Within the food-filled four hour tour, we take a visit to the Lao Temple, taste a freshly made Laotian papaya salad demonstration, experience a spectacular Vietnamese lunch banquet at Pho 888, and much more!
We start off our tour at Wat Phrayortkeo Dhammayanaram, a Lao Buddhist Temple, a temple that was built for "Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike...[as] it is a place where many Laotians come together to worship, to perform rituals and ceremonies and to celebrate different festivals."
Teo starts off our day with her homemade chicken-mince spring rolls with her secret-recipe sauce.
The temple's representative tells us of the sacred Buddhist rituals, the history of the temple, and reveals to us a secret under that green rug...
We take a visit to Bonnyrigg's Turkish mosque - it is adorned with a beautiful large chandelier, and a vibrant soft red carpet, with individual prayer spaces.
Lee Kien is the local favourite Asian grocer, and they stock a lot of Laotian delicacies.
Teo shows us how to make a quick and delicious Laotian papaya salad in less than 10 minutes! With the Lao New Year coming up next weekend in the Fairfield area (11-13th April), Teo will be busy preparing her famous papaya salad - her salad is known to many of those who come to the Lao festival every year.
To prepare papaya salad enough for 3 days worth of customers, Teo makes her salad from a mortar and pestle that is as big as a 10kg rice bag!
I purchase a Laotian favourite - the Roselle drink. The taste is similar to that of a sweet prune, and to prepare this drink, you dilute it with cold water, pour it into a cup and top with ice. A quick, refreshing and exotic drink to try - and for only $2 a bottle!
We also visit Pho 888, the lovely restaurant situated right next door to Lee Kien, where our TASTE tourists get to lunch upon a large array of Vietnamese dishes, including Hai Nam chicken and special chicken rice, sizzling beef and Vietnamese crepes. Opened since September 2012, this establishment has been running for around 1.5 years. The prices are decent, and they have everything you look for in a Vietnamese restaurant - great service, spacious area, and beautiful dishes.
Here is a nice review of Pho 888.
We visit many more places within our four hours of fun, faith and feasting, and if you're interested in coming along on a tour, we have many to come throughout the year. So what are TASTE tours, exactly?
They are an initiative of Australia's oldest charity, The Benevolent Society, and at TASTE, we are all about bridging divides, diminishing stereotypes of certain suburbs, particularly Sydney's western suburbs, supporting local businesses, and showcasing the authentic cultural experience that these suburbs have to offer. We also have pop-up kitchens, cooking classes, and in-school cooking class programs as well.
TimeOut Sydney has a nice short write-up about us, and for tour dates, click here. There will be another Bonnyrigg tour later this year. I'll be a tour guide for the Sugar and Spice Bankstown mini tour in May, so if you would like a fun-filled info-packed and hours of endless sampling and indulging into authentic dishes of South East Asia and the Orient, make sure to book the tour soon!
For more information on TASTE tours, visit our site here: www.tastetours.org.au
Wat Phrayortkeo Dhammayanaram Lao Buddhist Temple:
711-715 Smithfield Road
Edensor Park NSW, 2176
Edensor Park NSW, 2176
(02) 9823 7338 or (02) 9610 9075http://www.watphrayortkeo.net/
Bonnyrigg Turkish Mosque:
10-12 Bibbys Place
Bonnyrigg NSW, 2199
(02) 9823 4126
3/136 Edensor Road
Bonnyrigg Heights NSW, 2170
(02) 9610 8809