East Meets West Lunar New Year Festival, Hopkins St and surrounds, Footscray, Sunday, January 20.
As I head for the door and out on my Sunday outing, I very clearly say to myself: “Righto, time to go to work!”
Oh dear – this is a first!
Undoubtedly, I have always taken what I hope is a workmanlike attitude to doing Consider The Sauce.
But “going to work”?
That’s not the right frame of mind at all.
After all it’s a lovely sunny day, a cool breeze is blowing and the weather is of very noteworthy unextremes.
What could be better?
Well, that’s easy – street food and lots of it.
I have my fill of it, too, as I mingle with the happy crowds and take in all the sights and sounds in and around Hopkins St.
And the aromas. Always the aromas. Of course.
In quick succession I fang a lovely chicken skewer, some delicate seafood mini-pancakes, another skewer of toothsome beef wrapped in vine leaves and a serve of a stodgy but satisfying fry-up of rice cake, egg and green onions topped with grated carrot and anointed with a light soy sauce.
Amid all the festival gaiety, I do notice, however, a certain sameness among the food stalls – take my items and throw in fried octopus tentacles, corn on the cob, sugar cane juice and several more varieties of skewer and you’re talking about 90 per cent of what’s available.
I wonder if such standardisation is something to do with logistics or health regulations.
I do grab a slice of chilli pork jerky.
And, of course, all the restaurants are open and doing a roaring trade.
Jane, from Tim & Jane, the lovely coffee and chocolate joint in what was once the Royal Hotel, suggests the food is what it is because it’s festival fare.
They make me a fantastic cafe latte – strong, but not too strong; fantastic.
Tim & Jane is one of the very few places in Footscray Central serving Italian-style coffee, so makes a great stopping off point if that’s what you seek after eating elsewhere.
They’re open 8am-6pm Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm on Saturdays and 10am-4pm on Sundays.
You can read Ms Baklover’s story about them here.