“You’re always welcome here, to do your shopping, it is safe, like any suburb of Sydney,” our Egyptian guide Sahar says encouragingly. It’s hard not to cringe a bit when Sahar explains Greenacre “is a beautiful village, the people here try as hard as they can to undo the perceptions people have of them from the media.” Greenacre seems a fitting place to end my nearly 9-year tenure as Altmedia Dining Editor undoing some of the barriers my media colleagues have helped create. I’m taking a Taste Tours called Arabic Adventure ($65/head), which offers you the chance to experience six local venues on a 2.5 hour guided walking tour. Don’t eat breakfast – at five of the pit stops you’ll be dining on everything from an Arabic breakfast of fattah, fattoush and foul (fava beans) at Little Tripoli, to za’atar topped pizzas at Oven Bake, to znoud el sett (ladies’ arms) – cheese-stuffed sweet pastries still warm from the ovens of the famous Sabbagh Sweets. A confirmed felafel enthusiast, Sahar and I debate their merits at Jasmins (Lakemba) and Al Aseel (Greenacre), before she introduces us all to her favourites at El Khayal. Taste Tours will be uncovering suburbs including Fairfield (Persian, Iraqi, Assyrian), Bankstown (Lebanese, Vietnamese, Greek), and Lakemba (Bangladeshi, Middle Eastern) in the New Year. Using food as our bridge, we can all contribute to a more cohesive, tolerant, multicultural Australia – perhaps even with gift vouchers under this year’s tree?
To find me online, check out my Food Blog Does My Bomb Look Big In This?