Sunday, 10 March 2013

Araluen's Fremantle Chilli Festival 2013

When: Sunday March 10th 2013

This year we had heard about the annual Araluen's Fremantle Chilli Festival and decided that being the loyal, local Freo folk that we are; we would head down!

The festival usually runs for 2 days over a weekend with around 80 stalls. We decided to go on the Sunday but with Freo being Freo, it was still packed! There was a distinctive buzz to the place and you could forgive the throngs of people around Freo markets and the cappucino strip for not even knowing about the festival, which was held on the Fremantle Esplanade lawn.

There is an entry fee for adults at $15 per head and children are admitted for free. Important to note here right at the start that this event is totally CASH ONLY. There are no withdrawal facilities once you get in, so bring plenty of cash depending on how much you need to spend. We cover the costs of the foods we tried below, but you should budget for an average of around $8-10 per dish.

Initially, we thought that the admission fee was unnecessary considering the festival is a stall style event. Later on though, we realised that this was because there was alcohol sold at the event too with a few brewery stalls (eg: Matso's, Bush Shack Brewery), a cocktail stall with yum rum cocktails (Mojitos)! (The Kimberley Rum Company:, as well as some wine stalls which touted chilli wine! We wanted to try some but at $5 for a glass or alternatively at $5 for sampler tastings of their range, we considered it probably not value for money. People's opinions may differ and that's fair enough but we would consider ourselves decent wine buffs and the "chilli" wine on offer was really just normal grape pressed wine with a "chilli" infusion, hence we passed. 

There were also plenty of other varieties of stalls selling desserts, chilli sauces, pickles, condiments and even chilli plants but the real reason we went there was for....


Yes indeedy! There were a gluttonous array of awesome cuisines on offer, and here's some of what we tried!:


These were marketed as "Japanese Dumplings", hence "Jumplings". 

We tried the Chicken dumplings with coriander and ponzu and they were yummy! Serves come with 5 pieces per serve and are priced at $8 per serve for the duck and chicken options with the prawn option priced at $10 per serve. The jumplings were so yummy, that they were all gone within roughly 2 mins, no joke! If you're a fan of dim sum/yum cha, you will like these jumplings with a Japanese spiced twist.

 Jumplings -

Paella (Chorizo Fideua):

Next up, we had some Paella Fideua which had chorizo in it priced at $10 per serve. Admittedly, we are used to a different sort of paella and Paella "Fideua" was a new one for us. The dish we tried had a noodle/pasta style carb in it and a quick google search came up with the Wikipedia entry for Fideua ( This basically confirmed that a Paella Fideua is a paella with noodles instead of rice. We hypothesised that this variation was much the same as Kothu's different variants in Sri Lanka.

Anyway, we're really glad we tried something new and it was tasty with a pesto style sauce poured on top if requested. Important to note too is that we adore the massive Paella pans! Photos below:


The next food we tried was Argentinian! At the El Asador stall, we tried the $8 Choripan which could be described as being similar to a chorizo bratwurst, consisting of an Argentinian style chorizo in amongst hot dog bread, drizzled with chimichurri ( The sauce wasn't spicy and not meant to be and the chorizo itself was pretty authentic with full chunks of fatty meaty goodness contained within. The company running the stall has an online shop where they sell condiments, chimichurri and cured meats.

Chicken Gumbo:

It was then time for some Ragin' Cajun Lousiana Food! On offer were Seafood Jambalaya, Chicken Gumbo and Cajun Chilli. We chose the Chicken Gumbo and think we should have chosen the Seafood Jambalaya instead. The chicken wasn't bad, it just tasted a bit average. 

The company itself seems to be based straight out of America and make their own sauces and the like. 


Araluen's Fremantle Chilli Festival seemed to be a great day out, even though there really seemed to be a lack of ready to eat foods which were actually remotely spicy. Nonetheless, it seemed to be well organised and in the middle of the grounds, there was a staged area where there were dancers performing for people to chill out and watch with their friends and family. All in all, a good day out and worth the trip. We will definitely go back next year!

For a list of this year's stalls which were on offer, please visit: 

To round off this blogpost, I've just added some random photos below to add to the atmosphere. We hope you enjoyed reading it!

Paella Pans!

Cajun Fries

Chilli Mussels

The atmosphere!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks! I just approved your blog claim. Now your Urbanspoon profile picture is displayed on your blog page. You can upload a blog-specific photo if you prefer, and can change a few other blog settings there. Also, if you vote for a restaurant that you've reviewed on your blog, we now show your vote next to your post everywhere on our site.