Barely unpacked since I got back in Sydney, I set out to pay a quick visit to the Filipino store at Lemon Grove Shopping Center in Chatswood. It was the nearest one I could find online, just one train station away from our place in Artarmon, Sydney. Christmas is just a few days away so I thought it would be nice to get some local handicrafts as gifts for friends and native delicacies for Christmas dinner. I intentionally didn’t bring any pasalubong especially food items and handicrafts to avoid the long quarantine queue at immigration. Charles had advised me about the strict regulation of these items and that it would save me the pain of waiting in a longer line.
Some kababayan loading up with ingredients for their Noche Buena
The store is located on the 2nd level of Lemon Grove shopping center along Victoria Avenue opposite Westfield Shopping Center (where the popular Myer department store is located). I was surprised to have missed this place the last time I was at Lemon Grove to buy some souvenirs. The store is just small but it lives up to its name as a typical sari-sari store with all sorts of goodies like chicharon and kropek welcoming you at the entrance, shelves of Filipino brand canned goods and spices, dried fish, frozen fish, meat and other bric-a-brac. There are also some freshly-made kakanin available only during the holidays. Unfortunately, the new store owners had let go of the handicraft business and focused on food and grocery items. But when you’re abroad, a place like this is the closest thing to feeling at home.
MANILA SARI-SARI STORE
Filipino Grocery Store
Shop 38 Level 2, Lemon Grove Shopping Center