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Lifestyle : Eat and Drink in Newtown
1HERSA1 E018 Mon-Tue 10.30am-4.30pm Wed-Fri 10.30am-Late Sat 12.00pm-Late 2 Huntley St Alexandria Phone 02 9690 8400 4143 is your new local bistro and bar at Alexandria Creative Park Our funky factory space is a vibrant backdrop for social drinks, a hearty meal or functions We look forward to seeing you soon! BaR& bIstro dedesgroup.com.au 18 Tuesday, July 26, 2011 smh.com.au good living eat and drink in newtown special report From Fiji to Ukraine Spice of life . . . Don Prasad opened the Fiji Market on King Street in the 1980s. Photo: Marco Del Grande Stores on this multicultural thoroughfare unite produce from across the globe, writes Carli Ratcliff. D on Prasad has been behind the counter at Fiji Market on King Street for 30 years. In the early 1980s his customers were predominantly Pacific Islanders, newly settled from Fiji and Tonga. ''They appreciated my selection of spices,'' he explains. ''We also had many customers from India, Bangladesh and Bengal who did most of their shopping here.'' Prasad, who has partially handed the business to his son, Kallan, and his son-in-law, Steven, says the clientele has changed as the price of real estate has increased. ''Most of those original customers have moved away, but there are a handful who still come for our spice blends '' he says. The new customers are younger and like to cook and experiment with different foods, he says. ''Mexican and South American ingredients are in hot demand,'' he says. ''Food television helps sell unusual ingredients.'' The shop's curry powders, and two garam masala blends, developed by Prasad's wife, Margaret, have been consistent bestsellers. Like Prasad, Ukrainian-born Rita Mitko has long held court on King Street. She leans over the counter at Betta Meats, offering cvarci -- heart- stopping, deep-fried pork crackling. Specialties include smallgoods smoked on the premises -- speck, gypsy salami and kranjske kobasice. Jars of pickles and relishes to accompany them line the shelves. Across the road, new kids on the block Simon and David Wahid opened 7 Star Supermarket seven months ago. The brothers, who also have a supermarket in Darlinghurst, saw a gap in the grocery offerings along King Street. Simon has lived in the area for several years. ''I'd come home from work hungry and not be able to find what I was looking for, so we decided to open a shop here,'' he says. The brothers have built a strong following. Locals appreciate the selection of gourmet products including Venchi chocolate and freezers filled with Gundowring and Kohu Road ice-creams. But it is the selection of organic fruit and vegetables that attracts most customers, including many vegans. Vegans have long been well catered for on King Street. For the past 12 years Colin Fung's restaurant, Green Gourmet, has provided vegan meals. Fung, with sister Gloria, opened Vegan's Choice grocery store in response to customers' demand for take-home meals and vegan- friendly ingredients. Further along, at Dr Earth Health Foods, dry goods, oils, honey and peanut butters crowd the shelves. There are bags of nuts, seeds and dried fruit, as well as herbal teas and a selection of gluten-free products. On Missenden Road, the baker's racks at Luxe are filled with boules and loaves of handmade sourdough. The bakery and cafe does a brisk trade in sourdough breads. Pastries and tarts are popular, including the custard tart and the lemon ''shortie'' filled with preserved lemon curd. ''No two days in Newtown are the same,'' says manager Sam Holbrook. ''It is constantly surprising, we have a new bestseller every day.''
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