Welcome to the Addison Road Street Food Markets - an evening of heart, soul and spice with live music setting the scene.
Launched in 2016, the joint initiative between the not-for-profit Addison Road Community Centre (ARCCO) and the Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS) offers more than casual over-the-counter street food and business logistics. Rather, this is a deeper story about culture and education through the coming together of people and food.
The program created an opportunity for new businesses – which are predominately run by refugees, people seeking asylum, or recent migrants to Australia – to test Sydney’s foodscape.
Through education and creativity, this positive space not only offers business and financial guidance but a sense of community. And what better way to celebrate multiculturalism and diversity then over food and “to share recipes that might have been learned from a grandfather, or an auntie, or a special dish that’s only found in certain regions of their homeland,” says Mina Bui Jones from ARCCO.
“When you enjoy the taste of something, you’re happy and your heart opens just a little more. But it can also make you curious and want to learn more about differences while recognising the many similarities we share across the world related to preparing and sharing food,” Jones tells SBS.
On the first and third Saturday of each month, you can meet stallholders from Iran, Ethiopia, Syria, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, northeastern Thailand or Sierra Leone. The stalls vary each market night because of the nature of the program. Entry is free and you can expect to spend around $10 for a meal at any of the stalls with all proceeds going to the stallholders and into their business.
So, here are our top insider picks.
The epitome of Egyptian comfort food is koshari, a combination of lentils, pasta and rice served in a rich tomato sauce and topped with chickpeas and crisp fried onions. Sara is a mother of two and originally from Egypt. She came to the Street Food Markets through the Lakemba Community Centre and it is here she is sharing her own koshari recipe with the community.
Trade in your cutlery for injera, a soft, spongy and sour Ethiopian flatbread. Then tear, scoop and mop up the range of rich meat and vegetarian curries on offer at this street food stall.
Ginger, water, lime and brown sugar - all bottled up. Aunty's Ginger Tonic is a handcrafted, low sugar ginger drink and each bottle has a story from owner Yarrie Bangura as she offers two types of tonic – ginger clove and tamarind. This drink is traditionally enjoyed in Sierra Leone and Guinea, drunk at weddings, parties and funerals, as well as being made and sold by women to sell at market.
The Magic Tablecloth is the vision of two passionate cooks, Yulia and Iana. Both are Eastern European and have travelled and lived all over the world, gathering knowledge and inspiration from all over the former Soviet Union, Poland and Israel. Iana and Yulia delight in the culinary traditions of Eastern Europe, Israel and also offer delicious Georgian cuisine. They invite you to stop and try their baked treats – doughnuts, cakes and cinnamon rolls from Russia, the Ukraine and Eastern Europe.
Mehrdad Mehraeen has over 10 years experience in the baking industry. Mehrdad’s Grandfather was the proud owner of the original Esfahan Sweets, a popular shop in Esfahan that remained in the family for over 45 years. Mehrdad’s bakery focuses on recreating the flavours of Isfahan, Iran, right here in Australia. Must-tries include the pistachio, walnut and almond fudges and their divine coconut ice.
First and third Saturday of each month, 4pm–9pm.
142 Addison Road, Marrickville
Keep up-to-date as the markets plan to move to a weekly schedule from mid-2018