Harris Park is well known for being the Indian hub of Sydney. Wigram Street and those surrounding it are lined with Indian restaurants and shops making it a butter chicken lover’s paradise. We are regular visitors to this spicy neck of the woods and tend to try a new restaurant each time we visit.

Over the winter months I am taking a break from my usual Saturday morning markets shopping routine in favour of a warm sleep in. I cook differently in winter so I decided to look for a location where I could shop leisurely, indoors on a Sunday morning. I am pretty fussy about fresh produce so I wanted a retailer who offers a huge variety of extremely fresh fruit and vegetables at a reasonable price. Hopefully while I was there I could pick up some general grocery ingredients and a butcher would be a bonus.  This place would need to be open from early on a Sunday morning and offer breakfast and easy parking. That's a pretty tall order but I found the spot that fits the bill quite perfectly.

Yesterday while I was paying for my items at Big W in Blacktown’s Westpoint, I mentioned that I was hungry but didn’t want ‘food court food’. The lovely lady working behind the check out mentioned that El Jannah was just outside and across the road. Being a long time fan of the original Granville eatery, I was excited to learn that the legendary charcoal chicken had spread it’s wings even further west so I hopped on over to have some lunch.

Rodriguez Bros of Yagoona is a well renown Spanish artisan butcher. Family run since it’s opening in 1973 it was the first butcher in Australia to produce authentic Spanish small goods. Today their business imports spanish groceries and supplies their artisan delicacies to restaurants and consumers right across the country.  We popped in last Saturday afternoon after deciding to pick up some ingredients for paella, at the time, I shamefully admit, I had no idea how to make this spanish rice dish.

Last Friday night after a less than average week, I forced my boyfriend to wine and dine me. He took me, under instruction, to Smithfield’s classy Italian dining spot, Candelori’s. I had already spent an hour or so carefully reading through the extensive menu before we had even arrived, but still took my time trying to work out what I should get once I got there - which is very rare for me!

When it comes to pizza, western Sydney has a lot more to offer than the standard Hawaiian (though we do love a slice of the ole’ ham and pineapple). Many cuisines have also recreated the traditionally Italian fare with their own twists. Stay tuned as we share our favourite pizza places throughout the west.

Last week was Refugee Week. As supporters of Australia accepting refugees and asylum seekers, we were keen to get involved in some of the many activities that our local government area and refugee welcome zone, Auburn, was holding for the occasion – particularly when we saw food related events on the agenda!

Yesterday was my birthday so to celebrate I took the day off work to cook up a dinner feast for my family. Yes, I know that seems strange, but I actually find it really relaxing and fun! So what did I cook? Some delicious sliders and rollers accompanied by coleslaw, flat fries, oven-baked onion rings and some delicious homemade ranch dipping sauce. They were all based on recipes from the awesome Aussie cook book ‘Sliders and Rollers: mini burgers and hot dogs’ by David Cowie. Oh and I made my own birthday cake too – an impressive Bombe Alaska.

Every year in June it has become a tradition that my lady friends and I meet up for a ladies Day at Rosehill races. This date coincides with our friend Julie’s birthday. This year with Julie turning a milestone 50 I decided to bring a picnic so we could all celebrate with her while enjoying a trackside high tea. Maybe we would also strike it lucky with a big win on the horses.

This weekend I went on a two hour walking tour run by Auburn Council to visit some of Auburn’s hidden food gems. As a local, I felt a little weird about going on a tour in my own neighbourhood. But from the moment we reached our first destination, I was learning so much about the cultural traditions behind the food and the stories of the business owners making and selling it. It really gave me a new sense of respect for Auburn's diverse and authentic food culture.