Em is always late.
In fact you could call her ‘the late one’ in our relationship. Better yet, Miss Latey, or Captain Late-Pants. (N.B. This may be a complete fabrication constructed by the author to cover his own time-management shortcomings.)
Either way, she was once again nowhere to be seen when I arrived at the Multicultural Festival on Friday afternoon to the sound of driving African percussion, the crush of the crowds and the smell of a hundred delicious cuisines!
A bit of background, The Canberra Multicultural Festival is the best weekend in Canberra. It has been happening for over 20 years and just gets better every year! You feverishly seek to eat as many different foods as you can, like a ravenous hound, which are made with love – It’s Canberra’s thank-you to all those cultures that bring so much life to our city.
I went wandering and found a delegation of West Papuans who had been flown over by the festival to raise awareness for their country. They cheerfully offered me books and literature and a quick chat, they also gave me a cup of very special coffee – free of charge, of rare quality and flavour! The crushed beans still in the glass, I felt like I was tasting the freshest and most lively brew, a little bit of West Papua in a cup. Don’t mistake me – this was a premium product par excellence.
After trading emails I moved on, and finally found Em. She had been mobbed by fans of the show! It’s funny, its the first time we’ve really gone out after being on the show, and we didn’t realise that now we cannot go 5 steps without lovely people coming up and saying nice things to us and wanting photos, it’s quite bizarre! But we love you all, thank you for all your kindness and support. Go Canberra!
When we finally got to move on, we tried Croatian meat balls with Avjar chilli Sauce. This was very nice, the sauce was great, a medium hit of chilli and a good starter. We headed off to Sri Lankan stall outside Banana Leaf Restaurant, they were making Kottu Roti (this is similar to Pad Thai, except with strips of roti instead of rice noodle) in front of everyone, quite a theatrical process!
While I was in the line waiting for my Kottu Roti, Em wandered off promising to bring me back a morsel of happiness, she struck gold when she brought back some Thai satays and Lamb and Basil curry puffs. The satays were really average to tell you the truth but the Lamb parcels were exquisite! They were made with love… the pastry was flaky, crisp and well-made, the filling was an explosion of hearty lamb mince and aniseedy basil. Such a unique flavour! Just one of those times at the Festival when you strike gold.
We got our Kottu Roti and it was great, although the beef curry that went along with it was a little salty for my palate. Em assures me that Sri Lankan food is usually very salty… Ok well I can accept that 🙂
Lastly, Em saw some friends who invited her into their Sri Lankan restaurant and made us hoppers, Dhal, Pol Sambol and Beef curry, which was all so delicious, and a lovely way to round-out the night.
Multicultural festival is special to many of us Canberrans, what are your Multicultural Festival stories from this year?
P.S. Sorry for the rubbish quality photos this time, we were missing our good camera and were having too much fun! 🙂