Ever feel the need to get away but can’t seem to get out of the city? Why not try a staycation in Sydney’s South-West? Being one of the most ethnically diverse areas of New South Wales, with over 140 nations and cultures represented in the region, Bankstown itself has large populations of Lebanese, Vietnamese and Chinese residents, as well as English, Italian, Greek and Indian residents too. Bankstown definitely is a true melting pot both in culturally and culinary respects, making it a vibrant and interesting place to visit and eat your way through. Plus now, there’s a fresh faced hotel right in the heart of Bankstown which is perfect for those times when you need that holiday feeling, just closer to home.
The Travelodge Hotel Bankstown has been recently revitalised, and beckons you to come and relax for a night or two. The friendly reception staff are available 24 hours to help you check in or with any of your inquiries. We were swiftly checked in and told about all the surrounding things to do around the hotel. The most important on that list was where to eat, but first port of call was to check out the Executive King room we were staying in for the night.
The rooms (from $150 per night) are an affordable escape from the reality of every day life. With cheery, bright decor reflecting back on local Bankstown landmarks and modern appliances like pod coffee machines (which a coffee addict like myself was thrilled about). The rooms are a step up from usual budget accommodation, with a comfortable mattress to rest your weary head, Foxtel channels on the LCD TVs fitted in the rooms and free WiFi to stay connected during your stay. Snug and cosy, the Travelodge’s newly refurbished guest rooms and brand new executive rooms unveiled on higher floors truly are a refreshing experience.
Located in Bankstown Sports Club, the Travelodge isn’t far away from some great eats. Within the club there are around 10 eateries of which a few I tried and tested while I was there. With countless dining options at your fingertips just an elevator ride away you’d be crazy not to check some of them out. Showcasing the multicultural identity of Bankstown there are different cultural cuisines available both within the club and it’s surrounds.
With choices of Italian at Pizzeria Bellucci at La Piazza and Stuzzichino at La Piazza, Chinese cuisine at Peking Sq and Lucky Cheng’s and Modern Australian at Basement Brewhouse, Platform One and Greenfield Station Bistro. As you’re having a wander around, make sure to keep an eye out for Mr Cheng freshly making and hand pulling noodles for the dishes. It’s a mesmerising, high energy process that captivates your attention. Ask him what’s good to eat too, he’ll point you in the right direction for what you’re in the mood for.
Mr Cheng suggested that to sate our cravings for variety to head to Peking Sq and the man knows what he’s talking about. The Peking duck san chow bow ($12.80), Mongolian lamb pancakes ($16.80) and honey glazed bbq pork ($14.80) were all fabulous but the pork had to be my favourite. Sticky and sweet, the meat was tender and full of flavour. Wash it down with a pot of Grey Rabbit tea ($6 per pot), Peking Sq’s take on a traditional Earl Grey.
For something more on the fancy side of things, Platform One is a great way to treat yourself during your stay. I would recommend the delectable Tasmanian Salmon glazed in Teriyaki ($33) or the carnivorous From “The German Butcher” Smoked Pork Belly, Weisswurst, Beef Brisket and BBQ Pork Ribs ($38) platter. One of the great things about Platform One would be the fact that you get to dine in an old Victorian-era railway carriage, which I thought was an aesthetic wonder. The staff were great too, our waitress was vivacious and more than happy to cater to our questions and queries.
Another dining option is the Basement Brewhouse. My companion and I explored down in the basement for a quick drink before dinner but ended up ordering the Reuben ($15) to share while we waited. Thick slices of corned wagyu silverside, with melted Swiss and sauerkraut on toasted rye was definitely a great way to whet our appetites especially when washed down with a tasting board ($10) of four of their ever changing craft beer selections.
Other great eats nearby to the Travelodge include the well known An Restaurant (27 Greenfield Parade, Bankstown) for possibly Sydney’s best pho or Stumpys Burgers (a local favourite in nearby Revesby – 14/25-35 Selems Parade). Another I Ate My Way Through pick would be Hu Tieu Thanh Van (327 Chapel Road, Bankstown) specialising in Vietnamese clear noodle dishes with all the offal you’d expect from an authentic hole in the wall joint. There’s also THY Vietnamese Eatery (1/316-324 Chapel Road South, Bankstown) for their epic-sized banh xeo crepes.
In July there is the Bankstown Bites Food Festival on Saturday the 29th, the perfect excuse to eat yourself into a food coma through food stalls, cooking demonstrations and plenty of stalls selling diverse bites to eat! If that’s still not enough food for you they are also showcasing food related artworks and kids activities at the Canterbury-Bankstown Arts Centre as well as running $5 food tours through multiple foodie hot spots in the city. There is also the Haldon Street Festival coming up on Saturday the 28th of October in nearby Lakemba, further showcasing the multicultural identity of Sydney’s West and celebrating global food culture. Be prepared to eat your way around the world in 80 stalls and indulge in unique global cultures and engage with the vibrant community spirit of the day as they celebrate the festivals theme of ‘respect, unity and peace’.
Otherwise, you can always head out to nearby Georges River National Park to spend some time in the sun and work off all those calories with a gentle bush walk or kick a ball around the picnic area. There are plenty of things to see and do to occupy your time during a stay at the Bankstown Travelodge, or if you’re after a relaxing night or two head to one of the many bars nearby for a quiet drink before you retreat to the comfort of your room for the night.
I Ate My Way Through stayed as guests of Travelodge