Ramsgate is situated a few kilometres south of Sydney Airport and is about 50 kms round trip from home, so it is not my "local", but many stallholders and other foodies have recommended that I should pay this weekly Saturday market a visit. So I took advantage of another glorious spring day to trek down towards the Shire! And I found a few familiar faces but a lot more new faces and produce making the trip more than worthwhile! So let's get started
It is quite a shame that Vietnamese cuisine in Paris is usually quite bland and also not very authentic as most Asian restaurants will promote themselves as Chines/Vietnamese and as such have never enticed me much as the food is at best bland and generic and at its worst not edible really...
So, it is quite a discovery for me to explore this subtle melange of Asian flavours and French technique as I have already reported in my article on Mama's Buoy, and over my numerous visits to La Mint in East Sydney.
Eat Fuh motto is: Turning Pho lovers into FUH-natics. And as far as I am concerned I have been turned!
But what is Pho, or Faux or Fuh? Well, I found this on "Food Republic" and I thought it was very close to the description Woang - I hope this is rightly spelled - made of it at the Orange Grove Organic Market on Saturday, so here it is without further delay:
"everybody in Vietnam judges the pho by its broth. The herb and vegetables garnishes,are available everywhere and always exceptionally fresh. The noodles are the bomb, which is also the norm. But a stall with a shitty broth reputation will just not stay open. A good pho broth is crystal clear, like a French consommé, and packs two punches. For pho bo (beef), there’s the underlying earthiness brought on by the long simmering of bones, oxtail and flank. For pho ga (chicken), the entire bird is used. The second component of the broth is spices and aromatics. In pho, cinnamon and star anise lead the charge, with assists from cloves and cardamom. Roasted and/or charred onions and ginger are the key vegetable components. It’s simply the standard. In the broth typically rests a minimal amount of meat (and sometimes tendon and meat or fish balls). Those are cooked individually, placed in a basket and thrust into a pot of boiling water for a couple seconds before finding their way into the soup."
At Eat Fuh, the very hot broth is thrown over a bowl full of noodles, soja beans, raw and cooked finely sliced beef and chillies, and it is so subtle and flavoursome...Un délice! I was so visibly interested that I was given a small pot of broth and garnish to take home for lunch. It fed the three of us very nicely, and was supplemented with some saucisson from La Bastide, cheeses from John Clanon and bread from Pierre Labancz. Our Chateau Doyac 2010, a Haut Médoc, didn't cut the mustard though with the Pho, but was very appropriate with the charcuterie and fromages! Probably a beer would have been a better match with the Pho.
Eat Fuh is a family affair and operates only from markets and were mentioned as one of the ten best at the Night Noodle Markets in Sydney. You can find more info on their Facebook and Instagram pages as they do not have a website, which I don't think they need, as they are well on their way to a roaring success!
I have not visited this monthly market in years! Organised by the Community Centre, it takes place every third Saturday of the month in the big open space behind the Council Chambers. Once a small affair of a dozen stalls, it is now comparable to Orange Grove or Everleigh in size and attendance.
Also, some of the big names are attending like Pepe Saya and Dessertmakers, Pastabilities, Willowbrae Cheese and a raft of French or French related products and people. Robinvale and Pukara Olive Oils and Ocello just to name a few. Plenty organic products and vegetables, as well as meat producers or wholesalers. Obviously there are also a good choice of coffee makers and goodies to eat on the spot!
Et tout finit par des chansons
SMH GROWERS MARKET - PYRMONT
The market population of stallholders is pretty stable at this monthly gathering. But today, the attraction is on stage again as we are meeting the legendary Stephanie Alexander, the godmother of Australian cuisine, launching a new revised and augmented edition of her most famous book "The Cook's Companion" which allegedly graces the shelves of 600,000 kitchens. SMH ran out of copies to sign before 9.30 am when I got there for the second "apparition" on stage of "Sainte Stephanie of the Kitchen"! I have been a regular at her Richmond Hill Café & Larder in Melbourne and my friend Janine S. works occasionally for her Kitchen Garden Foundation, now active in almost 800 schools around Australia, but I had never met her in person. Well this is no longer the case as of last Saturday!
KINGS CROSS ORGANIC MARKET
I have not visited this market for a while and having dropped my daughter at Bills in Surry Hills, it was an opportunity to zoom by before heading back home. It was still quiet as it was before 10.00am, but most of the usual suspects were there with the notable addition of my friends from Commissary Kitchen
and that will be the start of the French Corner!
A Facebook friend of mine posted this on his timeline (thanks, David A...) and I thought I would share here as well, as it shows both the beauty of Paris, and that's the reason why a lot of people visit the French capital, or dream to live there and they realise the madness of it, which is portrayed in filigree in this video, as you can see the equivalent of the population of Australia going about their business (or trying to...) in this megalopolis. Hence the reason why I am happy to live in Sydney and visit Paris!
Being a blogger - even if not extraordinaire - gets you into so interesting gigs! And in that case, being French was definitely a bonus. Dee Nolan made her name when she first published "A Food Lover's Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela". This time, she goes further north to Cluny and its monks to give us " A food Lover's Pilgrimage to France.
I have been quite interested in recent years by El Camino and its followers. I even befriended a charming Belgian lady on Facebook whose whole purpose in life - besides taking on her family between trips - seems to be rediscovering parts of these ancient pilgrim routes as far north as her native country. Dee Nolan in her new book starts somehow much more South, at the Abbaye de Cluny, which was the engine room of these pilgrimages in the Middle Ages. If you think that this book is a recipes book, it is not, although there are like twenty of them sprinkled throughout the book. If you think this is about the Camino, well yes it is, but in many ways i think it is more a travel book with stunning photographs by travelling companion Earl Carter, who regals us with dramatic shots of locations, people and food. El Camino is there in filigree, if you know the history and the geography of it and the book will give you these snapshots of life on the trail that Nolan and Carter document for us with their respective crafts. You probably need to buy the two books to get a real sense of the pilgrimage, its beautiful settings, the sory of the people who live along it, some almost the same way they did when it all started and the food which is certainly the tradition best kept alive across the centuries.
If you read french - and if you don't Alliance Francaise organises very good courses - then you can also check the blog of Pierre Alglave which is a treasure trove of information on the pilgrimage on foot. Pierre is also a very talented photographer, or if you want a lighter approach from a deeply Christian person then follow Sylvie Francotte who explores all the different routes from Belgium to Santiago on www.radiocamino.net.
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.
A link here for our non-metric readers: