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Monday 7 July 2014

Taste Tours, Benevolent Society: Ramadan Progressive Dinner

Taste Food Tour is quite possibly the most fun you will have gorging on food… and, it's for a cause!

I have been a part of two Taste Tours - run by the Benevolent Society - and they are so, so much fun.

I like nothing more than walking local streets and uncovering hidden foodie gems in my surrounding suburbs, and most of all, speaking with the local people who run these cafes, bakeries, restaurants, delis and businesses. These people have rich histories, have often fled a life which offered little or no prospects for themselves and their families, and are real artisans in their food field.

Recently, I was invited to come along to the Ramadan Progressive Dinner, a 4-stop tour of local food haunts along one Greenacre street.

Now, I am very familiar with the Bankstown area but have not ventured much into Greenacre. This was my chance to not only familiarise myself with this neighbourhood but to also eat and drink beverages, snacks and dishes that are made only during Ramadan.

This tour allows you to savour the traditional Iftar feast plus many more delicious treats. The night ends with coffee and sweets (and not just any coffee and sweets… in fact, there is nothing ordinary about this tour at all, nor the food served - all of it is sensational, delicious, affordable, authentic and… did I mention utterly delicious?).

Taste Tours are run by incredibly knowledgeable local guides, who act as dinner host and, in this instance, share interesting facts and stories about how Ramadan is traditionally observed. We experienced this on our media preview tour and I learned so much about Ramadan and now have an even deeper respect for it. Here are some photos I took from the preview, enjoyed with fellow journos:
Breaking the fast, beginning the eating for Ramadan - an odd number of dates is a must!
Lentil soup (Shurba) is the next plate of food we eat
Next! Tabouli, fattoush, baba ghanoug, fetteh, and yoghurt at Little Tripoli Restaurant
Plate of fresh Lebanese goodness: turnips, tomatoes, onions, olives, chillies at Little Tripoli Restaurant
Kibbyna (raw mince) at Little Tripoli  

Skewers of beef and chicken and kofta (lamb mince) - shish kebabs galore at Little Tripoli

Fetteh. A chick pea salad like you've NEVER had before. Creamy, potato-like in texture, it's so moreish and YUM!
Next stops! Dairee and Macaroned. The first store, a dream for lovers of frozen yoghurt… with a difference. Fruity, 100% halal creations, in myriad flavours.

And then… Macaroned!

Macarons at Greenacre's 'Macaroned' - 40 flavours available at any one time

This little guy… the perfect lychee macaron at Macaroned. Yum.

More macarons!

Lady's Arms at Al Sabbagh Patisserie - pastry and soft cheese and orange water blossom heaven! One of the many, fresher-than-fresh Lebanese sweets on offer at this just refurbished store
18kgs at tahini is just some of the in-bulk (and very inexpensive!) fare at the local mega supermarket Abu Salim
Keen on experiencing the tour?! DO IT!

The meeting point for this tour is at a cafe near the station, with the address to be advised by email the week of the tour. 

The last day you can book for this tour is close of business Tuesday July 22, 2014.
Contact them at tastetours@benevolent.org.au or call 02 9707 0800.
Developed as a social enterprise project of The Benevolent Society, Taste Tours showcases Sydney's multicultural food traditions to bridge cultural divides, generate income for town centres and local businesses, create training and employment opportunities and promote healthy lifestyles, particularly for children.
For more on the Benevolent Society tours of all types, click here.

'Like' the Taste Tours Facebook page here, and be updated on all tours of all types.

The tours have 'walking scales':
Low = distances between stops up to 100m
Medium = distances between stops up to 500m
High = distances between stops over 500m

Concession tickets include 16 to 21, over 65, pensioners, Newstart, full-time students, and Benevolent staff. (Proof required).      

Go for it! They are worth every cent and you will experience a precinct in Sydney that's new to you (or rediscover your own 'hood all over again!).

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