Even though I now live in Melbourne, I do try to stay up-to-date of what’s happening in the Sydney food scene via various Instagram accounts, blogs I still follow, and more. Towards the end of September and into October, it seemed like the one word on everyone’s lips was Tramsheds.
Once an abandoned tram depot, Tramsheds at Harold Park is now a destination of choice for all Sydney foodies, housing a number of foodie hotspots (Belle’s, Messina, and more) in its revitalised industrial setting. So when my friend Sarojini suggested that we have our catchup at Tramsheds during a recent trip to Sydney, I immediately said yes. I like the hype of a new food destination as much as the next person!
If you want to be truly authentic to the ‘Tramsheds’ history, you can take the one single Sydney light rail line from Central to Jubilee and walk for a while…or you can do what most people seem to be doing, and drive and park at the site. It’s not cheap though – if you plan on staying and lingering over a two or three hour meal at one of the dining destinations inside, you could find yourself paying up to $30 in parking fees.
The inside of the Tramsheds follows a neo-industrial look and feel. There’s an overabundance of glass, exposed brick, steel frames and open ceilings with exposed beams. With a few faux medicinal / alchemist jars scattered around the joint, there’s no mistaking Tramsheds for anything other than what it is – a hipster’s paradise.
We chose to try one of the pop-ups that the Tramsheds host in their ‘Artisan Lane’. On the weekend we were there, it was all about Hopper Kadé (co-founder is Kumar from the third season of MasterChef Australia), promoting the delicious flavours of Sri Lankan hoppers. With four of us there – Sarojini, her husband Neale, K and myself – we ordered quite a feast!
We tried three different hoppers – a vegetarian (dahl) hopper, meat (beef curry) hopper, and what was termed an ‘Aussie’ hopper, complete with bacon and egg. We ordered extra sides for each hopper of course – a fried coconut topping, dahl on the side, and a green vegetable ‘mallung’.
Having never tried a hopper before, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I went in with no expectations and ended up loving it – a thin crispy ‘bowl’ not dissimilar to a crepe (but tastier!) with a delicious mix of ingredients – poached egg, caramelised bacon bits, fresh coconut, chilli, lime, pickled cucumber and tomato…it was a remarkable mix of flavours and textures.
We also ordered a beef curry rice box with all the sides to try something slightly different than a hopper. Honestly though? Just stick with the hoppers! The ingredients in the rice box (curry, mallung, dahl, etc) are all available in hoppers, and taste superior in a hopper when compared to the rice box – it’s all about the thin and crispy crepe bowl.
Unfortunately Hopper Kadé only had a short residency at the Tramsheds in the first weekend of October, but they have two more coming up this month in November. Find out more on their Facebook page…and try to pop by to see them in the Tramsheds if you’re in Sydney!
Having now had my first Sri Lankan hopper, I honestly can’t wait to go to Sri Lanka later this year for our holiday. It’ll be two weeks of tea plantations, hoppers, curries, dahls, and more…I can’t wait!
Harold Park Tramsheds is located at 1 Dalgal Way, Forest Lodge, Sydney.