Pop-up food festivals are all the rage in Sydney, and this month’s Parramatta Lanes may very well eclipse them all with this epic lineup set to take over ten of the area’s inner city laneways and squares for four delicious days of food, drink, art, and music. Some of the best from all over the city will be heading out west for the popular festival, curated for Good Food Month to celebrate the ever-evolving multi-cultural scene in Western Sydney’s major business district. There’s a lot of take in so let’s break it down lane-by-lane, square-by-square.
Ultra reliable chef Somer Sivrioglu will be bringing his Balmain staple Efendy to headline the stacked foodie program, setting up on Batman Walk with their exceptional Turkish food, in good company with the likes of Sundweesh and Archie Rose Distilling Co., who will be serving up cocktails with a Middle Eastern twist. Middle Eastern Street Food will also be setting up a stall in this area, serving up their range of Turkish Gözleme. Arabic music and and dance performances will help shape the atmosphere while art projects and a series of short performances will feature.
St John’s Cathedral
The area outside of St John’s will turn into an illuminated piazza with food coming from mod-French, organic-focused Courtney’s Brasserie as well as Balls Sydney, a gourmet meatball market stall from the team behind Jimmy Liks, Paella-cooking Sofrito, award-winning dessert makers Adora Handmade Chocolates – watch out for those Belgian hot chocolate shots – and Alexander’s Bakery, offering Burek (traditional Macedonian pastries) and home-made donuts. Music will be set to live jazz to help nail the piazza vibe.
From Dutch waffles to gourmet pizza, this will be the scene of the festival’s wild “Food Truck Food Court”, with some of the best meals-on-wheels posted up. Expect a mobile version of Jamie’s Italian with spit-roast pork, superfood salads, pizza, and huge chocolate brownies; Happy As Larry, the loud gourmet pizza truck that have their own custom built wood-fires oven shipped over from Naples; Mama Lihn’s, with their Vietnamese pulled pork and crispy skin chicken rolls, plus some beef brisket and “pho gravy” rolls and battered soft shell crab buns; Eat Art Truck, an American BBQ-inspired truck that needs no introduction; Nighthawk Diner for those legendary cheeseburgers and milkshakes; and a new one called Stroop Bros, that aforementioned home of Dutch waffles, sizzled on a waffle iron before being sliced and glued back together with warm caramel.
Roxy Car Park
Head by Parra’s former nightclub and you’ll not only find an artwork of illuminated clouds made from over 2000 milk bottles, but an enviable food line up that could be a festival in itself. You’ve got Neil Perry’s Burger Project (which will open permanently in Parramatta’s “V by Crown Group” next year) setting up along with craft masters Young Henrys, Surry Hills’ Butter, Latino American lovers La Raza, low-and-slow champions 2 Smoking Barrels, and OTT dessert slingers KayterCon. That’s some serious food and drink right there.
Red Cow Lane
At some point you’re going to want to escape all that food and drink, and Red Cow Lane will be the place to find some respite and just immerse yourself in “The Garden of a Thousand Years” by artists Anna McMahon and Annie McKinnon. It’s designed as an interactive magical hanging garden aimed at educating people about sustainability and the art of upcycling, mirrored in the thousand-plus hanging plants which are potted in recycled plastic bottles.
Erby Place will be fairly chilled, except for one major difference: Knafeh Bakery. The infectiously energetic bearded bakers will be setting up here with their famous hot Middle Eastern sweet cheese dessert, while the savoury side of things is upheld by locals The Emporium who are bringing their slow-cooked beef ribs and arancinis as well as a few cocktails.
Willow Grove will be your go-to for Asian style hawker eats, with a variety of live music and DJs curated by forthcoming music festival The Plot. The hungry and thirsty can expect to cruise around with wines, ciders, and beers from Bar 30 while food is handled by local institution Temasek, Nepalese kitchen O!momo (look out for those Nepalese steamed dumplings), the aptly named Korean BBQ, and Fired Up, the one to go for those who love their heat. Paper Street Ice Cream will also jump into the scene here so you can finish off with ice cream cakes and pops.
Pineapple Lane will play host to Tropfest as they dig into their archives and curate a program of short-films with a few special talks and presentations on the side. 350 Restaurant & Lounge will pop-up by the screen with their pineapple-inspired dishes and cocktails while cherished food truck Monster Rolls will serve slow-cooked meats and chicken shnitty baguettes.
UNE Future Campus
The University of New England Future Campus will be a busy scene, with food from Waroo Lamb and My Donut Box, plus a special series of music and media performances, art displays, and community discussions surrounding NSW farms, creative processes, and Parramatta as the public art capital of Australia.
Leigh Memorial United Church
This one is going to be all about the sweets, managing to lure out Masterchef’s Reynold Poernomo in the very first out-west venture for his popular Kensington Street KOI Dessert Bar. Joining him will be pop-up regulars N2 Gelato, who will be serving up their Ferrero Reveal flavour, and The Smoothie Co.. Artworks and live street art will round things off, as well as as a Thursday night edition of No Lights No Lycra (from 7:30pm).
If that’s not enough there’s also an exclusive ticketed dinner in the park planned for Thursday with some top notch chefs. For more information plus the full program for Parramatta Lanes (11th-14th October) click HERE.
Image: Burger Project.