Ma’s personal trainer is a really knowledgable young Vietnamese guy, Mr T, who grew up and lives near Cabramatta. Last weekend we were very lucky to be invited by Mr T to a guided foodie tour along the bustling streets of Cabramatta.
We picked Mr T up from his place mid morning, so he could drive as he knows where to park. On arrival we were met by his gorgeous mother, who having never met us before, gave us both a big cuddle. How very sweet! I was quite touched by this; most people seem so guarded these days. It was refreshing to meet someone so open and genuine.
Ma went armed with a list of ingredients she wanted to buy. I didn’t take a shopping list or have any idea of what to get – I just wanted to get a feel for the great food shops and restaurants.
As Mr T is a personal trainer, he’s very health conscious. He was also a vegetarian for 13 years so luckily for me, he has excellent knowledge of the local vegetarian restaurants and where to buy good vego products.
It was jam packed so I found walking the streets really interesting. So many sounds and smells – it’s a real treat for the senses. Being a Sunday, the streets were jam packed with locals. You can hear Vietnamese conversations everywhere – you don’t hear a lot of English. I love this because this gives it such an authentic feel.
One of the first things Mr T did was have us to try some gorgeous sweet bread from Pappa Roti. So soft, light and delicious!
The fruit and veg shops are amazing, they had so many things I’ve never seen before! I had my first taste of dragon fruit which I really enjoyed. For those who don’t know, it tastes a little like kiwi fruit.
The streets were lined with older women on the sidewalk, sitting on milk crates, with their home-grown (and some organic) fruit and vegies on display. This reminded me of my visit to Malaysia a few years ago, where lots of women did the same thing near the daily fresh food markets.
Visiting Asian grocery stores is brilliant, especially when you have your own translator who can read the labels! T picked out so many things for me. With each product he’d say something like “This is the best” or “Tara, you HAVE to try this” or “The taste is amazing”. How could I possibly resist! He also gave me tips on how and what to cook them with. As you can imagine I ended up spending a lot more than I expected!
Mr T also took us to an excellent vegan grocery shop called Just Green Food which had a lot of my favourite products and a lot more I didn’t know about. I was thrilled, I will absolutely be shopping there again!
For lunch Mr T took us to a delicious vegan restaurant called Loving Hut, which I will write about separately.
Cabra, as it’s known by the locals, is fantastic. You really get the feeling that you are somewhere far away and exotic. If you like Asian food, fresh fruit and veg and really different products, it’s absolutely worth a visit. There is so much to see, you could really spend a whole day there (we did!).
I adore Asia, I just can’t get enough of it. So far I’ve visited Japan, Indonesia and Malaysia. I’ve always been fascinated by Asian food and culture so Cabramatta was a little treasure trove for me. It also made me start thinking about where my next overseas adventure may be to… Any suggestions?