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Lifestyle : Eat and Drink in Parramatta
1HERSA1 0015 Last 2 spots, Guaranteed departure. Book now, don't miss out! The Sydney Morning Herald smh.com.au/goodliving Tuesday, March 15, 2011 15 good living Fine fare . . . Bishop Anthony Fisher is a fan of El-Phoenician; Susan Wong of Temasek loves the pizzas at Criniti's. Photos: Steven Siewert Hong Fu North East Chinese Shop 6, 103 George Street, Parramatta, 9891 1225. SeaSweet Patisserie Shop 4, 354 Church Street (cnr Palmer Street), Parramatta, 1300 908 070. El-Phoenician 328 Church Street, Parramatta, 9633 1611. Temasek The Roxy Arcade, 71 George Street, Parramatta, 9633 9926. Criniti's 291 Church Street, Parramatta, 1300 274 648. family life,'' he says. ''There were frequent arguments across the dinner table as to which cuisine was superior, Asian or European, particularly about whether Chinese or French cooking required the most rigorous technique.'' Today he enjoys Chinese food from local restaurants including Hong Fu North East Chinese. ''The owner makes wonderful handmade noodles and dumplings; they are simple but very special,'' he says. Half a block away, a number of Uighur diners have opened: one serves the Bishop's favourite fish dish, covered in chillies and cooked in beer. ''The combination of the chilli's fruitiness and the fizz on the tongue is really wonderful,'' he says. On the way home he might stop at SeaSweet Patisserie for Middle Eastern sweets including baklava and knefe. ''I have a real soft spot for Middle Eastern pastries. I buy boxes of them for gifts,'' he says. ''When I moved here, I promised myself I would make my way down Church Street, trying every restaurant. ''I am not quite there yet.'' He did, however, come upon El-Phoenician, where he was reintroduced to Lebanese food. ''My first experiences of Lebanese food were cheap-and- cheerful restaurants when I was a uni student,'' he says. ''It has been wonderful to discover sophisticated Lebanese cuisine and its focus on sharing and family.'' Susan Wong also has family links to food. As the cook and owner of Temasek Restaurant, Wong, born in Singapore, learnt to cook beside her mother and grandfather. ''I have a photographic memory,'' she says. ''I can see step by step, in my head, how to cook those dishes from my childhood.'' After a stint as a public relations specialist for international hotels, a banker and a securities trader, Wong decided her real calling was cooking. Next year her restaurant will celebrate 20 years in business. Wong cooks every day except Monday, her day off. ''I love Italian food, so when I eat out it is usually Italian,'' she says. Her favourite is Criniti's, for wood- fired pizza. Her close-knit customer base has also proved a good source of labour. ''Two of my waiters are the children of customers,'' she says. ''I have been feeding them since they were little boys and now they work with me. It's lovely to have those connections.'' Fisher agrees about the binding nature of good food. ''It has the power to bring a community together,'' he says.
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