I've finally popped my Parramatta Lanes cherry!!! After missing the previous years because, well, life got in the way, I finally managed to make some time to go! My mission was to stuff my face with good food, and I wasn't disappointed!
There were 8 stops in total, hidden in Parramatta's little laneways - hence the name.
The first stop was The Piazza - Town Hall Lane. A fantastically whimsical tram greeted me the moment I entered the laneway, looking like it came straight out of Alice in Wonderland.
La'Toosh is an old tram converted into a food tram - with a decked out kitchen and all that - and travel around much like food trucks to festivals and food events. They serve a range of coffee, teas and drinks, as well as sweet and savoury crepes.
Smoked Salmon and Spinach Crepe $15
The crepes range from $10-$15, and because I went there so early, the kitchen wasn't quite ready and there was a bit of a wait. The staff were amazingly nice, and the coffee was excellent. The is great for a light meal, and it was hot and fresh.
But La'Toosh wasn't the only one that was in the Town Hall Lane. There was also Grasshopper, which was a bar served built with milk crates. Super cute!
Stop #2 was the UNE Future campus, where Veggie Patch Van was conveniently parked.
Haloumi Burger, $10
The Haloumi Burger was tasty, with a generous amount of haloumi. The onion jam was a touch jarring for me, personally, but otherwise it was an enjoyable burger.
But the next sandwich for me, was the most memorable of the night.
Stop #3 was at the Craft and Cider Garden at Erby Place. Cantina Mobil made an appearance but after seeing people all atwitter about Smokey O's BBQ I decided to go with that.
If you are a fan of slow cooked meats and go nuts over pulled pork, let me tell you that you ain't tried nothin' till you've had Smokey O''s pulled beef. There is almost all the dark flavour of beef jerky, but with the moistness of the slow cooked beef. IT WAS PHENOMENAL. I actually felt like getting a whole container of that beef and calling it a day. And accented with pickles and with the heft of the bun? It was transcendent. LOVED IT.
I also had it with some 69 Summer Ale from the Riverside Brewing company. It was light and fruity, and a fantastic accompaniment to the pulled beef.
I then moved on to the aptly named Laksa Lounge, in the Roxy Carpark. With appearances by Temasek, Spice and Lan Lans Shanghai Dumpling, this was a stop I should have made earlier on in the evening. I was absolutely stuffed by the time I got there, and only ended up ordering a Pad Thai and a Thai Iced Tea from Spice.
The pad thai was nice, but at that point of fullness, the Thai Iced Tea really hit the spot for me. If you haven't already had it, Thai Iced Teas has an extremely strong tea base that can be sweetened with condensed milk. It usually is extremely sweet to start out with, and on this particular evening, the lady at the stand actually offered to add more condensed milk to my drink. It was like Thai Iced Milk Tea concentrate and was definitely a more a dessert item than a drink for me.
With my appetite satiated and my tummy full, I wondered back to the Connection Arcade, where I saw a fantastic take on container gardening.
Rachel from Vintaged Garden upcycles everything from Wine Boxes to wine glasses. Everything can be a little garden, and they have very smartly used the wine corks for little signs for the plants!
I really loved the way Parramatta Lanes was really organized for us to explore the hidden alleyways of Parramatta. Overnight, Parramatta seemed to be transformed into our own little version of Diagon Alley, with magical hidden worlds spread throughout Parramatta CBD.
All we need now is the floo network!