Parramatta Lanes - Crave Sydney International Food Festival

By 11:10 PM

Parramatta Lanes was a new addition this year to the festival's lineup of events. The event was hosted over four nights (18, 19, 25 and 26 Oct) from 4.30-9pm. JHL and I headed up last Friday after work to check out the festivities. We found ourselves exploring hidden lanes that we have never stumbled upon previously, all which were retouched for the event to create a different theme and atmosphere.

Our first stop was Darcy Lane where we were greeted with sounds of a live band seated on top of the La Toosh carriage immediately transforming the hidden street into a Parisan street dining atmosphere. La Toosh hosted a range of sweet and savoury crepes however we had to give it a miss that night as we were searching for solid food to fill our bellies.

It was our bellies that led us to  The Gourmet Rotisserie, mesmerized by the glorious rotating meat. We couldn't resist grabbing each of the panini sandwiches - Porchetta (with onion and fennel marmalade - $15) and Chicken (with ailoi $13). We seated ourselves on the colourful deck chairs ready to dig in. Both the chicken and pork were both juicy and tender but we couldn't ignore the fact that there wasn't enough of it in the sandwiches.

Our bellies which were not yet filled, were drawn over to Pinbone  two stalls down which houses a 2 for $10 hot dog or meat wrap special. Of course we grabbed one of each to share plus a fruit iced tea (white tea, pineapple, apple, mint, lime -$5) to wash it down. The hot dog was topped with a unique combination of corn cheese, sauerkraut, sriracha hot sauce, and prawn crackers. Oddly enough, it didn't taste too bad, with the hot sauce giving it an extra kick, however our only complaint was the bread was a tad hard to bite into.

The beef wrap was filled with smoked beef brisket, watercress, cucumber, tomato, rice, beans and chipotle dressing. My gosh, it must of been the best wrap I have ever had. The beef was so tender, bursting with flavour and the combination of the fillings was so refreshing and light. We loved it so much we had to go back and seconds!

Next stop was Batman Walk which had stalls from Cira Bakery and Cafe Sotto. Never had an arancini before, JHL without any thought, grabbed the bolognese arancini ($4) from Cafe Sotto. For his first arancini he was not disappointed. The rice casing had the perfect texture and crunch with the bolognse sauce and mozzarella filling oozing out.

Red Cow Lane was serving gelato and coffee from Bar Coco but we gave it a miss knowing there was still one more stop at Erby Place. Erby Place was asian inspired, decorated with lanterns and paper cranes hung up among the Jacaranda trees. Having tried the curry and rice from Jackie M at the Night Noodle Markets couple of weeks before, we opted for the Chicken Char Kway Teow (Stir fried rice noodles with garlic, beansprouts, chives and egg -$13) and Prawn Laksa Nonya ($15). We seated ourselves on the cushioned milk crates and indulged in our Malaysian dishes. The laska was creamy and coconutty with an abundance of prawns and the Char Kway Teow, although a tad bit oily, had a good balance of flavours.

All in all, although we were a tad excited and overindulged just a bit, we really enjoyed our night out exploring Parramatta. I hope next year there there will be more events like Parramatta Lanes. 

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