By Franz Scheurer
I never cease to be amazed by the cultural diversity of Sydney but I am really attracted by the diverse food scene. You can find just about any of the world’s cuisines somewhere in this fair city of ours.
Korean equals Campsie, Vietnamese means Cabramatta or South Bankstown, Italian strongholds are in Leichhardt and Haberfield, eponymous Chinatown and smaller, but just as intense Chinese areas are in Parramatta and Hurstville, for Lebanese you travel to Dulwich Hill, Nepalese in Surry Hills and the list goes on.
Be it a Turkish Pide, Swiss Saucisson Vaudoise, French Onion Soup, Iranian Fairy Floss, Thai Salted Duck Eggs, Chinese Pickled Turnip, Italian Cotechino, German Sauerkraut, Austrian Bäuscherl, Syrian Kibbeh, Jordanian Shanglishe, English Pork Pies, Spanish Paella, Russian Borscht or Lebanese Baklava; it’s available, it’s terrific quality and it’s consumed by a large cross section of Sydneysiders.
Having spent a month in Scotland last September I miss Haggis for breakfast (really!) so when a friend of mine suggested that there was a place in St. Marys that specialises in Scottish fare I was only too happy to go exploring with him.
The shop is called Scottish Fare and is in Queen Street, the main thoroughfare. Run by Iris and Pat Murray who hail from Ayrshire they proudly display their specialities, Haggis, Black Pudding, White Pudding, Fruit Pudding, Ayrshire Bacon, Soda Bread, Potato Scones and a selection of pies.
Sampling a couple of pies on the spot confirmed their appearance: fabulous pastry, good filling and a joy to eat.
As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating so they had to wait till we got home and could cook them. The black pudding is excellent, juicy and holds together firmly. The Haggis is easily the best I have eaten anywhere in the world, yes, including the one in Dornoch, the best in Scotland I sampled last year. The white pudding is very impressive and the soda bread absolutely delicious. The Ayrshire Bacon, front leg bacon, is lean, not very heavily smoked and unusually juicy.
If you’re into Scottish Fare then this is the place!
For more information:
130 Queen Street
St. Marys NSW 2760
Tel.: 02 9673 3054
Walking out of the store clutching our large bags of goodies we decided to have a bit of a look around and only a few yards up the road, across on the other side, we spotted a terrific Afghani Grocer. We had already noticed a couple of men in traditional Afghani dress and the store confirmed that there must be a sizable local Afghani community.
The store is stocked with exotic spices, condiments, dates, fabulously fragrant Afghani bread, huge cooking pots, sweets, grains, pulses, videos, DVDs and Pashmek (Iranian Fairy Floss - $ 9.50 for a large bag!) We added several more bags to our shopping, smiling happily all the way home.