Rare delicacies to savour as Ramadan Nights treat

FLAMING paan street snacks, camel milk hot chocolates and halal yum cha are just some of the new and tantalising delicacies on offer at Ramadan Nights Lakemba this year.

With a week left of Sydney’s largest multicultural event, there’s still plenty of time to break your fast and experience foods from across the globe with a number of rare and unique offerings, along with the usual fan favourites.
Vipul Mayank opened his restaurant, Zabardast, just 10 months ago and is serving up Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi street treats at his first ever Ramadan Nights Lakemba.
His stall’s main attraction is the flaming ‘fire paan’, a beetle leaf filled with fennel seeds, coconut coriander seeds and rose petal jam.
But it’s not for the faint-hearted – the smoky treat is lit on fire and quickly consumed while still aflame.
“After a heavy meal, you can eat this fire paan to digest your food and freshen your mouth,” Mr Mayank said.
“It has a very intense flavour and every day we are seeing more and more people come by and want to taste it.”
Seasoned stallholder Rocky Pitarelli has been running his fresh fruit lemonade stand at Ramadan Nights Lakemba for the past 12 years, and this year he’s serving up a brand-new Camel Milk Hot Chocolate.
The rich and creamy hot chocolate is made with camel milk imported from Muswellbrook, slowly warmed in a stirrer and topped with pistachios and fairy floss.
“Camel milk is healthier than many other milks and everybody is looking for the next alternative milk,” Mr Pitarelli said.
“We did six months of testing to get the product where we want it to be and we’ve had lots of people come to try it for the novelty and come back with their friends.”
Mr Pitarelli is also serving lavashak for the first time this year – a fruit leather covered in sour pomegranate sauce, after a Persian friend introduced him to the popular delicacy.
Owner of Crescent Yum Cha, Rowan Bates, has launched his brand new halal dumpling range at the event, featuring beef, chicken and prawn options and an exclusive Ramadan Nights Lakemba camel dumpling.
“I’ve been doing yum cha events around Australia for the last 15 years,” Mr Bates said.
“One of my oldest friends sat down with me a few years ago and said ‘mate, can you do me a solid and do us a halal range’ because everywhere we go it’s got pork’.”
It took a while to get the recipes perfected, with multiple different versions tried and tested, but the camel dumplings with goji berry sauce have been a real hit.
“The feedback has been phenomenal! The camel is outselling all of our other dumplings,” Mr Bates said.
“There’s no better place to launch this product, this is the community that it was made for.”
Ramadan Nights Lakemba transforms Haldon Street into a bustling food bazaar every Thursday-Sunday from 6pm-3am, until Monday April 8.
Each evening, there’s an abundance of local food vendors and stall holders serving up traditional cuisines from across the globe – from scrumptious shawarmas, pani puri and hyderabadi biyarini, to creamy knafeh and sweet sahlab.
On Monday to Wednesday, the event operates at a reduced capacity for the local community to break their fast.
For more information about Ramadan Nights Lakemba and to plan your trip, visit