As the Chinese New Year celebrations will continue for 15 days (and they really started a few weeks ago as well), Melbourne will be seeing a lot of festivity in the major Asian populated suburbs – for dates and locations of festivals, refer to the end of the post.
I was lucky enough to be there for the Springvale festivals yesterday. The original plan was to buy myself and Yuye bahn mis (Vietnamese rolls) and then buy groceries for our family dinner at night, but why would I buy bahn mis when I can eat freshly cooked stall food? It was a very hot day and the place was so full of people that I thought was almost going to melt. It felt like I was in Asia.
There was a ferris wheel and numerous rides…
And of course toy catching games…
There were also many food stalls that sold multicultural snacks including Japanese (taiyaki and takoyaki). The taiyakis were $4 each which I thought were a bit expensive so I didn’t get any.
Vietnamese and Chinese snacks were in abundance (no surprise)…
And surprisingly there were 2 Chinese (Xin Jiang) lamb skewer stalls.
There were a lot of fried foods which I didn’t touch as it was way too hot for those.
I’m not sure what this cuisine is (down below)…Western perhaps? Or Korean? It was really just whole peeled fried potatoes on a stick dipped in some sauce. I was going to buy one of these as it looked quite interesting, but I thought it was too much to eat by myself when dinner was just a few hours away.
There were many stalls that sold drinks such as this one which sold sugar cane juice. The used sugar canes piled up so high that they went all over the ground.
And this one which sold iced barley drink – we bought one for $4 and came with more chewy things than actual drink.
Yuye’s an avid lover of Xin Jiang style lamb skewers. When he’s in Beijing, he can eat more than 20 in one go – we’re talking after dinner snacks here! He’s a bit crazy in that respect. So when he saw 2 stalls selling these, he was a happy man. The result was $10 for 4 skewers from one stall:
And another $10 for 4 skewers at the other stall.
We both agreed the first batch was nicer. For these types of skewers, there must be some amounts of fatty meat or else it won’t be as tender. There also has to be a good seasoning of cumin, salt and chilli. None of these skewers had chilli powder though which was a shame.
We bought a sausage for $3, it was piping hot and very delicious. A bit too hot for the weather. I ate the majority of it since Yuye liked his lamb skewers more.
I would have wanted to buy a few more things to eat like that egg with nian gao (glutinous rice sticks that symbolize good luck) above but the hot weather was killing my appetite and I just wanted something cold and refreshing and then hide in the shopping complex where it’s air-conditioned. So instead of buying more food, we decided to go with ice cream. 😀
There were 2 ice cream stalls and an ice cream truck, but both stalls sold Dipping Dots type ice creams. Being too lazy to walk, we opted for the Mini Melts variety.
We chose 2 flavours in a cup – Yuye chose the Cookie Dough and I chose Cookies & Cream. I know you’re thinking “er but they’re the same aren’t they” well, I was dehydrated and hallucinating so didn’t hear when Yuye ordered his. Nevertheless, they were beautiful and actually tasted slightly different to each other. The Cookie Dough had small chocolate bits while Cookies & Cream had Oreo chunks. As you probably know though, the amount of these ‘dot’ type ice creams are not very substantial and the cup disappeared in a matter of minutes.
I was thirsty and hot again!
Yuye came up with a fantastic suggestion – Vietnamese iced coffee! It was oh-so-strong in coffee hit and very refreshingly icy. This drink though was also finished in a matter of minutes (partly because we were hot and partly because it was mostly ice).
We unfortunately missed the lion/dragon dance (or maybe it hadn’t started yet) but the only thing I saw was the dragon suit sitting next to this stage where people were dancing and singing.
Also if anyone gets hurt, not to worry as the First Aid van is there to help!
I’m totally looking forward to the other celebrations coming our way, according to the Only Melbourne website, the celebration details are as follows:
Chinese New Year 2012 schedule
Sunday 8th January – Alfrieda St., St Albans
Sunday15th January – Victoria St., Richmond
Saturday 21st January – Market St., Box Hill
Sunday 22nd January – Braybrook
Sunday 22nd January – Springvale road, Springvale
Monday 23 January – Knox O-Zone Chinese New Year celebrations
Tuesday 24 January – Knox O-Zone Chinese New Year celebrations
Sunday 29th January – Barkly St., Footscray
Sunday 29th January – China Town, Little Bourke St.
Sunday 5th February – Glen Waverley, Kingsway
Saturday-Sunday 4th-5th February – Springvale
These celebrations will include stalls like above, lion dances, dragon dances, rides and of course fire crackers! Get your party gear on. 😀
Don’t stress if you missed a few already as the celebrations just get better! I’m really looking forward to the one in Glen Waverley as that’s really close to me.
Happy Chinese New Year again!