Lunar Market Sydney 2015, is hosted by Sydney Morning Herald for the Chinese New Year. There are about 20 stalls from different cultural background and for the first time, one of ours, a Filipino stall—which happens to be a hit! Why is that? How many Filipino restaurants do you know that exists here in Sydney in comparison to other restaurants?
Hoy Pinoy, that's Hey Filipino to you—was the only reason I made an effort to attend Lunar Market here in Sydney. Being a Sydney based food photographer knowing there's going to be food there is a perfect combination. Often times, it's a chore for me to go to events as I am mostly an online dweller and a gamer to boot! Last weekend past, I made it to this event. It is hosted by Sydney Morning Herald—a news company and will run from February 12-22, 2015. I went there with my bro—who sealed the deal with my actual being there, because you know, he's going to be there and I wouldn’t want to disappoint.
I've actually found out about this event through my facebook feed, few days after the event started. As I scrolled through my millions of feeds as you would most probably have the same amount as I do, I noticed a title Filipino flavour in Lunar Markets mix. Curiously, I followed the link. It is not common to see Filipinos on the head lines in these parts of the globe. I am a Filipino living in Australia for at least a couple of decades now and yes, I was curious what this raucous was all about.
James Meehan, hard at work
As I read the article, I was becoming more and more curious about Hoy Pinoy and thought maybe, I should go and check it out. James Meehan and his wife is behind this company. They are Melbourne based company and is temporarily here in Sydney just for Lunar Market. James says “There's not a lot of Filipino food in Australia”, which is true!
Often times I wonder about this myself. I know there's a lot of good Filipino food that can cater not only us Filipinos living in Australia, but also perhaps for the rest of Australia. I often asked myself, why is that? There's no real logical reason that I could find to answer this question, but perhaps, we are not marketable enough, or there's not enough consumers, or many of our food are easy to make that it's pointless to turn it into a business.
One logic that entered my mind though was this—maybe we had nobody to pioneer Filipino food. If you look at Chinese, Italian and the like, it's almost part of our society. How often do you see people eat Chinese food? For me? Many times a week. Heck, most of my brunch is noodles—not the instant noodles one, but the ones you actually make with things like tofu, Chinese BBQ pork and soup bases like wonton soup and the like.
I am glad that somebody out there is doing something. I am not saying no one has tried. Here in Sydney, I know of three Filipino restaurants. One in Surry Hills, one in Auburn area and one in Blacktown area. As you can see, based on Filipino migrations just in Sydney alone is more than 200,000 people and there's only 3 that I can account for? Maybe it doesn't help too, that I don't get out much or when I do, I go straight to the bushes and wander off and find landscape shots.
James Meehan's product is primarily skewers of barbecue pork and chicken, but just like in Philippines you'd find a lot of vendors set up shops along the streets of Philippines selling barbecues of just about any kind and more. James Meehan is trying to bring some of that good stuff here, in our now home country called Australia.
By now, you're probably thinking, how does it taste like? Well, it's hard to describe. Often with food, I find it hard to describe how it tastes like for that I am sorry.. But it is yummy! I love the ones in Philippines more though, it's not that here, is not as tasty, it's not that, not at all! You see, I'm used to having barbecue pork in Philippines that has a lot of fat content in it. It's where the flavour is, heck, some parts of the skewer that I tried from Hoy Pinoy tasted just like I expected—and yes, that's where the fatty bits where! What you want to consider though, is this. Here in Australia, we are health concious folks—I am not saying Philippines is not, but here in Australia, the quality of the meat is just great and I think that factored into the flavour. Mind you, I am not cook so what do I know right?
One thing is for sure though, where ever Hoy Pinoy goes and set up shop, they seem to be a hit! There are 20 stalls in all here at Lunar Market. Of all the stalls, there is only one stall, where there is a marker that zig-zags through and that's Hoy Pinoy. Ehem.. Hoy Pinoys, did you hear that? You can set up shop and possibly become a hit too! It's probably because, there is not much of us out here in the market selling our Filipino foods but hey, this could be the start. Hoy Pinoy could be our pioneer and pushing or product to the rest of the world!
Next time, if I hear about Hoy Pinoy here in Sydney, you sure bet I'll be there! Yum!