Cayrole is a part-time couch potato, part-time Sydney wanderer and full-time foodie, armed with her iPhone and a love for all things sweet.
Transport yourself to a night/day out in Taiwan for free
September is heating up to be a busy, exciting month chock-a-block full of free events and festivals around Sydney. So, whilst you are out and about, why not pop into Tumbalong Park in Darling Harbour to immerse yourself in the great smells and sounds of Taiwanese culture?
We all know Sydney is great at hosting festivals but the best ones are those which remind us of what a remarkable, multicultural city we live in.
Traditional live performances and food (Image from Facebook)
Taiwan is an island located 180km off the south-eastern coast of mainland China, inhabited by a population of roughly 23 million. Taipei is the political capital and Mandarin and Hokkien are the main languages spoken. Taiwanese culture is a blend of traditional Chinese culture and Japanese culture, with increasingly Western influences too.
Taiwan Festival 2013 The Taiwan Day Festival was held for the first time in 2011 and attracted a crowd of over 25,000. This year, the Day Festival returns on Sunday, 8th September with more delectable food stalls, more exciting live events and folk art and more activities for the whole family in Tumbalong Park.
But this year, just to give you a sampler, the Day Festival will also be preluded by a Taiwanese night market on the Saturday night. Mimicking the famous night markets of Taiwan, attendees can expect a multitude of stalls serving delectable culinary delights from Taiwanese cuisine as well as live music and performances to enhance the atmosphere.
Below is a quick run-down of traditional Taiwanese food and performances to look out for at the festival.
Image from official Facebook page
Culinary delights Be sure to start off with the delicious dim sims, ranging from irresistible prawn dumplings to pork buns. Follow with some entrees, such as braised and sliced beef loins or deep fried pork ribs, with a side of pickled vegetable salads. If that still doesn't fill you up, go for a plate of fried noodles or wonton noodle soup. Wash it all down with Taiwan's most famous contribution, which has caused the popularity of stores such as Chatime and Easyway - the pearl milk tea, also adorably known as 'bubble tea'!
For those feeling extra adventurous, see if you can handle the 'stinky tofu' dish. If you haven't guessed already, it is tofu with an unpleasant odour... and I'll leave the rest for you to find out for yourself. Just keep in mind - it was once a dish consumed only by the royal family!
Don't miss the live performances by the Takao Run Band, who will dazzle you with their fascinating blend of contemporary pop and elements of traditional Taiwanese music as well as their spectacular, quirky costumes. Also look out for the famous glove puppet performance, which will take guests on an adventure of fantasy and kung fu.
Glove puppets (Image from official website)
Bits and pieces The Taiwanese Night Market will be on Saturday, 7 September from 3pm-9pm. The Day Festival will be on Sunday, 8 September from 10am-6pm.
Entry is free.
More information is available on their Facebook page or from the City of Sydney page.