The City of Sydney has announced the 10 mobile eateries that will take part in this year's food truck pilot program, having received more than 30 applications from hopeful operators.
The group was chosen by a panel of food experts and after a selection process that included checking that the proposed food truck complied with health and waste management codes and a cook-off challenge where contenders had an hour to cook meals from their truck menu, which were then judged on the taste, their overall concept and their complete offering.
The operators can now fit out their trucks, which will start to hit the streets in coming weeks.
The 10 successful operators, will serve up dishes ranging from modern Australian made by an ex-sous chef at Tetsuya's to steamed yum cha, Mexican and veggie burgers. They include:
- Al Carbon
- Bite Sized Delights
- Burger Theory
- Cantina Mobil
- Eat Art Truck
- Let’s Do Yum Cha
- Taco Truck
- Veggie Patch
Milenka Osen will be operating The Veggie Patch food truck with her business partner Georgie Swift and in collaboration with Yulli's, a vegetarian restaurant in Crown Street, Surry Hills.
"We're really excited, we've been wanting to do this project for a while and I guess the only thing that was stopping us was the council approval, so it's great news," Osen told Hospitality.
The Veggie Patch truck will offer breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, and will move across the city visiting parks, the CBD and exhibition openings in Surry Hills, selling vegetarian dishes with a focus on fresh, seasonal produce.
Osen and Swift currently operate a stationery company called Tmod, which sells interactive stationery lines including 'scratchie' gift cards, party hat cards and paper airplanes that are all completely compostable.
This sustainability element has been carried through to The Veggie Patch, Olsen said. "All our fresh produce is sourced locally, so within NSW and it's vegetarian. Everything can be composted, including the packaging, and the van itself is run off vegetable oil … and there will be solar panels on the roof too.
"Because it's seasonal, the fruits and vegetables will change depending on what's in season at the time. There'll be one salad, one burger, a mixed chip plates which will be [made up of] seasonal vegetables, and for the breakfast we're doing bircher muesli."
Osen is optimistic that the pilot will be a success and that the council will extend the Veggie Patch's license, arguing that the city is ready for good quality, convenient food offerings, served up in the fresh air.
"I think it'll do really well here. Sydney is a really vibrant and outdoor city and because of the weather that we have here and the culture, I think people are always looking for new things in different areas. The fact that it’s mobile and that it's changing will appeal to people in Sydney as well."
Veggie Patch sample menu
The food truck fine print
- The City of Sydney is lodging development applications for 13 sites across the Local Government Area where the trucks can operate. Likely sites include Belmore Park and Customs House Forecourt and Sydney Park.
- The 10 operators will be the only ones with permits to use the sites, and they will be required to move between locations during the night. The trial will run for a year, and a detailed analysis will follow.
- Opening hours will depend on the location and when existing restaurants and cafes close. A smartphone app being developed by the City will soon provide a real-time map, links to food truck menus and other details