Location: South Western Suburbs
Cabramatta, a suburb in south-western Sydney, is colloquially known as 'Cabra'. The presence of a migrant hostel alongside Cabramatta High School was decisive in shaping the community in the post-war period. In the 1960s and 1970s, the migrant hostel - along with its peer in Villawood - hosted a wave of migration from south-east Asia as a result of the Vietnam War, leading to Cabramatta now having the largest Vietnamese community in Australia.
During the 1980s, Cabramatta and the surrounding Fairfield area was something of a melting pot, characterised by a diversity of Australian-born children having migrant parents. Cabramatta was transformed into a thriving Asian community, displacing many of the previous migrant generation. Across that decade, many of these migrant parents and their children - now adults - were to settle and populate new housing developments in surrounding areas such as Smithfield and Bonnyrigg that were, until that time, mainly market gardens operated by the previous generation of migrants.
In the 1990s, Liverpool grew into a bustling commercial and consumer centre of the region, taking much of the shine away from Fairfield which to date has never seemed to have recovered its former glory. In between these two, Cabramatta developed its own identity. Today the bustling city centre of Cabramatta could be confused with the streets of Saigon and historic Chinatown. Here you can visit the colourful Pailau Gate or some of the ten fabric shops offering one of the widest ranges of fabrics to be found in one location, watch herbalists preparing their potions and see durian and pennywort drinks, rambujtan and jackfruit, chicken beaks and feet and ducks roasting in shop windows.
Cabramatta is Sydney s best kept gourmet secret, where you can buy all the exotic ingredients needed for authentic Asian cooking. Wandering through Asian supermarkets shopping for food becomes an adventure rather than a chore. Discover an exotic new world of pastes and purees, noodles and herbs, grass jelly and instant natural jellyfish irresistible to anyone with a taste for adventure!
With a tempting array of restaurants, food stalls, supermarkets and specialty stores, Cabramatta is a bustling marketplace capturing the vitality and diversity of South-East Asia. Choose from a wide range of Asian foods, herbs and spices, fresh seafood, meat and vegetables, quality fabrics, clothing, jewellery, electrical goods, herbal medicine and food specialties. You will always find someone eager to explain how to use Asian produce in your cooking, or sew beautiful fabrics into fabulous fashion. Here, among more than 60 eateries, are the authentic cuisines of Vietnam, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, plus several Chinese styles and an excellent choice of vegetarian eateries influenced by the Buddhist communities in the area.
Neighbouring Canley Heights is Sydney's newest outdoor dining destination, and together with Canley Vale, the town centres offer great shopping and dining options with accessible parking.