Heard the buzz on the street about the food truck phenomenon hitting Sydney? Travel, food and wine journalist (what a combo!), Karen Lawson, discovers the ultimate fast food revolution and gives us her top menu picks.
If the idea of chasing your potential meal down the road as it speeds off into the distance sounds like the latest fitness trend, fear not.
Forget childhood food truck memories of Chiko rolls which could kill a seagull at four paces and embrace a gourmet revolution which (thankfully) isn’t a new reality cooking show…
Buckle up, the Food Truck Revolution is coming to Australia!
In a land far, far away… (The History)
It’s taken four years for the trend to cross the Atlantic from the US, via Europe. The first gourmet trendsetter vans were New York’s Rickshaw Dumplings bar and LA’s Kogi BBQ which sent people into a foodie lovin’ frenzy. Then Zagat (the international equivalent of popular restaurant review site Eatability) got in on the act creating a ‘Food Truck’ category and its popularity was sealed.
Moveable feasting is so hot right now you can roast your buns on it.
Sydney gets in on the act
In a cook off last year, the City of Sydney awarded 10 mobile licenses. Leading chefs voted on the best dishes, enticing a range of famous names to emerge from behind the restaurant pans and a 12 month trial of the concept is now underway.
Already live in Melbourne, Sydney can now brag it’s added a sprinkling of epicurean sparkle to its late night eating scene (because let’s be frank, there really wasn’t one past 10pm).
Getting the lowdown on location
If you are looking for your very own Megan Ryan orgasmic, al fresco experience which will rock your taste buds off; rev up your GPS, sign up to Facebook and Twitter truck accounts and commence the game of ‘track the truck’ to get your daily fix.
My insider guide on who to chase and what to order
Restaurateur couple, Steph and Rode, have hit the road with Cantina Mobil, serving authentic Mexican burritos and tacos. Many ingredients have been individually sourced from Mexico creating a fiesta of wild but balanced flavours. The fillings of spicy chicken and beef enjoying over ten hours of prep love. Don’t forget the hand cut spiced corn and follow up with a chili chocolate ice cream.
Eat Art Truck is a cruising canvas of the country’s coolest street art. Why wait for a reservation at Tetsuya or Quay when you can experience progressive street food from two of their talented sous chefs, Stuart and Brenton.
Try the Spatchcock Ssam (think San Choy Boy with a Kimchi style dressing) but it’s the hot smoked Pulled Pork with wild turkey sauce which will have you dreaming of your next piggy encounter. Like Dr Pepper flavours? Try ‘annindofu’, a favourite Japanese treat.
Is it a van or a barn?
‘Spud’ the Veggie Patch Van is so gorgeous you might just want to move in! Powered by solar energy and run on vegetable oil, vegetarian restaurateur Carl from Yullis in Surry Hills hooked up with design house TMOD to create a barn on wheels sourcing directly from Food Connect farmers whose seasonal produce comes from local farmers living within a short radius of the city – love that.
It knocks out a cracking ancient grain zucchini and chickpea burgers, spiced kumara soup and polenta chips. The menu is seasonal as it is sensational.
Still to come are the Tsuru gang cooking up an Asian storm, Italian delights from Urban Pasta, the only Yum Cha trolley with a rego Let’s Do Yum Cha, asado charcoal lovin’ Al Carbon Taquería Móvil (selling Taco’s!), and Agape Organic’s signature pizzas and seasonal produce.
Get involved, you know you want to
It’s easy to get on board the food truck action. Simply get online and hone those social media skills. You will be slamming your hands down on the serving counter following your first food truck experience screaming “Yes, Yes…YES’ this is how food should taste. It’s the ultimate fun, fabulous, fast food feast.
You can register for the app here: http://www.sydneyfoodtrucks.com.au/