Not many public holidays make sense to me. For example, why do we celebrate the Queen’s Birthday on a date that’s so far from her real birthday? But with that aside, I do love our Australia Day.

As a child of parents who were refugees from Vietnam, I get a bit sentimental this time of year. I’m so grateful for the opportunities available around me. Without my parents’ journey on overcrowded boats into the unknown, without the refugee settlement programs, I wouldn’t be living the dream today.

I absolutely love the richness of our multiculturalism and how we have access to so many cuisines at our fingertips. This Australia Day (Yikes – was it really one month ago!?), Zen and I decided to catch up on some reading and swung by Black Star Pastry for brunch.

Black Star Pastry on Australia Day

Although dear, at $7.80 each, the lamb shank & red wine pie and beer & brisket pie will both open your mind to a whole new realm of pies. The filling in these not-so-humble pies have been slow cooked until the meat is impossibly tender and the encrusting pastry is perfection. This is a patisserie where the savoury is as good as the sweet.

Close up of pie from Black Star Pastry

What I’d really come here for though, is the Australia shaped lamington ($4.80; sorry Tassie, you weren’t included) and the Asian-fusion pavlova ($7). I said it on Instagram and I’ll say it again now – I think this may have been the best pav I’ve ever had!

Aussie lamington at Black Star Pastry Newtown

The creation simply pinpoints all of my weaknesses – for coconut, lychee and mango.

But at the end of the day, you’d come here for the strawberry and watermelon cake ($7) alone. This is magnificently light and aromatic. And almost so beautiful, you don’t quite want to cut into it.

Black Star Pastry's strawberry watermelon cake

Goodies takeaway from Black Star Pastry Newtown

Black Star Pastry

277 Australia Street, Newtown NSW

Phone: (02) 9557 8656


Black Star Pastry on Urbanspoon

While Lunar New Year isn’t quite a public holiday in Australia, I do love the festivities and feasts! This year, I had the honour of hosting my very own pop-up radio program on ABC Extra!

Working alongside Simon Marnie, I had the opportunity of interviewing food bloggers from around Australia about how they celebrate Lunar New Year in their city!
Thanks so much to Juji Chews, Fatboo, The Hungry Australian, My Korean Kitchen, Food Endeavours of the Blue Apocalypse, Ooh Look, and Spoon, Fork & Chopsticks for sharing their stories!

If you missed it, pop over to here and go to the Audio section!

Jennifer Lam and Amy Ta from I Ate My Way Through tours on ABC radio at the 702 ABC Sydney studio



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