We are very fond of the Addison Road Community Centre in Marrickville and the events they regularly run (check out our visit to their African Rhythm & Roots Festival). We’ve been going to the Street Food Markets since the first one held eight months ago and since then, they have gone from strength to strength; increasing in stallholders, volunteers and even upping the frequency of the night markets from once a month to twice a month.
The markets started as a way for recent migrants and refugees to Australia to gain business management skills and show these skills to the community. It is, in turn, a way for the community to show support for these newcomers and welcome them to our community.
The lady and her children who run the Egyptian stall has been a mainstay of the markets from day one. Since that day, her menu has changed and evolved, taking off her delicious Egyptian falafels (which we miss!) and replaced by Koshari, a traditional tomato-based rice and pasta dish that contains a quite a few ingredients including chickpeas and lentils. This traditionally-prepared dish is hearty, satisfying and vegan!
I decided to try something interesting and went to a South Sudanese stall that had the weirdest menu. I had to try this combination of ingredients so I got the vegetarian option.
South Sudanese food is, first and foremost, no-fuss. It is simple, plain food that satisfies you. People who are looking for something lavish should probably keep walking but, honestly, I loved it! The soft texture of the okra, eggplant and molohkia (a leafy vegetable broth) and the rice, sweet potato and cassava was contrasted by the crunch of the combination of fresh vegetables served on top. The whole platter filled me up so much that I couldn’t even think about eating more food!
Our friend ordered a Chicken Satay Skewer with Puffed Fried Rice from the Nepalese stall. This was one of the more commercial stalls at the markets and the difference in value for money was apparent. The chicken satay was rather tasty however on the whole, the dish was woefully unsatisfying and failed to fill him up and cost $9.
We decided to try the Vegan Chorizo Tacos with Mexican Rice from the Mexican stall. This was another of the more commercial stalls. Unfortunately, we didn’t find the vegan chorizo convincing at all and the rice was mushy and tasteless. The green salsa, however had an almighty, spicy kick to it. We’d give this a miss next time, though.
To round off our meal, we got the Jackfruit & Grass-Jelly Drink from the Thai stall. We found that, despite the ingredients, it was overly sweet probably due to the canned jackfruit they used.
Unfortunately, we found that this month’s market was very different to the first few ones we went to. It seems the ingress of the commercial businesses to the markets has changed the vibe and forced the refugee/migrant stalls to compete more shown by the lack of the recent migrant and refugee stalls present. Whether this is because they can’t make it due to the frequency of the Markets anymore with their families or they’re being ousted by these commercial businesses, we’re not sure. We miss the warm family atmosphere and enthusiasm of the original stallholders, of which there are few now and it would certainly be sad if the latter were true.
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