An attempt to visit every suburb in Sydney.

We're in Western Sydney once again with another super interesting suburb. Suburbs like this are precisely the reason I do this blog....

Never a Daal Moment: Harris Park


We're in Western Sydney once again with another super interesting suburb. Suburbs like this are precisely the reason I do this blog.

Harris Park

Sitting immediately next door to Parramatta, Harris Park is 25 to 40 minutes from Central, depending on which train you manage to catch.

The station here is one of the more interesting ones I've come across, with colourful beams decorating the entry walkway. Snazzy.

I continued out onto the street, 

arriving at your typical suburban Sydney commercial district. 

This strip features all your normal services,

as well as a former restaurant which has chosen to diversify into Hindu Idols.

Now, Harris Park is known primarily for its thriving Indian community, so much so that over 50% of the population had at least one parent born in India as of the 2016 Census

Such a heavy Indian population has culminated in the suburb offering up Wigram Street, one of the single coolest streets in Sydney.

That's right I said it.

At first glance, Wigram Street looks like a bog standard residential street.

What makes Wigram Street so interesting is not Parramatta's growing skyline in the background (although that's kind of interesting too), but is the fact that these dinky old houses are not actually houses.

Wigram Street is characterised by its houses converted into all sorts of Indian-focused businesses, from sarees to supermarkets.

But what you really come here for are the restaurants. For lovers of Indian Food, Wigram Street is the place to be.

Now, the best time to visit Harris Park and Wigram Street is undoubtedly in the evening for dinner, but there's still plenty of activity during the day too. Even James Bond's pornographer cousin couldn't help but come over.

Here's a slightly naff plaque and tree put up by the council to celebrate the street.

Today, I had a couple of friends with me for the purposes of an Indian lunch, but before we ate I had to drag them to explore the rest of the suburb for you all. 

Off of Wigram Street and in front of the station are more restaurants and businesses. Some are highly successful,

and some appear a little more suspicious.

For the old weatherboard houses just around the corner which weren't lucky enough to be born on Wigram Street and thus revitalised, a lot of them appear to be in their last days, earmarked for a knockdown. Their likely future can be seen in the background. 

As I pulled my friends away from the commercial area and towards the residential bit of the suburb, we also passed this storage facility which somehow only looks like a facade without the included building. Was there a Hollywood flick set at Kennards Harris Park or something?

Into the suburb we found plenty of quite beautiful older houses which have managed to avoid the deterioration of their counterparts two pictures above.

Even further up is something older still.

This is Experiment Farm Cottage. This cottage was built in the 1830s by a fellow named John Harris (of Harris Park fame) and is apparently one of the oldest standing properties in Australia. It sits on the site of the former "Experiment Farm", Colonial Australia's first land grant. You can read more on the National Trust website if you're interested. 

They've got some rather nice grounds too. 

We continued on,

to this funky thing sitting just a couple of streets away. This is the Our Lady of Lebanon church. 

As well as having a very cool building, they've also got a rather impressive terms and conditions document on their fence.

Suburban Harris Park continued to provide surprises as we explored, with more beautiful old homes,

this funny little substation,

and another good looking Church.

Yes, the suburb also has plenty of basic apartment blocks,

but how many suburbs also have vintage mansions just next door?

From what I could tell, this old thing appears to have been converted to units now. How about that.

Harris Park even offered me up an interesting vehicle or two.

But enough about all that, let's go back to why you'd come to Harris Park in the first place - to eat! 

Today was to be a multi-course meal, and so to start off we stopped at a restaurant called Amravathi, not on Wigram Street but across the road from the shop selling the idols earlier in this post.

We didn't go inside though. Instead, this nice lady at the restaurant's front balcony was able to offer what we came for. 

This lady was here to make pani puri, an Indian street food consisting of a crispy shell, lovingly filled with a vegetarian filling and water infused with spices and flavour. Apparently the deal with this place is that they do nine different flavours of water, with things like "garlic", "spicy", "cumin" and "sweet and spicy" being rattled off as options. 

Naturally, that meant we ate nine of these bad boys in quick succession. As soon as I ate one, this slightly sadistic woman had prepared another. Now, I like pani puri as much as the next man but nine in a row in a matter of seconds was a real job, considering that each one was a good mouthful of the liquid. If I stopped to catch my breath, my friend (of Indian heritage herself) would hurry me on, lest my puri get soggy. Truly a (delicious) ordeal. 

After paying for our pani puri ($6 for the set of nine) we headed back to Wigram for the main event. Rather than going for curries (which I do like too) we wanted to cover something not commonly found in other parts of Sydney, and so we headed to Chilli's, a place specialising in Indian Street food. 

At Chilli's we proceeded to overorder ourselves to near-death. 

We had idli, a spongy South-Indian bread made from rice, which you dip in these exciting sauces they bring you.

Because I'm not a food blogger, I forgot the names of these next ones but they're basically potato dumpling sandwiches, served in bread buns brushed with chilli and oil. Again, they come with some more exciting sauces which I chose to add to my burg'. 

Finally, and while facing the consequences of our overordering ways, we had dosa, which is basically a giant crispy pancake. There are a bunch of different types of dosa, but we ordered ours to be stuffed with paneer, an Indian cheese. The dosa comes with, you guessed it, exciting sauces.

To go with all of this, I can never say no to a mango lassi, a drink made from yoghurt which is always delicious (although drinking yoghurt when you've over-ordered always just adds the ordeal). 

My suburb-mates were enticed by the $1 chai on the menu and went for that instead. It turns out that it's $1 because it comes in an espresso sized cup. Regardless, I'm told that it was delicious. 

Lunch for three, consisting of the three sandwiches, the idli, the dosa and the drinks came to a total of $42. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Western Sydney's great.

I was now in critical need for an afternoon nap so I beelined it back to the train station to head back home.

Harris Park: For a suburb with such a small footprint, this place packs an awfully large punch. You made Western Sydney proud today, son.

10 comments:

  1. I love your summaries and this one is particularly well done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I actually really like this one too.

      Delete
  2. Ahh! Yes! That chilli's place is great! I went with Suz and we had the thali, which was also delicious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Lily, thanks for dropping in! I just Googled thali - that looks good :)

      Delete
  3. I know where I am heading next time I want some good Indian food! Great review, looking forward to the next suburb.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Also consider checking out Wentworthville for Indian.
      https://www.sydneycompletion.com/2018/10/the-real-spice-alley-wentworthville.html

      Delete
  4. Never heard of pani puri, but am so going to try it, along with Chilli's.
    The food blog portion doesn't hurt either (I swear food's the reason why I visit some suburbs randomly).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's certainly no secret that there's thousands of food blogs but very few "dude who walks around and takes pictures of your house" blogs. Food is one of the original reasons I started exploring Sydney way before making this blog too.

      I hope you enjoy your Indian experience when you make it out. Another Indian restaurant I like in Harris Park is Taj Bhavan. By my (non-expert) tastes, they do a solid vegetarian curry.

      Delete
  5. I grew up on Wigram Street! I love this blog and I love that you did a post on Harris Park :) Hooraaay!

    ReplyDelete