Parramatta Lanes, Parramatta

  21 October 2012

OH HAI! How was your weekend everyone? I spent my weekend baking banana bread and then um eating it all. Mmm. But on Friday night I was out in the hood enjoying Parramatta Lanes! For the first time ever, as part of the Crave Sydney Festival, Parramatta’s hidden laneways are all prettied up and transformed with each area set to a theme.

Helen and I trained in straight from work and followed the sounds of the Cope Street Parade’s lively tunes from the station to Darcy Lane. We passed by 3 Ropes café but had to give it a miss as coffee any time past 5pm means no sleep for me lol. Rounding the corner past the strawberry plants in vertical pipes we were greeted with the sight of the band playing on the roof of the La Toosh tram which sold savoury and sweet French crepes. Also at Darcy Lane was wood fired pizza from Antonio Sabia of Puntino Trattoria and wraps filled with slow cooked meats from Pinbone.

But it is the Gourmet Rotisserie that we only have eyes for! Look at that crackle!!! Surprisingly we were asked if we wanted crackle to which we asked if that was a rhetorical question but it seems some people are crazy watching their diet. I said we’d gladly eat their crackling portions if they had any extra but the lady laughed and changed the subject..

We carefully lowered ourselves as gracefully as possible onto the low deck chairs to eat before diving into the Porchetta Pannini ($15) with the glorious crackle and was jam packed with tender pork nubbins infused with herbs (and hmm is that thyme I detect?), shavings of fennel and schmears of onion marmalade topped with peppery rocket leaves. It is the perfect sandwich and one I will most likely return for this week!

In need of a drink we made our way past the library and across the street to Batman Walk which had a Parisian theme. Not really wanting desserts at this stage we gave Café Sotto and Circa Bakery a miss promising to return later.

Red Cow Lane is next with Bar Coco serving coffee and gelato on the back of a Vespa and a converted rickshaw showing video art projections.

We head through the car park and reach Erby Place which had gorgeous colourful lanterns strung up on the Jacaranda trees along with origami cranes around the gardens. It was a fun and chilled atmosphere with plenty of milk crates scattered around but best of all more food stalls! Lan Lan’s dumplings caused quite a queue, Japanese restaurant Temichi serving bbq’d chicken skewers and Ma’Leisia with the best value dinner of Nasi Lemak boxes.

The Bali Chicken Nasi Lemak ($10) came with a huge mound of fragrant coconut rice which gave respite from the borderline oh crap it’s spicy sambal. The tender chicken is pretty generous in portion and we fight over the crunchy ikan bilies and roasted peanuts. Ma’Leisia will be replaced with Jackie M this week serving Roti and Char Kway Teow.

Grasshopper Bar is one of my fav places to go to after work for tasty cocktails so it was no surprise that they were a smash hit with the crowd with plastic jam jars of cocktails ($12) and refills ($10).

Parramatta Lanes is by far the best event I’ve been to for Crave Sydney and I’ll definitely be visiting again this week when it returns this Thursday 25th and Friday 26th October, from 4pm until 9:30pm.

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