ruin chain Portuguese chicken for you. And there's Sweet Belem for pasteles de nata, and the bottle shop on the train line side of the road for Portuguese wine and patting the shop cat.

Actually, if you're after Lebanese sweets, Abla's (annoying flash) at Granville not Lakemba is the place to go. Granville also has the best chicken shop in the entire metropolitan region---I am not exaggerating this at all---at El Jannah which is also near the station. Yes, the answer is yes, you want garlic sauce, please.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 3:39 PM on September 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

Head to Janani in Homebush for incredibly cheap and awesome Sri Lankan. There's also Thousand Spices if you want a more North Indian curry.

If you go to Bankstown, I would actually skip Pho Anh (it's a bit on the overpriced side, imho, and the pho, whilst delicious can be found in many places at much the same standard), and instead go to Dong Ba for the hands-down the best Bun Bo Hue in Sydney, and arguably some of the best in the world (certainly better than what I had in actual Hue). There's also a tonne of great viet in Cabramatta - just go for lunch though. I hate to live up to Sydney cliche but the train line out there can get a bit on the hairy side later at night.

The upper stretches of Burwood Road in Burwood have several excellent Chinese Barbeque places and the Nepalese Cafe there is meant to be quite reasonable too.

Come to my hood, Strathfield for some great Korean! There's like thirty restaurants, but depending on what you like, Mr Dduckbocki and Mrs Kkochi for things on sticks, Matt Zang for simple and very cheap Korean, there's a tiny hole-in-the-wall beside the station that serves up homemade korean noodle soups that really something special - and they have this delicious hot kim chi there. Ceci's spicy chicken is my favourite, though Doo Ri's is pretty good, too. There's also Bagan which is a quite good Burmese restaurant. On the "other" side of the station there's a good Korean barbeque joint (the name escapes me) and Stra Pocha, which is the most ball-searingly spicy chicken you will e'er have.

For Pizza, I really enjoy Napoli in Bocca in Haberfield - it's about a 1km walk from Summer Hill Station.

If you go out to Parramatta, Temasek is good Malayasian hawker-style food.

Petersham has several Portugeuse chicken places - most of them are pretty good though to be honest I didn't think they were worth quequeing up for, i.e. not that much better than Oporto's believe it or not.

I'll keep thinking about it.
posted by smoke at 4:33 PM on September 18, 2011

Have a look through the archives of Grab Your Fork. She's a local food blogger and she's done several posts with "food tours" of Sydney suburbs. A few examples: Cabramatta, Auburn, Bankstown, etc.
posted by web-goddess at 5:20 PM on September 18, 2011

Grab your fork is great, do be aware that Helen has basically never eaten somewhere she doesn't like, though. So it's great for ideas, but not for criticism if you know what I mean.
posted by smoke at 5:57 PM on September 18, 2011

I have to second Janani (there is also one at Wentworthville).

But you must, must, must, must, must get El Jannah. I used to get off the train just to pick up some of that mighty fine garlic chicken. There us always a line, but it is there for a reason. Follow it with Abla's and there its almost no need to go elsewhere.
posted by cholly at 2:27 AM on September 19, 2011

+1 For Shanghai Nights and wandering Petersham.

As well as the Banh Mi in Marrickville you could try a pho at PHD (Illawarra Rd), or closer to the train station, Hanoi.

I'd also have a gander at the grocery stores in M'ville, as there's a bunch of fun stuff to be found (and eaten), and Crazy Nuts on Illawarra Rd is also great fun.

If you make it to Haberfield check out the bakery near the Lamonica IGA, which was grand the last time I went there.

Jasmine's, El Jannah, and Janani sound awesome and are now on my list - thanks for the recommendations!
posted by pymsical at 4:47 PM on September 19, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! It all sounds good to me but I'll report back on what my friend enjoyed the most.
posted by embrangled at 5:02 PM on September 23, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for your suggestions, everyone. We started off in Marrickville, where we ate delicious Greek pastries from Marrickville Quality Cakes, bought cashews at Tasty Nuts and noted with sadness that Ha Noi no longer has a sugar-cane juice machine. Then we went to Lakemba, where we browsed the grocery stores before having lunch at Jasmin's - foule, tabouleh, falafel and fried bread. It was incredible. One of the best meals I've had in years.

We initially thought we might continue on to Bankstown or Auburn or somewhere else, but after lunch we basically just wanted to go home and lie down. I'm sure those of you who recommended Jasmin's will understand! So we waddled off home after that - but not before buying a big box of baklava from one of the stores on the main road.

Thanks to all of you for your suggestions. My friend had fun, and I think she has a different (and better!) impression of Australia now than she did before.
posted by embrangled at 12:31 AM on October 14, 2011

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