Finally they are here!
Food trucks that is. Well… Very slowly anyway.
Having travelled to Vietnam and The States over the last couple of years, I came to realise that the street food scene in Sydney is pretty much non-existent. To rectify this, an initiative by The City of Sydney is bringing 10 food trucks to circulate their way around Sydney CBD and surrounding suburbs at allocated sites offering good and affordable food options such as pasta, pizzas, yum cha, tacos, pork buns etc at various times during the day, night and early morning.
There has been a lot of hype for these trucks and uncertainty about when they will actually roll out into the streets. Catina Mobil is the first food truck to officially roam the streets but soon enough the rest will follow. Also, The City of Sydney is due to release a smartphone app soon which will allow you to track down the whereabouts of these trucks and provide links to food truck menus from your phone.
For those whom are interested, here’s the list of 10 food trucks:
1. Agape Organic – organic spelt pizzas and tapas
2. Al Carbon – soft tacos
3. Bite Sized Delights – Maltese finger food
4. Urban Pasta – Italian-influenced pasta
5. Cantina Mobil – Mexican-inspired tacos/burritos with slow cooked meats
6. Eat Art Truck – Japanese/Korean influence
7. Let’s Do Yum Cha – yum cha (think pork buns/dim sim)
8. Taco Truck – gourmet Mexican
9. Tsuru – Asian-inspired street food
10. Veggie Patch – vegetarian and juices
When I discovered that Cantina Mobil was going to be at Victoria Park, I knew I just had to check them out since my office is fairly close by. I arrived there on the dot fearing that there will be a massive queue but there was hardly anyone around which is a shame for them. However, it still is early days, not that many people have caught on to it yet due to all the fuffing about and delays and although many university students may walk through this park, the allocated site can be easily missed if you don’t know what to look for.
Seeing as this was going to be brunch for me, I settled for 2 soft shell tacos (also available with hard shells) ($4.50 each). With lettuce, chilli corn, tomato salsa and chili con queso (a mild Mexican chilli cheese), and you get a choice from 3 fillings for your taco (or burrito); chipotle beef, achiote chicken or pinto beans.
I chose to have both meat options. The beef was slow roasted and shredded with red cayenne chilli sauce with lime whilst the chicken was marinated and slow cooked with green jalapeño chilli sauce with coriander. Whilst both meats were juicy and tender, I preferred the beef filling as it had a prominent smokey taste in comparison to the chicken. The accompaniments were fresh and the level of heat from the salsa and chilli corn was not too high, but of course, if you are after a bit more heat, there is an array of chilli sauces for you to try until your heart’s content .
To wash it all down, I had a bottle of Sangria Senorial ($4.50); a non-alcoholic sangria-flavoured carbonated drink made in Mexico. I know having no alcohol in a sangria defeats the purpose of having sangria but I guess it’s a way to comply with the current regulations of alcohol on the streets. It pretty much tasted like sparkling Ribenna but not too sweet.
Feeling a little peckish a couple of hours later, I decided to pop by for a second visit to enjoy some chilli corn ($4) as I bask in the warm Autumn sun. Juicy sweet corn kernels tossed with 3 types of chilli, cumin & seasoning make for a traditional Mexican street food snack with a tiny kick of heat.
Then of course there has to be a dessert to follow right? Made by the guys from Freshpops, Catina Mobil sell chilli chocolate ice cream pops ($4) which aren’t as creamy as I had imagined them to be but instead the texture is more on the icy side. There is a subtle kick from the chilli before the ice block cools you down naturally.