Last night The Boy and I wandered up to Parramatta's little Chinatown area to check out the Lunar New Year Twilight Festival.
The festival was fairly small in comparison to some others I've heard about in Sydney, but Parramatta's Chinatown is pretty small, and seems to be getting smaller with another whole row of shops now demolished to make way for a new residential development. I really hope this area isn't going to be lost to development and making things shiny and new as we'd loose some good Parramatta eateries.
There was no parade, but a stage with some festivities we couldn't see happening, as well as super loud fireworks and two Chinese Dragons. Doesn't the white dragon look like he needs a bit pat on his fluffy nose? Unfortunately the Dragons came complete with their own security guards so anyone over the age of eight couldn't get within cooee of him. Sad face.
Now this is the first LNY or CNY event The Boy and I have ever attended, so we have nothing to compare it to. And to be honest we were really on there to eat our own body weight in yummy food and chat with the lovely Miss Munchies and Mr S.
That said, there were a few things at the festival that even The Boy and I knew had nothing to do with LNY...like the band playing salsa music. And the politicians pimping their wares for the upcoming state election. I give Parramatta Council a big *A for Effort* though as everyone was having a good time and lots of fun seemed to be had by all.
There were about ten stalls serving food, all run by restaurants on this end of Church Street. Everything was reasonably priced, and some of the food so cheap we thought we'd misheard when asked to cough up the money for our purchase.
First stall of the night for us was from Sun Ming, who were serving Peking Duck Pancakes for $2.50 each. They were beautiful and fresh, and filled with luscious hoisin sauce.
Next up was an enormous Pork Bun that cost just $1. This was surely the bargain of the century as far as filing food for the tummy goes. The bun was served cold, so I am not sure if it is intended to be taken home and heated up or just eaten as is. The Boy and I decided it must be intended to be eaten cold so we tucked in. The dough was soft and squishy with the bun innards similar to a little rissole. Little did I know that the innards were also filled with an oily juice than ended up all over my hands, face and new new Canon G11. Noooooo.
Next up Corn on a Stick for just $2.50. The corn can be served in its "natural state" but we choose to add a little bit of salt and butter as I could still feel my arteries flowing freely and surely that's not normal for a food blogger, right?
And speaking of artery clogging who can go past a container filled with BBQ Pork and Char Siu Pork for just $5.00. Not us! The BBQ Pork is so delicious we grab ourselves another box to savour once we're back at home (with two pieces of BBQ Duck thrown in - score).
It's finally time for something sweet so we head up to the Prince Restaurant stall for some Egg Tarts. Tammi is ahead of us in the line and notices that all but two of the Egg Tarts remain. The Boy and I resign ourselves to "no egg tarts for you" as the queue is long and we're at the back of it. Lucky for us Miss Munchies grabs them both so we can each have a taste. Bless her.
The Boy and I are fatigued from strolling and eating so head on home as Tammi and Sean head off in search of more food.
As we're heading home I realise that I'd not had any dumplings, so quickly dash back up to the festival to grab a box of Prawn Dumplings ($5.00 for four) for the road. They are cold by the time I get to eat them at home, but who cares. They are dumplings, and the are delicious.
A good night was had by all I'd say. Even the salsa band were having fun.