Refugee Week (15th June to 21st June) is all about celebrating the positive contributions that refugees to Australia have made to this country, and understanding a little bit more about their plight and culture. And here at I Ate My Way Through, we commemorated it the only way we knew how – food!

We started at African Feeling, in Newtown.

The continent of Africa is home to many different tribes and ethnicities, which in turn creates such a variety of food that it’s extremely hard to generalise any of the characteristics. Segmented vaguely into the North, South, East, West, Central and Horn of Africa, food culture and staple dishes can vary widely even within each region.

At African Feeling, we ordered one of every entrée.

Plantains are sliced thinly, and fried to a crisp. Served with a tomato dipping sauce.

African entree platter, with samosas, dumplings, mince cigars, and a red dipping sauce.

Vegetable triangles ($12) from South Africa, mince samosas ($13) from Southern and Eastern Africa, African cigars ($13.50) from Morocco, kpoff-kpoff (deep fried dumplings, $12) from Nigeria, prawn and onion ($14.50) from Ethiopia, and kelewele (marinated fried plantains, $13.50)  from Ghana, all came out with a flourish, giving us a tasting tour of Africa.

African Feeling
1/501 King St, Newtown
Phone: (02) 9516 3130
Website: www.africanfeelingrestaurant.com.au/

African Feeling on Urbanspoon

Then it was off to Faheem’s Fast Food for some Pakistani cuisine!

Mango chutney, served in a small white saucer. Sweet mango Chutney ($2)

Chunks of Lime, pickled and served in a small white saucer. Lime Pickles ($2)

Pakistani style lamb curryLamb Kharai (boneless lamb pieces cooked in a kharai with tomatoes, special spices, fresh ginger and garlic, $13)

Potato and gourd curryAloo Baigan (Potato and eggplant curry, $11)

Pakistani style spicy beef curryBalti Gosht (a traditional Pakistani hot curry with beef, onion, tomatoes and capsicum, $13)

Basmati Rice is cooked with chicken, spices and saffron to create a fragrant dish.Chicken Biriyani ($13)

Lentils are cooked with spices to make a vegetarian curryDhal lockey (mixed lentils cooked with bottlegourd, oriental herbs and spices, $11)

Naan breadNaan (traditional, $2; garlic, $2.50; cheese, $3.50; kashmiri, $3.50)

Tandoori chicken, stained a bright red and charred to a crispTandoori Chicken ($19 for a full serve – 4 pieces)

Pistachio and mango popsicles, coloured green and yellow, and placed alternately on a white plate. Pistachio and Mango & Cardamom Kulfi ($3.50 each)

Pakistan, like Africa, spans a large area (though not quite as large) and each region encompasses their own unique culinary characteristics. Influences range from South Asian to Middle Eastern, and feature many aromatic spices that the region is well known for. Their curries are generally quite rich, much like North Indian curries. Many of the dishes featured on the menu were familiar, but had a layer of difference.

Faheem Fast Food
196 Enmore Rd, Enmore
Phone: 02 9550 4850
Web: www.faheemfastfood.com.au

Empty bowls and plates, with dinner having been inhaled by us.

Needless to say, we polished off everything on the table. So with full bellies, we walked away from the Meetup, having shared laughter with new friends (and old!), and some hilarious topics of conversations that included food served at strip joints.

But that’s another story for another day.

If you would like to join in our next Meetup, simply join the group here. Previous Meetups include the Korean Fried Chicken crawl and the Campsie Food Festival