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Eat your way around Asia in one night
Good Food Month is full of ideas and culinary explorations from posh hatted restaurant to cheap cultural street foods. As hard as we tried to be gluttonous at these food festivals, we just could not overcome the laws of nature and stomach everything in. Hence we need to be strategic in our approach and only target the best value, the most popular and the new arrivals.
As a special event, Chinatown's Little Hay Street is hosting the "Little Eat Street Festival - Asia on Your Doorstep" as part of the 2014 Good Food Month. This is in addition to the normal Friday Night Market.
Upon arrival, you will see rows of red lanterns and special lighting dangling along the Dixon and Little Hay Streets. They provided a lovely backdrop to this vibrant food market. Once the sun has set, expect a high flux of visitors to pour in.
There will be dozens of restaurants hosting their market-style stalls and you can literally sample your way 'around Asia'. There is plenty of irresistible street food on offer, from yum cha dim sim to flying roti.
You'll be spoilt for choice with most of the dishes are priced under $15, so expect tantalising dishes to sizzle up your appetite.
This is my guide to eat your way around the Little Eat Street Festival.
Most Popular - Lamb & Cumin Stall
Without a doubt, this stall generated road blockage with their signature lamb & cumin BBQ skewers. You can hear and smell the sizzling skewers from afar. The price is fairly decent and it only costs $5 for 3 skewers, $8 for 5 or $15 for 10 skewers. There is not a lot of lamb on the skewer, but the flavor is highly aromatic. I like my skewers to be plump and juicy; so for me, these are more like a weight-watcher's snack portion.
As part of the Good Food celebration, Lamb & Cumin is offering special BBQ Beef Tendon Skewers ($6 for 3) and Sweet & Chilli Chicken Frames ($6/box). Loyal customers still like the original skewers the best.
There is a bit of wait time so go have a wonder within shouting distance.
Best Value - BBQ King Stall
How can you go pass $3 BBQ skewers?Large pan fried chicken/pork dim sim skewers, assorted fish ball skewers, lobster ball skewers and BBQ octopus skewers are on offer from BBQ King. The serving is large, generous and very affordable.
My friend thinks getting 3 large chicken dim sims on a skewer for a mere $3 is absolutely a bargain. Drizzle some Hong Kong style chili sauce for an extra kick. The teriyaki octopus skewer (also $3) is highly noted as well, the BBQ sauce might drip everywhere, but it tastes really good.
Bargain $1 Gem - Emperor's Garden Cake & Bakery
Q: What can you get for $1 these days in Sydney?
A: 3 piping hot Emperors puffs filled with fresh custard.
This place does not need any more advertising because the demands for these hot custard puffs are already high. The queue is long but these fresh piping hot custard puffs are coming out of the steel plates every 2 minutes, so the wait is not too bad.
These custard puffs are a bargain where you can get 3 for $1, 7 for $2 and 20 for $5. A must visit spot if you are in Chinatown.
Most Entertaining - Mamak Stall
Mamak is already a popular establishment in Chinatown, specialising authentic Malaysian roti, smoky satay chicken and fiery curry. The queue to get into the restaurant can stretch up to 5 meters on Friday nights. Why? In addition to authentic taste, the price is genuinely affordable on a uni student's budget.
The Mamak stall is the most entertaining. Watching the process of making the deliciously flaky and crisp roti ($7.50) is a spectacle in itself.
Highly recommended the flying roti with egg and curry.
New Comer - Mr Bao Bun's Stall
Mr Bao Bun is a new comer to the Sydney street-food scene. These white steamed buns have already reached a cult status in Melbourne, and now it is taking over Sydney. I am not at all surprised at the latest craze because the original gua bao is fairly popular back in Taiwan - the superlative country for night market street food.
The fun popping Takoyaki from Colotako. These authentic Japanese street-snack is filled with octopus, prawn or crab. Served with Japanese mayonnaise, seaweed sprinkles and dancing bonito flakes. The average cost is $5 for 4 takoyaki balls. You can mix-n-match the flavours.
Of course, you will find the typical yum cha delights such as the egg tarts, steamed and fried dumplings from the East Ocean Restaurant's stall.
To end the night with a sweet note, you got to give the Dragon Beard Candy a try. It is a traditional sweet reserved for the Emperor from the Ancient Chinese Palace; and for $7.50, you can see and taste the candy being stretched by hand into thousands of white silky threads.