Parramasala Masala Markets 2014

Parramasala’s Masala markets on Saturday October 18, 2014 was a colourful masala, or “mix”, of the treasures of India.

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“Now in its fifth year, Parramasala is a free, public celebration of the diverse and rich cultures which contribute to Sydney’s rich social fabric – a heady and colourful mix of music, dance, parade, theatre, food, film and heritage.”

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It’s quite exciting that there’s so much construction going on in Parramatta and made it slightly easier to find where the festival was with the marked paths! When we got there, I was amazed at how many people there were waiting at the stalls for food. Luckily here, there was a one-line system and surprisingly, it looked quite orderly!

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Heading to up into the grassy area, the vibrant colours began popping up! I actually miss India and the beautiful scarves, jewellery and souvenirs I used to love to bargain for!

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Seems like this was a special tree!

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What I really liked about this festival was that there wasn’t an explosion of typical souvenirs making it too repetitive. Maggie’s collection was one of the few stalls with the traditional props. #throwback

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There isn’t an Indian festival without chai! We used to get this was like 3-5 rupees in a shot cup. Chai literally means tea in Hindi, so for me, when I came back, it was weird ordering a chai latte. Latte means milk in Italian so your literally saying tea milk? Milk tea? #randomthoughts

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The majority of the crowd were standing near centre stage to watch the dancers show off their energetic moves. What I loved about the location was that the stage was at the bottom of a slight hill so no matter where you stood, you had a good chance of seeing what was on the stage!

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The guys on stage were extremely talented and showing off their talents. I wouldn’t say that this was typical Bollywood dancing…but it was still fun to watch 🙂 They even had the audience come up and show off their groovy moves (me not included).

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Some other stalls included Cappadocia Dream House with their exotic range if materials and pottery.

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If I had a house I would decorate it with antiques from around the world!

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Of course there were the traditional dresses..

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Although there were some colourfully lit up shirts matched with necklaces by Wendy McLean.

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The patterns here are gorgeous. Would make really nice bed quilts or even curtains!

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And the line for henna was as long as I expected.

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If only I had these necklace racks! Makes everything more organised and displayed nicely.

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So time to go in the food arena. There was one massive line of tents and the queues were well populated – even at 9pm! Below are the guys at Honest making butter chicken on a huge hot plate!

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Check out the this typical Indian menu. The ones on the left are ‘chaat’ which are small eats/snacks. The ones on the right are main meals. At the bottom, the ‘lassi’ is a yoghurt type drink. I kinda fell in love with drinking it lol.

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Loving the prep here! Daym everything smelt so good. #currylovers

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I remember having curry for breakfast in India and it wasn’t the most ideal…but I eventually got used to it! Doesn’t hurt for some curry dessert, right?

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We bought a mango lassi…which was quite average and dahi puri. I had to show my parents how to eat it and it was quite hilarious because you literally take one whole shell and shove it in your mouth. It’s basically a hollow shell and they shove veg in there. They top it off with yoghurt and sweet sauce with a sprinkle of that packed crispy stuff. It’s amazing and definitely a favourite.

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If I could describe it, it would be a ‘sweet’ version of our typical curry. It isn’t spicy, but a crunchy sensation and a lingering sweet aftertaste. Yes, this was our dessert for the night.

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Oh oh! These packed goodies are similar to your typical chips and crackers! Obviously a bit spicy but they were the addictive snacks I took on my long train trips. They’re like a spicy version of muesli..

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Watch dem butter chicken go on the BBQ. #charcoalsmell #yumo

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There were fireworks at 8 but we saw them from a distance coming into Paramatta from the car. It was a neat bunch of markets here and a great reminder of the fun things I used to do when I was backpacking in India #goodtimes

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Rating Review: (1-5, with 5 being exceptional)

Event (Parramasala Masala Markets): 3.5/5

Ambience: 3.5/5

Service: 4/5

Value: 4/5

Would I recommend going to the Parramasala night markets? I was scrolling through the program for this year and it was pages and pages. If you’re a fan of Indian cuisine, a sucker for markets and a lover of anything colourful then this is an event for you.

Highlight: I must say, the stage performance was quite enjoyable! I’m not really too exposed to the Indian community so seeing that there was a stall that was, let’s say, ‘Indian Vinnes’, where used traditional clothes are donated and sold was an eye opener. SikhToGive  aims to organise and run charitable events to assist underprivileged and disadvantaged women in Sydney.

Suggestion of improvement: Having arrived quite late, I must say I didn’t have the ‘whole’ experience. Having said this, it was a really fun walk around the park and to sample a few bits here and there. What I would’ve loved to see was more decorations to set the atmosphere. Having realised that the Bollywood dance party was at Harris Park, it could’ve been more ideal to have them together so we didn’t need to drive to one place to the other!

Link: http://www.parramasala.com/event/festival-program-2014/

Official hashtag: #Parramasala @Parramasala_

Angela Bee

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$8 Burger and Milkshake – The Burger Mill Parramatta

Gourmet burger and old-fashioned burger for $8 at The Burger Mill brings the classic vintage days back to Parramatta.

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The Burger Mill is located in the heart of Parramatta’s CBD and adjacent to the station. Drawing inspiration from the American diners of the 1950’s, this restaurant has a funky and retro vibe with checkered floors and the classic combination of burgers and milkshakes.”

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(Sourced: News Limited)

If you walk from the train station towards the lower food court of Westfield, then up the escalators and then outside, head towards Church Street and you’ll find The Burger Mill on the corner. If you’ve passed the Town Hall, then you’ve missed it. It’s quite noticeable and next to a bakery.

Outside there are some simple yellow chairs and tables to just set the mood for when you go inside.

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I actually love the wooden scene and the random strings of vines hanging from the ceilings. It’s quite unique.

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Oh. My. Gosh. I love the yellow topped chairs here! I wished the waiters dressed retro-style too!

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(Sourced: News Limited)

The blackboard has written up the menu of delicious burgers but there’s also a paper version if you’re short-sighted.

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But your eyes will be attracted to this lovely piece of art work on the wall: a tree with burgers hanging off!!  Don’t we wish this all existed? #burgertree

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First up was the Chicken Schnitzel Burger with avocado, cheese, cucumber, baby spinach and house made aioli with a generous serving of chips.

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The brioche bun was tall, fluffy, slightly toasted and actually pretty sweet. It’s normally hardly noticeable but this looked quite yellow! The condiments were an excellent mix but the chicken schnitzel was slightly dry. Ps: look how tall this burger looks! Giant!

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Next up was Aussie Burger with cheese, caramelised onion, pineapple, beetroot, tomato, lettuce and home made mayo.

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I loved the freshness of the salad and the beef patty was pretty standard. I wouldn’t say that it was dam fantastic but I guess average? What did a burger taste like in the 1950s?

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The hot chips were the good ol zigzag ones. Ah McCain you’ve done it again! Ah yes! Crinkle cut is the word and they were lightly salted and crunchy! #hotchipsobssessed

Milkshakes are such a treat! I must admit, I don’t really drink them these days but once in a while it won’t be too bad for your health.. right? I’m not really dairy person so I didn’t finish mine but it was a good punch of sweetness in there.

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Although there are already burger joints such as Grilld (two in Parramatta might I add!) and Coco Cubano, this one is definitely a treat! And I also heard that the owner, Leanne Beck owns Infinity Bakery in Woolloomooloo (close to Cancer Council where I intern!) and Sweet Street Bakery next doors! #winner

Review Rating: =D  =)  =|  =(

Product ($8 Burger and Milkshake at The Burger Mill Parramatta): =D

Ambience: =)

Service: =)

Value: =)

Would I recommend $8 Burger and Milkshake to a friend? Yes! Burgers and chips are normally $10 and a milkshake for $7. The same restaurants have existed in Parramatta for a very long time so its nice to have something new.

Would I donate the money saved to a charity? I’m not too sure if I would normally pay $7 for a milkshake unless its from The Vogue Café.  $12 would’ve been a solid deal so $4 towards a charity.

Highlight: The kinda-sweet brioche! I miss France and I miss brioche! So good! and the crinkle cut chips bring me back to childhood days.

Suggestion of improvement: Maybe is the patties were juicier but next time I’m gunning for the Moroccan Lamb Burger!

Ends: October 19, 2014

Link: http://www.groupon.com.au/deals/sydney/the-burger-mill/718248866

Angela Bee