On the 12th of April a group of Probians explored the small shopping centre of Flemington. It is a melting pot of Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian, and Sri Lanka shops, cafes, and restaurants, clustered around Henley St and The Crescent. We met at the Sip In Coffee shop for the Probus customary beverage, where we also sampled fresh Vietnamese Banh Mi. Refreshed, we strolled to the nearby Sri Karphaga Vinayakar Temple followed by the Roman Catholic Church of St Dominics, listening to short commentaries about beliefs surrounding the many Hindu gods, and the Christian God of the Bible.
We sampled steamed prawn Sui Mai and Hun Shui Kwok (savoury pork mince encased in a crispy glutinous rice casing) from Best Taste Dim Sum. This shop sells fresh and frozen dim sums and is the place to go when you want a Yum Cha experience at home. Next, we walked along Henley St and down an arcade stopping at Rams, a shop which sells freshly made curries and spicy Indian snack foods.
Tucked away inside a basement is Spicelands, the largest Indian shop in Flemington. Our group went inside to view the enormous variety of Indian goods including a huge stock of unusual pickles and chutneys. There was still time before lunch time for a quick look at other shops which sell Asian groceries, fresh seafood (some swimming in tanks), and butchers stocking cuts of fresh, inexpensive meat. We included a stop at KW Barbecue Shop, the place which many claim sells the best Chinese crackling roast pork around this part of Sydney.
Lunch was at the Saigon B&B restaurant which specialises in fresh Vietnamese and Chinese dishes. We feasted on freshly prepared prawn rice paper rolls, salt and pepper tofu, rice with braised pork, and mixed vegetables with fried egg noodles. Delicious! – everyone went home with overfull bellies, with some vowing to return for the exotic spices and ingredients to prepare their own Asian or Indian cuisine at home.