The Ramadan Nights Festival at Lakemba which began on 2 April has entered its final week and will be concluding on Friday 1 May, 2022. The festival has been taking place on Haldon Street and Railway Parade of Lakemba in the city of Canterbury-Bankstown. The streets transform into a bustling hub of food, culture and diversity from 6.30 pm to 1 am each evening with crowds flocking to the various food vendors adorning the streets of Lakemba. Visitors can enjoy delicacies of Middle-Eastern, South Asian and various other cuisines which reflect the diversity of the flavours and people of the region.
Ramadan is a holy month for the Muslim community. Members of the faith observe a fast each day of the month from dawn till dusk, abstaining from food, drink and any impermissible behaviour. The fast is concluded with a meal after sunset known as Iftar. The Ramadan Nights Festival at Lakemba has extended the Iftartradition beyond the Muslim community allowing everyone to experience in the delicacies that are relished in the holy month.
Satays from the Island Dreams Café are a good start to the night serving as an introduction to Malaysian/Indonesia cuisine. As visitors move further into Haldon Street, the aroma from Indian and Pakistani style kebabs grilling over hot coal will invite their tastebuds to a quick detour into South Asia. Bangladeshi restaurants serving biriyani and traditional snacks on Railway Parade also add a flavourful punch to the event.
Middle-Eastern cuisine is ubiquitous throughout the festival. Visitors can line up for the delicious camel burger, traditional kebab wraps, doner kebab or keep it simple with the crowd favourite chips on a stick. Murtabaks, egg paratha and fried foods are in abundant supply. Visitors can hydrate with a range of drinks from lemonades, sahlab, slushies and sand-heated coffee.
Dessert connoisseurs should try the cheesy, crispy, sweet and savoury knafeh which has become the highlight of the culinary event. Each vendor adds their unique twist thus it is recommended to try them all. Crepes are also on offer for those looking to satisfy the post-dinner Nutella cravings.
Beyond feasting on the various dishes from around the world on display, the event allows visitors to talk to the vendors to know more about the history and significance of the dishes they are savouring. For those looking to explore cultures through food, the Ramadan Nights Festival is an excellent gateway to enter the diverse communities sprawled across Greater Western Sydney.
Getting to the festival
The City of Canterbury-Bankstown is offering free shuttle buses from Shakespeare Street car park at Campsie and Parry Park, Punchbowl Road before Wangee Road at Punchbowl. The festival is best accessed via Lakemba train station which is a 2-minute walk from the festival. Driving to the festival is an option but parking spaces become scarce as soon as the festival starts.