I was trying to explain the concept of the food truck to a bunch of English people the other day, and they looked a little disgusted. "What... The food is actually cooked in a truck? On the side of the road?" They seemed to liken it to the convenience of a Portaloo, rather than the American institution of fresh, fast, mobile food. They weren't impressed.
What you really need to know about the impending food-truck frenzy that is about to park itself on our street corners, is that yes, the concept of the food truck is all about snack-venience, but this isn't your average hot dog stand at the cricket. This is a restaurant, on wheels. There is as much passion invested in the eats they are producing, as the emphasis they place on the freedom of happening to run their business out of a truck. This is street food, something Sydney only previously understood as a late-night donor kebab, eaten gutter-side.
Over the next week or so, we'll be bringing you images and interviews with a group of people behind the 10 food trucks that will soon be rolling out a personal take on Sydney street food. This week, we've had a chat to Ellyn Tse, head chef at Tsuru Food Truck.
We're pumped to hear you will be satisfying our hunger for something different in the Sydney food scene, what's your background?
Hi! We're really excited too. I grew up in a family of restaurateurs, my family owns and runs various establishments in Indonesia and have been doing so for more than 40 years. In Australia, I have been running my own catering entity for close to 7 years. I am actively volunteering my time cooking for a not-for-profit organization called 'Eat. Drink. Give.' whose primary objective is Food Without Prejudice. We raise funds through catering for functions and events, and we give back by providing complimentary dining experiences to the disadvantaged sector in our community. Our past works include providing catering for Haymarket Chamber of Commerce, 4A Contemporary Asian Art Gallery, & Harris Community Centre in Ultimo. Tsuru Food Truck will also be collaborating with Eat. Drink. Give. in its operation. There will be nominated 'Eat. Drink. Give. days' where a percentage of proceeds will go towards funding Food Without Prejudice project.
When and where should we be expecting you to park yourselves in Sydney?
We should launch in just under 2 months. Trading hours and locations-wise, we are still waiting for City of Sydney for their confirmation. Hopefully, we'll hear from them soon enough!
What will you be serving?
We'll be serving up pan-Asian menu, ranging from steamed pillowy Chinese buns folded over various fillings, Onigiri (Japanese rice balls), and yummy things on sticks. Our signature dish is 'the PIG' - a piece of luscious pork belly that has been roasted, then slow-braised overnight in old family recipe, and sandwiched in between our very own house-made steamed buns.
What's your price point?
From $3 to $30 for combo
Why do you think Sydney needs a food truck culture?
Food truck culture allows good-quality food to be easily accessible, and to go to where people gather. It is a great added option to late-night dining, festivals/outdoor activities, and creates a unique and iconic feature to the streets of Sydney. Best of all, the myriad of food of Sydney food trucks translates the vibrant multiculturalism of Sydney.
SOUNDS GOOD TO US! Stay tuned for updates on the Tsuru Food truck, and follow their progress on their facebook and twitter pages.