Taking it to the streetsWords: Jane Llewellyn
It’s certainly not a new concept. We all remember buying ice creams as a kid from Mr Whippy, Adelaideans have had the pie cart (famous for the pie floater) since 1840 and Sydneysiders have enjoyed late night pies from Harry’s Cafe de Wheels since the great depression. In the past, food trucks have only ever been seen as a late night drunken food option or a good excuse for an ice cream when My Whippy plays his tune – but not anymore. Food trucks are popping up all over the country, dishing up culinary delights for lunch, dinner and of course late night munchies.
On the back of the food truck phenomenon which swept America, especially LA and New York, food trucks appeared in cities like Melbourne (Beatbox, Taco Truck, Massive Wieners to name a few) and Adelaide (Burger Theory); and now finally Sydney will see its own fleet of food trucks. The City of Sydney has given the go ahead to 10 food trucks to operate in the city.
In a master-chef style cook off, the City of Sydney picked 10 out of the 30 businesses which applied. While some have already been operating in some capacity as mobile food vendors or food trucks interstate, for others it’s their first foray into food on the move. Facebook, twitter and the City of Sydney’s own app will be the communication tools so hungry Sydneysiders can track down the trucks.
Why Australians are so mad for food trucks is anyone’s guess. Perhaps it’s the cheap food options at a time when many people are tightening their purse strings; or the rejection of the internationally owned fast food conglomerates in favour of supporting the little guy. Or maybe it’s simply feeling you’re somehow in on a little secret when you manage to find one of the trucks after the location has been announced through social media. Whatever the reason it’s changing the face of fast food in this country and bringing people together kerbside.
The Sydney fleet should be hitting the streets any day now and here are some tips on what to eat when...
Searching for dining option during dry July: Cantina Mobil will be stocking non-alcoholic sangria along with all your favourite Mexican treats like nachos and tacos.
Looking for a unique cultural experience: At Eat Art Truck you can munch on delicious dishes from Stuart McGill (Tetsuya’s former sous chef) while admiring the latest offerings from up-and-coming street artists.
You want to feel wholesome on all levels: Tuck into organic gourmet pizzas like a Wagyu Beef Meatball Spelt Pizza at Agape Organic and feel no guilt or, sample delicious tofu burgers and other delicious veggie options at the Veggie Patch.
Searching for an alternative to a late night dirty kebab: Stop for a soft shell taco at either the Taco Truck or Al Carbon.
Looking for a hangover cure: Try the old school pasta favourites at Urban Pasta, it’s a cup of goodness; or tuck into a Pastizzi from Bite Size Delights.
You’re craving the best buns in town: Let’s do Yum Cha’s roasted duck buns - they are an old favourite and I’m dying to try Tsuru’s signature dish ‘the PIG’ – a piece of luscious pork belly that has been roasted, then slow-braised overnight and sandwiched in between steamed buns.