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Native Ingredients available in Sydney

The Lillipad Café, Glebe, Sydney CREDIT: Laszio Hrabinsky

Australian native ingredients feature on the menu at The Lillipad Café in Sydney’s Glebe.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

Native Ingredients
available in Sydney

The Lillipad Café, Glebe, Sydney CREDIT: Laszio Hrabinsky

Australian native ingredients feature on the menu at The Lillipad Café in Sydney’s Glebe.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

Hashtags #lovensw #ilovesydney

No longer a culinary curiosity, Australian native ingredients have been embraced by chefs and foodies across the country. Here are just some of the places in Sydney where you can sample these unique flavours. 

Dining out 

Aboriginal and  non-Aboriginal chefs alike are showcasing the versality and unique flavours of native ingredients in eateries across Sydney.  

Yidindji woman Nyoka Hrabinsky runs The Lillipad Café in Glebe, a 10-minute drive from the city centre in the Inner West, which features café stalwarts with a bush food twist. Try the native-spiced gangurru (kangaroo) burger, or a vegetable patty with saltbush, wattleseed, pepper leaf, finger lime and bush tomato among its ingredients.  

And at The Tin Humpy in Redfern, a 10-minute drive from the city centre, Bundjalung woman Yvette Lever serves up café fare for breakfast and lunch. Wattle seed features in the Tin Humpy’s moreish brownies. At Botanic House, in the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, you’ll find a tasting menu created by Vietnamese-Australian chef and restaurateur Luke Nguyen, who fuses Eastern flavours with native ingredients. 

For a fine-dining experience, book a table at iconic sister harbourside eateries Quay and Bennelong, where celebrated chef Peter Gilmore pays homage to homegrown flavours, including foraged samphire and sea lettuce, in his signature award-winning dishes. 

The Lillipad Café, Glebe, Sydney CREDIT: Laszio Hrabinsky

A kangaroo burger with finger-lime mayonnaise and bush-tomato relish at The Lillipad Café in Sydney’s Glebe.

#lovensw

The Lillipad Café, Glebe, Sydney CREDIT: Laszio Hrabinsky

A kangaroo burger with finger-lime mayonnaise and bush-tomato relish at The Lillipad Café in Sydney’s Glebe.

#lovensw

Straight from the source 

The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney is a wonderful cornucopia of native plants; taking a tour with an Aboriginal guide allows you to discover seasonal bush foods — their history, cultural significance and uses, both as food and medicine and you’ll get the opportunity to taste what’s in season. Part of the new South Eveleigh precinct, the South Eveleigh Community Building Rooftop Garden showcases a variety of native edible, cultural, and medicinal plant species. Overseen by Jiwah, an Indigenous company specialising in cultural landscape and design, the garden brings life to South Eveleigh’s rich Aboriginal culture and heritage and offers a range of educational and cultural activities and events throughout the year. The garden is also used by chefs like Kylie Kwong, who features ingredients such as native bush mint on her menu at nearby Lucky Kwong.  

In the south-eastern Sydney suburb of La Perouse, visit IndigiGrow’s native nursery and farm to taste-test native edibles before trying your hand at growing your own. You can also try some of the herbs and succulents on sale at the nursery and learn about their medicinal benefits. As a not-for-profit social enterprise, IndigiGrow aims to sustain people, land and culture through the propagation of native plants, including bush foods.  

Bush to Bowl is dedicated to growing and educating the public about native plants, particularly edibles. The team runs workshops and sells plants and native bushfood produce from its Northern Beaches farm. 

Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney CREDIT: Destination NSW

Friends enjoy a tour in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney

#ilovesydney

Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney CREDIT: Destination NSW

Friends enjoy a tour in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney

#ilovesydney

South Eveleigh Community Rooftop Garden, Eveleigh CREDIT: Destination NSW

Native indigenous bush plants at South Eveleigh Community Rooftop Garden

#ilovesydney

South Eveleigh Community Rooftop Garden, Eveleigh CREDIT: Destination NSW

Native indigenous bush plants at South Eveleigh Community Rooftop Garden

#ilovesydney

Fill your bags with flavour 

You may also find an IndigiGrow stall at the Blak Markets, a marketplace offering bush foods alongside Aboriginal arts and crafts, fashion and beauty products featuring native Australian botanicals. The markets are usually held eight times throughout the year, at various venues around Sydney, including La Perouse. Visit the Blak Markets website for the timing and location of the next market. 

Head to Carriageworks Farmers Market in the Inner West suburb of Eveleigh to check out the Currong Comestibles range of chutneys, jams and shrubs (fruity drinking vinegars that can be added to cocktails and mocktails). Each product is made by combining traditional recipes with native ingredients such as rainforest lime and riberries. Also at Carriageworks, Darling Mills Farm sells fresh finger limes and warrigal greens when in season. 

Northside Produce Market boasts three family-run businesses championing native foods: Darling Mills Farm offers its produce here too, while Brother Mountain Macadamias celebrates Australia’s favourite homegrown nuts. For the time-poor, Wholefood and Spice produces ready-made cake mixes using ‘superfood’ native ingredients such as Kakadu and Davidson plums as well as spice mixes with ingredients such as wattleseed and lemon myrtle. The market takes place at Ted Mack Civic Park in North Sydney on the first and third Saturday of each month. 

Carriageworks Farmers Markets, Eveleigh CREDIT: Destination NSW

Women enjoying a day out at Carriageworks Markets in Eveleigh.

#ilovesydney

Carriageworks Farmers Markets, Eveleigh CREDIT: Destination NSW

Women enjoying a day out at Carriageworks Markets in Eveleigh.

#ilovesydney

Archie Rose Distilling Co., Rosebery CREDIT: Destination NSW

Archie Rose, in Sydney’s Rosebery, adds native ingredients to its signature gin and bottled cocktails.

#ilovesydney

Archie Rose Distilling Co., Rosebery CREDIT: Destination NSW

Archie Rose, in Sydney’s Rosebery, adds native ingredients to its signature gin and bottled cocktails.

#ilovesydney

Drink in the goodness 

Australia’s First Nations Peoples have been using native ingredients in drinks for tens of thousands of years, and it seems the rest of us are finally catching on. Amber Sunderland, of Sydney tea company T Totaler, says there is increasing interest in native tea blends, for both their flavourings and their medicinal properties. T Totaler sources many local native ingredients and all blends can be sampled at its Sydney store in The Galeries shopping centre on George Street in the city centre.  

If you’re after something a little stronger, check out Sydney craft distiller Archie Rose Distilling Co. The distillery’s award-winning Signature Dry Gin is produced using a balance of 14 traditional and native botanicals, including blood lime, Dorrigo pepperleaf, lemon myrtle and river mint. You can give the gin a go and sample the new range of native Australian bottled cocktails at its bar in Rosebery, a 15-minute drive from the city centre, and book a behind-the-scenes tour of the distillery. 

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