Food Truck Rumble 2014, Perth Cultural Centre
I’m not one to set goals, but this particular weekend I had a few. Number one: organise a beach outing with the Youth Group I was a part of. Number two: do some well-overdue baking (cupcakes, perhaps). Number three: eat myself silly at the Food Truck Rumble. This year’s Food Truck Rumble was set for Sunday 13th April, smack in the middle of the 2014 Eat Drink Perth festivities.
Since Eat Drink Perth 2014 had launched, I had sadly been unable to make it to many of the fantastic events on offer, due to previous personal commitments. This particular Sunday though, I had cleared my afternoon schedule for some serious feasting. I had been following the Food Truck Rumble Facebook page like a hawk, and was in high anticipation of the goodies advertised. Also, I planned to do a lot of walking and standing as I ate, which meant that I could promote exercise whilst eating, and burn off those impending kilos!
Three other things became apparent that Sunday. Number one: it was seriously crowded. I arrived at Perth Cultural Centre at 3.30 pm and it was already swarming with people – mostly families who had screaming children in tow. Number two: it was sweltering hot. It had tipped 33 degrees at some point while I was there, and I was sweating like a pig as I marched my way through the throngs of people, determined to satisfy my food cravings. Number three: there was going to be a long wait in all the queues for almost all the food trucks, with long lines clogging up the walkways.
The “long-line predicament” was applicable for The Merrywell food truck, which I had decided would be my first target. A had been to The Merrywell at Crown Perth previously and had an enjoyable time there, whilst I had mixed past experiences with it. Despite this, I loved the type of cuisine that The Merrywell promoted – good old American dude food. Parked outside the State Library, the Merrywell food truck appeared to be the quintessential dude food experience for many other people there that day, out of the whole array of food trucks – more than a few strapping guys were standing around it, ordering The Merrywell’s chips and their infamous mac and cheese bites.
I also felt like something similarly hearty, so I ordered the BBQ Pork Quesadillas ($10). I stood there for a good 20 minutes, solemnly waiting as those who had ordered after me got their white take away boxes and melted back into the crowd. My stomach decided at that moment to rumble unhappily at me.
At long last, I had the quesadillas in my hand (the man handing out the orders apologised for the wait) and made my way to a grassed area to settle the hunger pangs. The quesadillas were seriously very good. The quesadillas had a crisp, crunchy pastry-like exterior, cut into four triangular slabs. They were piping hot inside, smeared with a layer of tender pulled pork. The pork was wonderfully flavoured, with its trademark Mexican tanginess. On top was a smatter of red onion and freshly chopped tomato.
I think they went a bit over the top with the red onion that day, which had been so liberally provided, it had started to smart in my mouth. I needed to scrap it away a few times, so that it didn’t overpower the rest of the dish. The dollops of sour cream on top were delicious with the tomato, which I scrapped up using a portion of the quesadilla (no fancy cutlery needed). It hit all the right spots and it made the epic reach up for the quesadillas (those food trucks are really quite high!) all the more worthwhile.
Next, I decided to try one of Delish Ice’s Salted Caramel Ice ($4). I had sampled one previously at the 2014 All Saint’s College Pasar Malam, where I had been a guest of my sister. This one was a little on the sweeter side that the one I had previously, but it was still wonderfully creamy and milky. It had melted rapidly throughout the heat wave, dripping aggressively before it turned into a melted slurry. I had to slurp my way though it, before it disintegrated. Still very worth it.
Kustom Cupcakes had sold out of all their cupcakes by the time I arrived, with a small sign promising more to come at 5pm. However, by the time it hit the 4:30pm mark, their food truck was already restocking. A large crowd had gathered for the cupcake eating competition, where the ultimate prize included free cupcakes for a year. A whole year. It sounded like my dreams had come true….
Sad to say, I didn’t think I had the potential to swallow (more like inhale) a large quantity of cupcakes that day. Instead, I weaved to the front of the pack as a mere spectator, only to be met head on by a man in an elaborate El Macho costume, hailing brave competitors to rough out the sweet fest. I almost lost it laughing, watching his enthusiasm. He appeared to be doing a welcoming dance, drawing significant parallels to the Hakka. It was all very entertaining.
While these antics were on, I decided to buy a cupcake for my sister. I saw a cute one with pink icing, which the girl with the garland at the counter informed me was a strawberry red velvet cupcake ($4). The icing was fluffy and buttery, sprinkled with rainbow hundred and thousands. There was quite a generous quantity of icing spiralled on top of the cupcake itself, surely intended to send me into diabetic shock. The cupcake itself was rich, spongy and moist. All the marks of a great red velvet cupcake recipe. I also got it in a plastic take away box, which was an added bonus.
Other trucks that were there that I had tried on previous occasions included the Butty’s Food Truck (best rib burgers ever!), Jumplings (a highlight from my time at the 2013 Good Food and Wine Show) and Churro Central (which had the longest churros I’ve ever seen in Perth). I unfortunately wasn’t hungry enough to try these favourites, but I still grabbed glimpses of their trucks, surrounded by people.
The food truck craze in Perth has been influenced by its Los Angeles / New York counterpart, predominantly featuring in community events across America. Food trucks cater for quick, hot and convenient food, matched with creative wheels. I love how the industry for food trucks has since expanded in Perth, and I can’t wait to see many of these type of meals spread across different events. Park’d in Curtin University is a prime example of a successful collaboration of multiple food trucks, as was this year’s Food Truck Rumble. Looking forward to this event in 2015!
Address: Perth Cultural Centre (access from William Street/Beaufort Street)
Rating: 7 out of 10.
Urbanspoon has an amazing list of Food Trucks in Perth that can be viewed here.
- This year’s Food Truck Rumble was part of the 10th Eat Drink Perth Festival, showcasing food trucks from 11am to 8pm.
- The full line up included: Churro Central, Comida Do Sul Brazilian Food Truck, Delish Ice, Franklin Foodies, Hey Pesto, The Juicist, Jumplings Tasty Dumplings, Kustom Cupcakes, Lil Tortilla Boi, Little Caesars Pizzette Food Truck, The Merrywell Food Truck, Miam Miam a bite of France, Miss Tartufo, Mojito Cantina and Vince’s Mobile Wood Fire Pizza.
- The Perth Food Truck Rumble was organised by Ai-Ling Troung from Food Endeavours of the Blue Apocalypse. What a fantastic first time job!