We are touring again with Taste food tours and this time there is plenty of flavour and spice and a taste of Indian cuisine. We did a tour of Harris Park which is a hot bed for Indian restaurants in Sydney. Our tour is guided by Waji, an international student from Singapore with Indian heritage. Waji shares her stories of of her Indian background and the cusine throughout the tour. It is a Cultural tour, so it is not all about food, you are learning through the experience. That said, your stomach and tastebuds will be thanking you, as the majority of it is about the food. India has over a hundred dialects and many regions, with this tour giving you a sample of each region’s cuisine, you will soon figure out there is more to Indian Cusine than butter and naan.
Taste Tour seeks to connect cultures and provide you with an authentic multicultural experience. Throughout the tour you are provided with a little bit of history about Harris Park and the Indian influence, which goes back over a 100 years, with the Brits first bringing Indians to Australia as workers, coming up the Parramatta river by steamboat. It was also pointed out that there was plenty of history in the area with acknowledgement of the traditional owners and informing that Governor Phillip launched experiment farm, freeing convicts to farm the land. The history of the area is evident through the architecture and with many restaurants taking up residence in renovated cottages.
The tour starts at Chatkazz Cafe at 10:30am and there is already a line. Chatkazz serves Western Indian vegetarian street food from the Gujarati region. What a delicious start to the morning, much better than plain old oats or toast. If this is a typical Indian breakfast, I am up for adoption. We sample the Jalebi, a vibrant orange sweet indian style pretzel served for breafast. The khaman dhokla, a light, airey, savoury sponge that was perfect for soaking up the mint and tamarind sauce. The pick of the bunch was a serving of fried sago fritters called sabudana vada and of course it was served with sides of chutney. It wouldn’t be right to not have a cup of chai. This version was quite potent, with a few cubes of sugar needed to sweeten the brew.
Next, we check out an Indian supermarket where we are introduced to one of the most important cooking ingredients, the curry leaf and Garam Masal with Waji providing some cooking tips. We are given time to wander and purchase some goodies with a plethora of spice, chutney and other goodies on offer.
Chatkazz also has an Indian sweet shop, we obligingly pay a visit. Waji arranges a tasting with each morsel increasing in sweetness. Many of the sweets we try have a fudge like texture and are made with condensed milk and cashews as a base. There are a range of flavours including saffron and rosewater, which you don’t come across too often.
Then, only a short walk to Versha’s, a lovely little restaurant, named after the owner whose passion for food inspired her to open the restaurant. One of our favourite Indian options is the Dosa which is a chickpea flower pancake, paper thin and with a little crunch which usually has a filling. In this instance, there was no filling but we did have a Coconut chutney which had a good amount of spice. We were also introduced to a Southern Indian Breakfast staple Idli, this fluffy cloud like rice cake is the Indian answer to Bao, its sponge like texture perfect for soaking up sauce. This was served with a tasty sambar sauce and a little of the coconut chutney, a nice vegetarian combination.
We love what Taste Tours represents, they are a great way to experience multicultural Sydney, expolore a new area guided by thise in the know and try new types of food. Read about some of the other tours we have joined below, check out the Taste tours link and expand your horizons by booking a tour.