So food trucks are unbelievably popular at the moment. I guess they’re our answer to hawker food. They are cheap, you don’t have to book, there’s lots of ever-changing choice. There are even websites that track the trucks so that you can always find your favourite.
As far as I can make out there are 2 business models
1) Your truck is your entire business, your only place of food production
2) Your truck is a rolling advert for your restaurant
My issue is this: in either model, a business wants to be able to serve the best possible dishes to their customers. But it appears not to be a space in which that is possible.
We’ve been to several festivals over the summer, all of which were catered by a variety of food trucks. With the exception of one, none of the dishes we ate rated over a 4/10. They have all been underseasoned / underdressed / underconsidered / undercooked (select all that apply).
- Pulled pork with so little sauce that it’s a bland mouthful of a meh that sticks in your throat
- Fried chicken, unsalted and virtually cold, with dressingless, dried-out pieces of pre-cut coleslaw
- Bland, flaccid arancini made from watery risotto
The list goes on but I’ve run out of adjectives.
Is this intentional? Does the ‘executive chef’ pair down every dish for the benefit of speed and costs? In cooking, as with fashion, accessorising is EVERYTHING. It’s the little extras, the attention to detail, that make or break a dish.
I’m not going to name and shame – the youngsters working their butts off in those sweaty, oily, tiny boxes do not need that from me – but I am going to stop buying food from trucks.
Although, as Mr Eleanor points out, perhaps it would be ok if they weren’t trying to feed 5,000 other people at the same time?