A Night Market for Charity

FGAP Pasar Malam 2013, Como

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Waiting in line to purchase our food coupons.

This year, I attended the Full Gospel Assembly Perth (FGAP) Pasar Malam that was held on September 21st, 2013, at the Lifestream Christian Church in Como. This is an event held annually to raise money for charity with volunteers from FGAP putting in their time and effort to cook and sell their creations. Proceeds from this year’s Pasar Malam (“night market” in Malay) went towards two deserving charities: Street Chaplains Perth and Sunbeams Homes Malaysia.

Since its humble beginnings in 2007, I have attended three times, and enjoyed every single one of them. I was lucky enough to volunteer to help sell the food as I have family that belong to the church. This year, I helped out with their drinks stall for a bit, which sold Bandung (rose syrup milk drink), Milo Dinosaur (basically iced milo, yum!), Ribena Lemon (Ribena plus lemonade), and Michael Jackson aka ‘Cincau’ (Grass Jelly plus soya bean milk). It was a lot of fun, and yes, super busy.

It was already packed by the time we arrived. The smell of food was unbelievable. We managed to find parking, and weaved between people to get our coupons. Instead of giving money to the stall to purchase the food, coupons are purchased for $20. These coupons were in $2 denominations, and were to be exchanged for the food upon purchase. The queue was long, but in no time, I was walking around looking at what to eat.

There were over 30 stalls selling main meals, snacks, drinks, and desserts, all within a small car park. It was also the night of the AFL preliminary final, with the Fremantle Dockers in the match, there was a big screen TV playing the game at one of the stalls. Some of the foods available were curry laksa, takoyaki, crepes, satay (hugely popular with a massive queue growing every single year), nasi lemak, char kway teow, roast meat pork bun, and Chinese burgers.

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Milo dinosaur drink and fried dumplings.

First, I bought a milo dinosaur, and fried dumplings, which altogether came to $10. The Milo Dinosaur was cold, sweet and uber delicious. I just wanted more. So I went and bought a Bandung, which was also sweet but nothing like I’ve ever tasted before. Meanwhile, the fried dumplings took me back to Japan.

BBQ Pork Rice.

My boyfriend opted for BBQ Pork Rice; one of his favourite dishes ever. Unfortunately, he found it cold and tasteless, and lacking in sauce, which he says completes the dish.

Curry chicken with roti prata, and a chicken drumstick.

Thankfully, we still had coupons left over, and bought curry chicken with roti prata. The chicken was tender and the meat fell off the bone, but all we wanted was more than just one drumstick. The meal itself was difficult to manage without sitting at a table. Overall, it was a tasty meal. I also got myself a fried chicken drumstick to satisfy my fried cravings. Slightly warm and average tasting.

Almond jelly with lychee, rambutan and longan.

Four of my favourite things, in one container? Give me more! My dessert was almond jelly with lychee, rambutan and longan. It was sweet, and I wanted more. The almond jelly was soft, and tasted just like how almond jelly should taste like. The lychees, rambutans and longans were meaty and most likely from a can, but that didn’t worry me. The almond jelly cut through the sweetness of the juice and the fruit. An easy and simple yet satisfying dessert.

Working up a storm at one of the drink stalls.

At the end of our meal, I helped out at the drinks stall. There was a long queue of people wanting these sweet drinks. We managed to sell out by 7pm. We ran out of cups before then, and resorted to selling the remaining drinks from small plastic take away containers, for free. Not bad if you don’t mind drinking from a container!

Night fell as the food began to sell out.

This wonderful cause has managed to raise over $160,000 since 2007, and this year, they raised a huge $38,883! The event begins at 5:30pm until 8:30pm, and the food usually sells out before 8pm. If you have not attended a night market before, make sure you visit next year. I know I will.

Rating: 7 out of 10
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Address: Lifestream Christian Church, Cnr Murray St and McNabb Loop, Como, WA 6152

Bites:

  • Parking can be a issue as it is limited, so car pool if you can. If not, come earlier. And if you do, you will face less queues, less people, and more food for yourself!
  • It is cash only
  • Volunteering and sponsorship is also available to the public, if anyone is interested
  • There are fun games and activities for the children if they get bored!

– A.

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