Chippendale and Fairfield are two Sydney suburbs a world apart, yet both fascinating and well worth exploring. In inner-city Chippendale, cafes and galleries are found dotted down narrow laneways amongst terrace houses, converted warehouses and new apartment developments. It has a downtown New York vibe with its creative community, high density housing and cool venues like Freda’s and Cafe Guilia. Our reason for this Chippendale wander was to check out the latest exhibition at White Rabbit Gallery, a firm favourite in our family, with its private collection of contemporary Chinese art. The latest exhibition is Double Take, featuring a mixture of previous works and compelling new pieces. We then checked out some colourful, contemporary works at nearby NG Art Gallery, housed in the character filled ‘Mission’ building above a tapas restaurant.
Next, we headed to fascinating, multicultural Fairfield in the western suburbs, offering a much different vibe to the urban hipster playground of modern-day Chippendale. With Fairfield’s fascinating mix of cultures there’s inevitably an excellent array of eateries to explore. Sydney’s only Iraqi restaurant can be found here, there’s a fantastic Afghani bread shop, some cheap as chips Lao restaurants and even a Burmese grocery store. After sampling the delicious fare at Lao Village on our last visit, it was the suburb’s smattering of South American businesses we were keen to check out this time.
Afrer contemplating Peruvian at Misky Cravings, we settled on lunch at Paula’s, an old school Chilean diner featuring snacks like tamales, papusas, empanadas (with some at only $3 a piece) and burgers with lashings of roast beef, avocado and mayo. We sampled all these and more, with the papusas our pick of the bunch (a stuffed pancake emanating from El Salvador, served piping hot fresh from the grill with a coleslaw side). Paula’s also has a dessert counter groaning with manjar-filled delights (manjar being the Chilean version of dulce de leche i.e. caramel heaven), but we skipped it in favour of a much needed walk and sampling another Fairfield institution, the long running Argentinian cake shop La Torre, where we loaded up on all things dulce de leche.
Exploring the emerging art scene in Chippendale then the authentic eateries of Fairfield was like a journey around the world and back in one afternoon – the ultimate Sydney experience.
I’ve still NEVER been to Fairfield..and I’ve heard SO much about Paula’s too (good GOOD stuff)!
Oh you should go if you have a chance – I’ve been a couple of times now and still haven’t even scraped the surface. It’s such a big, thriving suburb too – and there isn’t just one main street of restaurants, shops etc, there are rows and rows of them!