#2166 – One Postcode, Three Food Destinations

Most people don’t know that my first few years in Australia were spent in Cabramatta and its surrounds. As new migrants in 1984, my parents couldn’t afford to live in the more upscale northwestern suburbs, where most Malaysians seem to congregate, so we ended up in postcode 2166Cabramatta, Canley Vale and Canley Heights.

The insolent teen in me resented being mistaken for an Indochinese refugee when I started school at Fairvale High (I’ve blogged about my early years over at SerembanGirl.com) but I did fall in love with Cabramatta pho, the rice noodle broth served with rare beef slices.

That, along with the area’s abundance of Southeast Asian ingredients, made sure that my tastebuds, culinary inclinations and recipe experiments remained fairly uncontaminated by compromise over the years.

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Looking back, I can honestly say that but for postcode 2166, my food career would not be where it is today.

It is my incredible privilege, therefore, to be involved in #2166 – a campaign to promote the unique food offerings of each of these three suburbs – and what an eye-opener it’s been for me.

I’ve discovered that postcode 2166 is so much more than beef pho (much as I love the dish) – and not only that, but I’ve come to realise each of these food destinations has its own distinct vibe:

Cabramatta is the big brother of the lot – always bustling during the day with food outlets packed to the rafters, and grocery stores selling all kinds of ingredients that you can’t easily find in other parts of Sydney.

One stop up on the train line is Canley Vale, where you’ll find larger, sophisticated restaurants that come to life in the evenings, as families descend on the area for dinner after a long day at work. Canley Vale, by the way, is great for parking.

Canley Heights is like a brash teenager – its hip and funky international eateries, neon lights and outdoor dining attract a millennial crowd, especially in the evenings and on weekends.

I’ll be diving deep into some of the fascinating food offerings in each of these suburbs, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled for my upcoming posts. In the meantime, enjoy these images of some familiar and not-so-familiar dishes I’ve come across on my food hunts in #2166.




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