Final week to enjoy Ramadan Nights at Lakemba

With only few days left to enjoy, the Ramadan Nights Festival showcases Australia's diverse cuisines. ...

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.

Credit: City of Canterbury Bankstown – NSW Government

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.

Credit: City of Canterbury Bankstown – NSW Government

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.

Other festivals

Most Blessed Nights Street Food Market at Liverpool’s Macquarie Mall is celebrating the various holy observances taking place in the month of April. Details can be found here.





Instagram influencing your food options in your local area

Are you guilty of Instagram influencing your food preferences in your local area?...

Are you guilty of Instagram influencing your food preferences in your local area?


Sydney Manoush (Instagram)

Instagram has become one of the world’s most popular social media platforms, and is increasingly more popular within the food industry. The power of Instagram has taken local restaurant owners by storm, forcing chefs to present their meals ready for the ‘perfect post’.

Millions of social media influencers and food bloggers take advantage of this staggering power and use this platform to document Insta-ready meals, generating the popular trending hashtag, #foodporn.

Local customer, Meissa Roumieh, doesn’t think a restaurant is successful based on their number of followers, or whether they have Instagram.


“I appreciate reviews but I’d rather hear them from actual people, not random strangers on Instagram,” Roumieh says.

Instagram Food blogger, Sarah Elnajjar, shares her love and passion for food on her Instagram account. Living in the heart of Bankstown, she enjoys exploring several out-of-area restaurants, photographing aesthetic dishes, and reviews them on her blog.

“I would visit these restaurants; however, it’ll be difficult for me to know about these cafes that exist,” says Elnajjar.


Instagram account of food blogger, Sarah Elnajjar (Instagram)

“I usually visit restaurants that I’ve discovered on Instagram through recommendations made by food bloggers I follow,” she continues.

Local restaurant owner, Jehad Abdel-Malek openly states that he heavily relies on Instagram for his business.

“You’ll see a lot of them, like a family of 5 or 6 more together, and they’ve all got us on social media, so it’s a good thing,” Abdel-Malek says.


Instagram influencers eating at Sydney Manoush, Chipping Norton (Instagram)

Abdel Malek recently opened up Sydney Manoush, attracting over 6,000 followers on their Instagram account. According to the Daily telegraph, the “traditional manoush eateries” do not limit their audience, nor the local food options.

“We’ve had people from Melbourne flying in and wanting to try this place in the backstreets of Chipping Norton,” says Abdel-Malek

Abdel-Malek suggests that customers are influenced by Instagram to determine your food options, but not in your local area.

“Not to say they’re here every day, but we do see our customers on a regular basis”.