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Darwin Food Diary

During my 10-day workshop residency at Accomplice I cooked a lot and shared dinners with many, many people. Any chance to eat out, I took it – and looked forward to the stories that would fill my heart. Here are a few of my faves.

By Jamie Lewis.

I had been told of the Darwin insti- tution that is Mary’s Laksa at Parap Market long before I first made it to this city. “Darwin has the best laksa in Australia,” they said. Now, I know Mary didn’t win the local best laksa competition this year but, in my book, a good laksa experience is 50 per cent quality and 50 per cent nostalgia. And the combination of the sweaty morning and Mary’s charisma, plus a pretty good laksa, filled my soul just as much as it filled my belly.

Found in both Parap and Rapid Creek markets, Thai sweets are the perfect treat to take to a dinner party. Glu- tinous rice, palm sugar and pandan are some of the key ingredients in many of these delicious goodies.

The two women behind the stall may  not give you much time of day, but a taste of their treats will definitely leave you feeling bliss, especially as the perfect finish to a spicy dinner.

Arrive hungry if attempting Sri Lan- kan Hoppers at Rapid Creek Market and plan to share these bowl shaped pancakes, served with a generous helping of vegetables and curry, with someone else. Get in with your hands, and this home-style, hearty and delicious dish will leave you feel- ing like you’re part of the family.

So, no I didn’t have laksa at Laksa House – shame on me. But the full plate of charcoal-grilled chicken gave me just as much pleasure, and was a great conversation starter. We chose to sit out front by the street, passers-by eyeballing our plates, leading to the meeting of new friends as they joined our feast.

With a focus on sustainably caught fish and a small menu, Jetty and the Fish really impressed and was the perfect final dinner before I made my way out of this city. The batter is light and well fried, and the chips hit the spot. The fish was fresh and sweet on its own. The line is long, but it’s a restful Sunday, so who’s rush- ing. Take in the sunset, the evening breeze, the sound of the waves crashing and breathe in Darwin. 

Jamie Lewis is not a chef, but a storyteller who cooks. A performance artist, Jamie facilitates shared experiences, storytelling, and conversations over homemade home-style meals. 

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