This Sunday 24 September, Cabramatta will be transformed into a huge street fair, with food stalls and performances. “Every year the festival becomes bigger and better. It started as a small community parade 19 years ago and now attracts more than 90,000 people, making it one of the largest, if not the largest, festivals in South-West Sydney,” says Frank Cabone, Mayor of Fairfield City.
It’s Moon Festival, or Mid-Autumn Festival, which is held all over South-East Asia to celebrate the equinox, the day when daylight and darkness are the same length. In the lead up and during the festival, moon cakes (small round cakes filled with red bean or lotus seed paste) are given as gifts to relatives and friends to wish them a long, happy and prosperous life.
The Mayor’s favourite part of the festival is the way residents “from all backgrounds now join in, which shows they have embraced the area’s diversity.”
In Cabramatta’s CBD, you'll find over 130 local restaurants serving their best dishes. There'll also be plenty of food trucks serving dishes such as waffles, doughnuts, Filipino burgers, pizza and Hungarian chimney cakes. We’ve rounded up five of the best food stalls and trucks to visit on the day.
Joy Oi is Vietnamese for “oh my god” – an exclamation the owners hope their customers make after their first bite. The food at Joy Oi Taco is a unique Mexican-Asian mix that combines elements of street food from Vietnam, Korea and Japan with Mexican cuisine. Try the burritos with a choice of spicy pork, lemongrass chicken or miso mushroom. “We’ve been attending since we were kids and very excited to be able to participate in this vibrant festival for the first time,” says owner Linda Sik to SBS.
Like your fries loaded? Head to Trang’s Kitchen, a food truck serving Vietnamese street food with a twist. Start with a serve of caramelised crackling pork belly fries, and grab a TriBao to share - three steamed buns, filled with pho beef, caramelised pork belly and soy chicken.
Feel like something light? Poke Bros. serve poke, a Hawaiian raw fish salad. “Two out of the three Poke Bros. are Vietnamese and we grew up celebrating Moon Festival in Cabramatta every year. Being invited to take part of this cultural celebration means a lot to us,” says co-owner Laurence Nguyen. The most popular version is the salmon, with pickled cabbage, cucumber, avocado, seaweed, salad and miso sushi rice. Keep an eye out for their first store, opening in October, where they’ll add a Vietnamese twist with kimchi and pickled carrots.
Cabramatta Moon Festival, Sunday 24 September 2017, 9am-8pm.