We've lived in Sydney, New South Wales for five years now and are quite ashamed to say that we've not really travelled deep-west from the city.
Our annual road trips have taken us down south twice, up north once and down from the north (Brisbane) on a separate occasion, but we never explored the inland west. The furthest we've been was down Parramatta Road to go see some bands at the Annandale Hotel or to go scrounging for old things in secondhand shops.
I also want to live in a big house just so I can fit these old seats and organ from a demolished theare in the living room
Our city-dwelling Aussie pals often tell us that the west is "bogan" (also "westie", or "redneck" to those who don't speak Australian) land. They say that there's nothing to see there except suburban sprawl and filled us with fear and dread of the inhabitants.
On Sunday, after our regular (but unfruitful) hunt for the elusive chairs, we decided to drive further down Parramatta Road to Parramatta, a western suburb of Sydney. For "famous" food, of course.
Map from here
I don't know if it's just us Singaporeans but if we hear about good food, we'd go to great lengths just to taste it and we've recently been urged by someone to go try Temasek Restaurant's highly rated Singapore and Malaysian cuisine...you can take the girl away from the hawkers' stalls but you can't take the hawkers' stalls out of the girl...or something to that effect.
After trundling down the long, some parts badly-paved, road (we didn't use the faster highway because we wanted to take the "scenic" route), this was what greeted us as we turned into Parramatta, the suburb,...
I was expecting narrow one-lane streets lined with low-rises! And rough and scary "natives". Our Aussie pals lied.
The boyfriend was very very happy with his Hainanese Chicken Rice. They've got the condiments right - dark sticky soy and a dollop of minced ginger in the tangy homemade chilli sauce. And the chicken was smooth and succulent and not too fatty.
My Prawn Laksa was alright. I've had better but it's hard to find proper Singapore-style laksa in Sydney where most places flog noodles in a lame curry broth as that thick coconut-y and dried shrimp-y dish so I wolfed it down.
I couldn't resist ordering the Kicap Manis Sotong (Sweet Soy Sauce Squid). I love the taste of the sweet Indonesian soy! And the squids didn't disappoint - deep-fried with a light salt-and-pepper batter and then stir-fried in that tasty sauce with bits of garlic, chili and eschalots. We had to take half of it home because the serving size of everything was so big and our stomachs weren't big enough to contain all.
The meal was sure worth the drive and we're already planning our next visit (we have to call in advance if we want to eat some of the very special '"specials") to slowly work our way down the menu. Nyum nyum.
The Roxy Arcade
71 George Street
Phone: (02) 9633 9926