Three Worlds, All On a Sydney Saturday

The pavements overflowed with fresh produce - vegetables, fruits and concoctions that came from both Australia and South-east Asia. I could not figure out totally if the stall holders and customers were all Cambodian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Burmese or Thai - but one thing was for sure, there was a notable absence of Caucasians. The cooked dishes called out in an appetising manner, whether they were fish in marinade, roast duck or curries. There were grapes red and green, seedless or with seed; longans on their stalks, plucked from plants; and all types of meat cuts in the butcher shops. I sensed the strong buzz of commercial enterprise and personal dynamics of purpose in the place. I had accompanied Jen and Viv on a market adventure. This was Bankstown Mall on a sunny May evening, the autumn air crisp and the aroma of flavours floating in the air.

The mocha had the delightful quality of Colefax chocolate. Five of us were lounging around a low table sipping in the hot beverages and taking a break from the everyday.
A Saturday morning, and the hustle and bustle of an Italian village lifestyle carried on outside, with happy children in the company of busy parents, couples lining up for pastries and cakes and the odd outsider visitors checking out the shelves of Zanetti or Lamonica. I could not resist getting my fav bread rolls in the bakery along Dalhousie Street, eyeing the currant studded buns with caramelised tops.
My group of friends relished in the lunch at Napoli en Bocca, which waiter Freancesco described a s "A Taste of Naples in the Mouth". I was impressed with the calamari ripieni, a delightful package of wrapped seafood in a stimulating sauce. Needless to say, it was good to see Alessandro again at the homely cake shop of A & P Sulfaro. This was Haberfield on the start of a weekend, with the proverbial blue skies and everything nice.

It was early night, and I tucked in the bonito curry, served with tangy tomato cuts and spicy reminders from the Indian Ocean. The lobak pieces melted in my mouth and instantly brought me back to memories of Penang coffee shops and home cooking. Lobak are compact parcels of tender juicy pork cuts marinated with five spice powder, amongst other things, and mixed with crunchy vegetables and other stuff, all cut finely and wrapped by bean curd skins, before they are deep fried in a wok. Then there was soy sauced chicken with hints of pepper. All thanks to the home cooking of Joyce and Aunty Rosie. I finished up with Italian biscotti and Charmaine's dark chocolate cake with sensations of nutty flavours. There was familiarity of chatter and conversation. There was banter with familiar people and friends. Ashleigh and Caitlin danced to the Wiggles on screen. This was Baulkham Hills at night, with the nippy air biting outside and flashes of lightning in the far distance.


Charming said…
Next time we'll take a video of Ashleigh and Caitlin dancing and post it on your blog.
Kin Yuen said…
Hey Charmnaine, that's a great idea!

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