25-27 Devonshire Rd, Sunshine. Phone: 9311 9897
Sunshine Fresh Food Market has been right there, hidden in plain sight the whole time we’ve been hanging out in Sunshine.
As I enter, the feeling and surroundings are so familiar I wonder just why it is we’ve never checked this place out before.
But is it any good?
The shopping list I am grasping in one hand, with about a dozen varied items scrawled upon it, should tell at least some of the tale.
Will SFFM be able to fill my basket with cinnamon and cardamoms for that night’s dal AND rolled oats and big, fat, juicy white sultanas (“white maggots”) for the next batch of muesli?
It’s been a while since I was out and about with camera in hand, so am a little nervous to begin with. I soon relax as it becomes apparent that no one – customers or staff – mind much or at all what I’m about.
The human rainbow array of races, genders, skin hues, sizes, shapes, ages and dress styles augurs well for a fun time.
The array of fresh herbs and leafy vegetables is not as swank as that found at Saigon Market in Footscray, but they all look in pretty fine nick. My bunch of good-looking coriander costs 99c.
My spice requirements? No problem …
I’ve not seen the Gold line of packaged spices before, but I like the size and price – they’re all $1.49. We do quite a lot of Indian cooking, but nevertheless I don’t like buying large lots of spices as they go stale and lose their zing. Small and often is generally our motto with all sorts of shopping.
White sultanas? Why certainly, sir, right this way …
I happily scoop about half a kilo into a plastic bag at $8.99 a kilo.
The place seems to be fully halal.
On the other hand, the deli counter does have Polish sausage, salami and mortadella – meaty things all normally brimming with porky bits.
To make sure and satisfy curiosity both, I make inquiries of the two young women behind the deli counter.
They assure me that all the above, and indeed all the cured and prepared meats, are halal and made with beef.
As I amble towards the adjoining seafood display, one of them tells me: “Even the fish are halal …”
As the realisation quickly dawns that I’ve been suckered, a burst of giggles issues forth from behind the counter.
Sheesh! Good one, ladies!
As I wander about, I begin to realise how good a find this place is – and cheap!
Bargains everywhere, with none of the pressing weekend hordes found at Saigon Market.
The pace is a few significant clicks short of frantic but the staff are friendly and helpful, and the vibe is relaxed.
Parking is plentiful.
I even go “off-list” for a few items – a handful of okra at $4.99 a kilo included.
Blimey, I even buy four bananas! They’re tiny specimens, but the price – $6.99 a kilo – is the cheapest I’ve seen this century. Well, that’s how it seems …
How good is this – $24.43 for the lot, only falling down on the matter of rolled oats?
I get a whole lot of cool stuff to take home for about the price of a movie-drinks-popcorn combo, take much less time and have a lot more fun.