1. Taste Tours: Taste of Afghanistan, Syria & Persia - Merrylands
Duration: 3.5 hours
Taste Tours is a not-for-profit social enterprise, providing training and employment for migrants, refugees and young people. Its tours have a definite edge on the local knowledge front, plus a feel-good factor – and there’s plenty to eat. One Sunday, a group of nine Sydneysiders and one Melbournian join vivacious guide Alaa Krayem for an excellent breakfast starring fresh falafels and fatteh at a gracious Syrian restaurant. Our next stop is an Afghani bakery for bread, hot from a tandor oven. At a Persian grocery we taste specialties such as zeytoon parvadeh, a mixture of green olives, ground walnuts and pomegranates. In a Turkish restaurant, a chef rolls out the dough to make fresh pides for us: one spinach and cheese, another with spiced lamb. Next stop is an Afghani doner kebab shop for spongy bread wrapped around turmeric-flavoured chicken, followed by lamb dumplings at an Afghani restaurant. Hopefully you make it to the traditional biscuits at the end.