An attempt to visit every suburb in Sydney.

Happy 2019 everybody. I'm back for another round of Inner West escapades. Today's instalment is a suburb I have been to before a...

Shanghai Article: Ashfield

Happy 2019 everybody. I'm back for another round of Inner West escapades. Today's instalment is a suburb I have been to before and somewhere I do actually like.


Although Ashfield does have a train station, today I got in by use of Sydney Buses. A 20 minute bus trip down Parramatta Road dropped me off on the suburb's border with Summer Hill.

Just near the bus stop is this Red Rooster. On its own, this would not be notable except for the fact that this Red Rooster is the exception to the "Red Rooster Line" which draws the boundary to Western Sydney.

Further up the road still is Explorer's Park.

I try not to post too many pictures of the same place but this park is awesome, with this weird wedding aisle thing, a totem pole and what I like to call a history dome.

There had clearly been a rager of a night in the park before I came, with a half dozen discarded juice poppers being left behind.

My companion and I backtracked by this baby blue house to make our way into the real Ashfield.

The street signs here show the ghosts of councils past. Ashfield Council was one of the casualties of the 2016 Inner West council merger. I suspect one of the reasons Ashfield Council was disbanded was due to their large expenditure on fancy fonts for their signs.

Just a street away from here is Ashfield Park, which I wanted to check out next. On the way, I passed this odd little structure of a house.

While Explorer's Park is very cool, Ashfield Park is a much more useful affair, acting as a large plot for locals to enjoy the Aussie outdoors.

Plenty of trees and benches, as well as facilities for a barbeque make this a solid option for some family cricket. 

The park also contains a very interesting monument to "Mother Languages", in honour of activists who lost their lives trying to preserve the Bangla Language of what is now Bangladesh during the mid-twentieth century. This blog contains some better pictures of the monument than what I was able to capture.

I made my way out of the park, heading towards Ashfield city centre.

Once I left the park, I hit this house that looks like Terrance and Philip from South Park.

This residential area of Ashfield is quite pleasant, with plenty of trees, small apartment blocks and well maintained smaller houses.

Further into Ashfield, I eventually hit St Johns church, the oldest standing building in Ashfield.

Behind the church are grounds containing benches, a pathway and an old cemetery.

From here we continued south towards the town centre.

There are some grand buildings on this road, such as this duplex,

and St Vincent's "Superior" School (where if your kids ain't superior, we ain't interested).

Sadly, I couldn't fit the whole thing in frame.

For the plebs whose kids aren't superior enough for Vinnies, Da La Salle College sits across the road.

Here, they have school houses with perhaps the most underwhelming names ever. "Are you in Kevin House or Maurice House?"

After I finished making fun of children, I continued underneath the rail line. This takes you to the suburb's commercial centre.

I like Ashfield city centre. It contains many important services.

There's the Civic Centre,
Merry Christmas ya filthy animal

there's a shopping centre with a Coles, Woolworths and an Aldi so that you never miss out on a special,

and there's also this. I can only assume that this is the brother of Dr Koala from Riverwood.

Most importantly though, there's Metro One Kebab, famed for having one of Sydney's best snack packs. If you ever feel like you need a snack pack because your arteries are operating too effectively, you can do a lot worse than this place.

I was going to have lunch in Ashfield today, but a snack pack wasn't right.

No, Ashfield is all about Shanghainese food.

Ashfield restaurants love to practice the art of confusion. New Shanghai is probably Ashfield's most popular restaurant. Naturally, its neighbours (as well as a handful of other stragglers throughout the town) are also all named Shanghai-something. In the below photo you have Shanghai Night, New Shanghai and New Shanghai Night.

We went with New Shanghai for our dumplings of the day.

It was a warm day, so to drink I picked up the strangest thing on the menu which was an iced green tea with Yakult. Tastes like bubble gum.

This place has an entire menu of food but I basically come and eat dumplings and nothing else (with the exception of these light and crispy spring onion pancakes). 

The main thing to try if you haven't had Shanghainese food are the Xiao Long Bao, which are pork soup dumplings. These are dumplings full of boiling hot soup and are amazing.

We also enjoyed some prawn dumplings in peanut and chilli sauce. 

They were good but, more importantly, Winnie the Pooh appeared to us in them, so that's something.
oh bother

After Australia, more Ashfieldians were born in China than any other country and this is reflected in the local stores. That being said, the suburb also keeps this Indian grocery,

as well as this Polish club which appears to be for sale so presumably will not be around for long.

More curiously, Ashfield also contains this restaurant named simply "The Restaurant".

I had read that Ashfield has a fair number of heritage houses so I veered off of the shopping street to the residential area to the south.

Here, I did spot a number of fairly grand houses, such as this one,

as well as this beautiful thing. 

I don't know why this house is round but I like it anyway. It looks like it swallowed a bee. 

Heading back to the commercial centre, I came to the conclusion that the large and grand houses are the exception to the rule though, with more southern Ashfieldians appearing to live in smaller detached homes.

Having sweated out more than my fair share of dumplings, I continued on out of the suburb by train, but not before passing this lovely bird mural. I like birds.

Ashfield: From dumplings to snack packs to mansions to parks, this one's got it all.


  1. Have been in Ashfield for half a century. Polish club has always been there and you surprised me with the for sale sign.

    St Vincent's school is primary. DeLaSalle across the road is boys secondary (next to it is Bethlehem, girls secondary). All Catholic.

    I didn't know about the soup filled dumplings, thanks.

    1. Hi there - you must've seen Ashfield change a fair bit in the past few decades! It's worthwhile giving the dumplings a try, especially if you're a local!

  2. RIP Franklin's grocery store

  3. The 'beautiful thing' house is just around the corner from me. It's 'Ashfield Castle': it has stained glass windows featuring classical composers, was a convent for many years, then in recent decades was being 'renovated' by the new owner without anything seeming to happen till about five years ago.