Sydney is blessed with a diversity of cuisines from all around the world. There are countless Chinese, Italian, Thai, Vietnamese and Indian restaurants. We're not short of Japanese, Mexican, Greek, French, Korean, Indonesian, or Middle Eastern fare either. American fast food abounds. There are even a few Himalayan/Nepalese and various South American restaurants and clubs dotted here and there.
But when a Facebook friend recently posted he had a Sudanese Goat Kebab at a Brisbane market, I wondered; why doesn't Sydney have a Goat Kebab Café?
But alas, there are still a few world cuisines which have either yet to emerge, in their infancy or for whatever reason, have never taken off.
While there are some cuisines that have no representation on the Sydney restaurant scene, here are some of the rarer, harder to find cuisines of Sydney.
It's both surprising and just a little embarrassing that Australia's number one tourist destination only has a single restaurant specialising in Aussie Bush Tucker. The Purple Goanna café in Redfern has a fascinating menu which includes a range of dishes using kangaroo, crocodile or emu. Try their lunch time baguettes, Creamed Crocodile Penne Pasta or a Barramundi, Chips and Salad with Lemon Myrtle dressing. Disappointingly, goanna is not on the menu.
Afghan restaurants might not be on the obscure cuisine list for much longer. Bamiyan at Five Dock has attracted good reviews as has Zac's Great Food at Thornleigh. There are also a few informal kebab takeaways in Merrylands.
Assyria is not a country but a race but this hasn't stopped the Assyrian community establishing a club to promote Assyrian culture in western Sydney. The bistro at the Assyrian Club in West Fairfield is likely to be the only place in town to sample its cuisine of Middle Eastern style dishes.
With 59 countries on the African continent, I've bundled them together but if you take out the Middle Eastern style Egyptian and Moroccan restaurants, there's not a lot left. African Feeling has West African staples such as Fufu, Goat Stew and Kpoff-Kpoff on the menu.
Iraqi restaurants tend to congregate out at Fairfield. They're very simple affairs but it's hard to imagine a more genuine ethnic food experience. Try the Al Diaffah al Iraqi on Railway Street at Fairfield.
For the best Lithuanian cuisine has to offer, try the Lithuanian Club at Bankstown.
Copenhagen's Noma restaurant might be the number one restaurant in the world, but this hasn't translated into Scandinavian food being de rigueur in Sydney. Thanks to Swedish furniture juggernaut IKEA at Homebush, you can enjoy possibly the only Swedish dining experience in Sydney. Swedish Meatballs and Mash anyone?
There are a few 'Fijian' restaurants around but they tend to be more Indian Fijian than Islander. Akash Pacific in Liverpool has been around for years. You can get takeaway Samoan style curries from the Palms Pacific Superstore at Glenfield.
So do you know of some obscure out of the way place serving up some classic dishes from Albania or Zimbabwe? Do you know of a market that has a stall selling Ethiopian Goat Kebabs? Please add a comment and share it with your Weekendnotes mates.
There's a Slovakian Club out in Kemps Creek, with amazing Slovakian cuisine available. When I was a kid, my next door neighbor was the chef there and we used to go quite often. A small and homely place.