Some of what we’ve been eating

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Here’s some of the fare we’ve been enjoying while being sociable distancers …

 

Our own Yarraville tomato sauce with smashed pork sausages from A&L Gugliotta & Sons and spaghettini.

 

Stewed quinces with flourless choc brownie from Second Ave Grocer and Greek yoghurt.

 

A great delivered deal from Cheezy Pizza on Gamon Street – one large Australian, one large American, garlic bread, bottle of soft drink for $30!

 

Lamb koftas (hamburger style) from Andrew’s Of Yarraville, tzatziki, fennel and tomato salads, grilled ciabatta.

 

Fabulous Chilton’s Moroccan lamb pie from Second Ave Grocer with green beans in olive oil, salt, pepper.

 

More of our tomato sauce – this time with ricotta and parsley, basil and marjoram from Vanessa’s garden. And rigatoni.

How we ate great in 2019

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August of 2020 will mark the 10th anniversary of Consider The Sauce.

There will be a party.

The outlines of what I have planned are, at this stage, very hazy.

I am open to suggestions about a venue or any other ideas.

Likewise, I remain open to suggestions for employment – paid or not.

For the time being, Consider The Sauce IS my job – and that’s a pretty cool place to be.

As for 2019, for the Consider The Sauce family it has been a momentous year, one filled with loss and several varieties of pain, but also one full of wonderful life, love and surprises.

Thanks as always to our readers, the many friends who lent us their eating and the small business people of the western suburbs, without whom etc etc!

The following wrap-up by no means covers all the fine food we enjoyed this year – if I were to bash this out tomorrow, the outcome would quite likely be different!

 

 

Cannoli Bar

This Avondale Heights treasure has become a firm favourite – not just for sweets, but also for pasta and other lunchy delights.

 

 

On The Bone

Nat and I finally made it to One The Bone in Maidstone and had an incredibly super time of it.

We lucked into the very first of their Sunday lunch deals.

The advice is simple and adamant – once the Sunday lunches resume in the new year, just go.

 

 

Kites

Away from the western suburbs, we loved our visits to Kites in Clayton South for top-notch Sri Lankan tucker.

 

 

Fusion Ceylon

Just before Christmas, Bennie and I struck out in search of Lebanese food in Hopper Crossing.

The place, our destination, was boarded up.

And definitely not serving lunch.

So we headed for an old fave – Fusion Ceylon in Werribee.

He had one of their fabulous fried rice dishes.

I opted for the $9 “curry in a hurry” bain marie deal – and it was a lot more glamourous and sexy than that sounds.

“I’d forgotten how good this place is,” Bennie enthused.

Yes indeed – absolutely a star of the west.

 

 

Chi Bao

We welcomed Chi Bao to Yarraville – and loved its dumplings and more.

 

 

Balkan Grill

We first made the acquaintance of Danilo Majmunovic at Balkan Grill when it was set up in an Ardeer soccer club.

After he moved to a more orthodox eatery premises in St Albans, we adored his brilliant take on burgers.

 

 

Biryani King/Barwachi

Welcome, too, to two new additions to the West Footscray Indian scene.

We had happy times at both Biryani King and Bawarchi.

 

 

Panjali/Annapoorna

For a different take on curry, we very much enjoy having the banana leaf meals and more from Panjali in Sunshine and Shri Annapoorna in Braybrook as part of our regular fare.

 

Doug The Barber

In the course of food-related research, I discovered Doug, formerly of Williamstown Road and Francis Street, had set up shop in Brooklyn.

Getting a haircut from Doug is always a pleasure.

 

 

Tanoor

No story about Tanoor this year, yet this Hopper Crossing purveyor of Lebanese tucker remains one of our leading regulars – both for eat-in dips and accessories AND for takeaway pies and pizzas.

 

 

Mama Lor

Our troubled relationship with Filipino food was given an affirming filip thanks to the arrival of Mama Lor in Werribee.

Love that crackling and roast pork!

 

 

Kingyo Izayaka

The best Japanese food we had this year was provided by Kingyo Izayaka in Moonee Ponds.

And it was very, very good.

 

 

Mun Kitchen/Mumchan

Korean food?

Oh, yes, we were right amongst that, too.

Mun Kitchen at Williams Landing and Mumchan in Laverton both served us great fried chicken and more.

 

 

Cafe d’Afrique

We were excited and delighted to welcome Faisel Pkesy and his Cafe a’Afrique back – here be the heart of Footscray.

And excellent food, too.

 

 

Cheezy Pizza

“Making Aussie pizzas better” is the motto of Cheezy Pizza in Yarraville.

And that’s precisely what they do.

Make ours a large American plus whatever.

 

 

Laksa King Kitchen

For several reasons, we do not favour the main Laksa King on Pin Oak Crescent in Flemington.

Yet we are returning regularly to the new branch office on Racecourse Road – particularly for the various chicken rice options.

 

 

Olive Oil & Butter

We are looking forward to the forthcoming provision of evening meals at Olive Oil & Butter in Yarraville.

In the meantime, it has become another much-loved CTS regular.

 

 

Karlaylisi

Hand-made noodles, cumin lamb and many other spicy delights – there is nothing not to love about Karlaylisi on Gordon Street in Footscray.

 

 

 

Second Ave Grocer

It’s gone from Altona Fresh to Second Ave Grocer – but we continue to love this place, which has become a big part of our weekly routines.

 

 

Ragusa

We enjoyed a number of swish meals this year – none better than that served to us at Ragusa in Williamstown.

Croatian joy on many plates!

 

Servos of the old west

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They’ve been, with very few exceptions, stomped out of existence by mega-servos that come with car washes, shops and fast food outlets.

But like the corner shops that have met a similar fate, their ghosts linger.

Often they’re still in use for automotive purposes.

Sometimes they’ve been utilised for other uses.

Sometimes they lie idle.

And sometimes all traces are gone save for the memories of locals.

This survey is not meant to be comprehensive or methodical.

Basically, it’s the result of a day’s driving that took in those old servos of which I was already aware, with a happy stumble of a couple of neat surprises thrown in.

If readers send me photos, I’ll do a follow-up spread!

 

 

Douglas Parade Bait and Tackle, Douglas Parade, Spotswood (near The Warmies).

 

 

Francis Street, Yarraville.

 

 

Corner Barnet Street and Pentland Parade, Yarraville.

Bowsers intact, but I’m told the auto repair shop that operated here for many years is no longer doing so.

 

 

Sunshine Road, Tottenham.

 

 

Sunshine Road, Sunshine.

 

 

Andy’s Servo, corner Anderson and Glengala roads, Sunshine.

 

 

Sunshine Social, Glengala Road, Sunshine West.

 

 

Ballarat Road, Footscray.

 

 

Corner Napier and Whitehall streets, Footscray (opposite the Reverence Hotel).

The proprietor of the mechanics shop here told me the tanks remained intact and that he reckons it was servo until some time in the 1950s.

He showed me an invitation to exhibition launch featuring the work of signwriting outfit Lewis and Skinner. See details here.

And the boss also informed me the premises/property operated as a Cobb & Co depot in the early 1900s!

 

 

Corner Charles and Gamon streets, Seddon.

I was unsure of servo status of this building.

So I dropped in to visit my friends Deborah and Roger, who have lived right opposite for a long time.

As far as we can figure, a very rough chronology of the building’s uses runs like this:

Bery’s Charcoal Grill until the mid-90s
The Bowser
Sabroso
Charles and Gamon (current).

So The Bowser name leads us to conclude it was indeed a servo at one time.

The charcoal grill, serving Macedonian food, was much loved and has been discussed in comments on previous CTS stories.

 

 

Anderson Street, Yarraville.

A final surprise!

Deborah flipped through the relevant pages of the history of Yarraville she and Roger produced in conjunction with the Footscray Historical Society.

And there they were – a couple of very old bowsers stationed outside this building, which is these days a health services centre, located right next door to Coracle (formerly happy Four).

Westie eats goss 14/06/18

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Miles and Colin at Lay Low Bar.

 

Introducing Bennie to the joys of the Brother Hood Yiros + Grill a few weeks back, we had a tasty ball – squatting on the internal bench that is the place’s only seating in an otherwise fully take-away operation.

Happily, we need not wonder how we’d go when the Brother Hood is busy and car or footpath are the meagre options – there’s a bar opening right next door that will welcome yiros imbibers with open arms.

Of course, Lay Low Bar is about more than being a mere seating adjunct of a yiros joint – as Bennie and I discover when we drop in for a mid-week squiz.

The bar – at 93 Buckley Street, Seddon – is one of a row of gorgeous old double-storey Victorians.

I’m told the history of No.93 includes periods as picture-framing shop and a squatters’ residence.

 

 

Proprietors Miles Williamsz and Colin Wood and their crew are closing in on completion of their fit-out, which includes this fabulous mural by Hannah Simpkin.

They’re all about collaboration, including with the fashionable apparel emporium Brixton Pound in the shop front and the Brother Hood, with the laneway at the rear providing easy access to the bar for yiros customers.

The Brother Hood, as well, will be formulating a few specialties solely for the delectation of Lay Low customers.

 

 

Booze-wise, Lay Low’s focus will be on high-quality and unique cocktails, with Hop nation beers also available.

Lay Low Bar will open to the public on July 4.

The mooted hours are 4-10pm Wednesdays and Thursdays, noon-11pm Fridays and Saturdays, noon-10pm Sundays.

For more unfolding news, check out the Lay Low FB page here.

 

 

In Footscray, and tucked behind Huxtaburger, a Taiwanese chicken shop is taking shape.

I’m told Hot Star is owned by the same company that runs the tea chain Gong Cha, the local outlet of which the new chook place gazes upon.

 

 

Around the corner, in the same strip of shops occupied by Smalls Graces, a Chinese eatery will soon open.

 

 

On Paisley Street, just a few doors from the Leeds Street tram terminus, a Japanese restaurant has opened.

CTS will be checking it out pronto!

Very mixed reviews on its FB page.

 

 

Is there life at the Tottenham shops on Sunshine Road?

Yes, no, maybe?

Biryani n Grills appears to be set up to go – but shows little sign of being in use when I have a mid-week morning look.

As one wag put it somewhere on Facebook: “At least it’s not a massage parlour!”

 

The Kimchi Guru

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“Kimchi” by Jackson Pollock, West Footscray, 2018.

 

If there’s one thing that exceeds in enjoyment the fabulous food we eat doing Consider The Sauce, it’s all the many wonderful people we meet in the process.

One of them is Justin Mansfield, a fine bloke and a long-time reader and supporter of CTS who has become a good lunch buddy and all-round pal.

He is also a man with very sour tastes.

We have happily taken delivery of jars from three different batches of his amazing pickled cucumbers.

So when the opportunity arises for me to take up an otherwise empty place in one of his kimchi classes, I grab it.

Even though I’m not a kimchi fan!

I figure Justin’s kimchi is bound to be superior to that served in most Korean places.

Besides, like it or not, I am interested in the story and the process.

(See below for details of a forthcoming class.)

 

 

The crew that gathers at West Footscray House is an interesting and happy one, with about half its members CTS readers.

Justin runs a great class.

He covers just enough of the history and background without getting bogged down in detail.

Just as interesting is his advice on the sourcing of ingredients and the tale behind his journey to becoming a self-confessed “kimchi nerd”.

 

 

Over two and a half enjoyable hours, he takes us from a pile of womboks …

 

 

… to the finished product.

 

 

Along the way, we learn about the necessity of sourcing the right dry ingredients such as salt …

 

 

… and chilli flakes, as well as the other vegetables.

 

 

After that, it’s just a matter of salting …

 

 

… mixing …

 

 

… blending …

 

 

… tossing …

 

 

… and bottling.

It was a hoot!

I learned a lot and now have two bottles of prime kimchi to experiment with at home.

For Justin’s kimchi class on July 15, go here.

 

South Sudanese cookbook – a gorgeous world first

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Jibrine Akima Magdaline Jok wears a number of hats.

She’s a Caroline Springs mother of four children.

She’s a successful career woman in the finance sector.

She’s a proud member of the South Sudanese community in Melbourne and Australia.

And now she’s the author and publisher of a fabulous South Sudanese cookbook.

So far as she and I can ascertain, it’s the first South Sudanese cookbook – ever.

The book was born of her love of cooking and, more specifically, through a visit to her mother in Africa that came after more than a decade of separation.

She has been inspired, too, by the thought that food traditions can be a profound community glue in fraught times of war, refugees and families scattered to the four winds around the globe.

“When I visited my mum, we cooked every day and I heard all the stories,” Jibrine says.

“I spent most of my time jotting down notes and practising the dishes that she made on a daily basis.

“This advice she shared stays with me: ‘The more time, patience, love and passion you have for cooking meals, the greater the taste’.”

I am in awe of Jibrine’s efforts in scrambling up an Everest-like learning curve to bring this project to life.

She’s obviously a very capable human – but until now she had zero experience with writing, editing, publishing, cookbooks, translation and more.

On top of all that, she has successfully created a book of more than 100 recipes directly from the maternal source – bringing to life in the written word recipes previously transmitted only by the verbal/visual folk methods of “a handful of this, and a pinch of that”.

 

 

Like all great cookbooks, Jibrine’s effort can be seen as an end in itself – it’s beautiful to handle and read, and the photographs are simple, honest and not inappropriately styled in terms of glam.

There’a strong accent on a wide variety of stews – meat, poultry, fish, pulses.

The recipes appear to be straightforward and well presented, and most of the ingredients of the easily obtainable variety.

 

 

In some ways, Jibrine’s cookbook journey is just beginning.

The challenge now is to get that book and those recipes into the kitchens of foodies everywhere.

To buy a copy of South Sudanese Family Cookbook, try Lueth Variety Shop, 10B Paisley Street, Footscray, phone 9687 4097. It costs $30. Or email Jibrine on jibrinem@yahoo.com

 

Reception centres of the western suburbs – part 2

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When, a little over a year ago, CTS ran a story about reception centres of the western suburbs, it won a lot of readers.

As explained then, it was inspired – largely – by the derelict building on Sunshine Road in Tottenham.

I’d always assumed it was a reception centre.

But when I stopped to photograph it, I wasn’t so sure – it seemed a mite small.

Back then, a reader assured me of its reception centre credentials and that it was destined for new life as the new location of the long-standing Happy Receptions on Union Road in Ascot Vale.

And now?

Lo – it has become so!

It’s bright and shiny and new and very big.

So far as I can tell, none of the original structures remain in place.

As I park, the owner is quickly on to me – i.e. wondering what the hell I’m up to.

He relaxes, but remains guarded, as I express my interest.

He tells they’ll be opening in a couple of weeks and there’s already a stack of bookings.

There’s actually two reception facilities.

The one on the left, unfinished as yet, appears smaller, but the owner tells me it’s actually bigger.

The reason for the move from Ascot Vale after 40 years?

There’s a real problem for guest parking there.

And, of course, the land is very valuable.

Destined, the boss tells me, for apartments.

Gee, what a surprise!

I’d love to do a fly-on-the-wall story of a typical reception centre wedding/celebration Saturday night: The staff, the cooks, the band, the food, the guests, the lot!

Have put it one outfit, but they never got back to me.

This guy was pleasant enough, but sufficiently reticent for me to think he’s not a good candidate!

See original story here.