If your last experience of food served from a van was a greasy hot dog or a soft serve ice cream, it’s time to look about you at the new breed of food trucks that are transforming the street food scene in Cape Town. Colourful vans with chalkboard menus are serving fresh food worthy of a trendy restaurant at markets and festivals. The best of them catered foe chic foodies at last year’s Design Indaba, had their own street food festival and are increasingly a hip catering choice for private parties.
While food tends to be pared down in presentation, the essence of street food is that it’s easy to eat and casual, it’s bursting with flavour and has taste influences as individuals as the truck owners.
Mon Ami describes itself as a “French Afrik Bistro” and owners Florian and Lucille have combined their love of travel and food to serve food that is fresh and full of influences from their years of travelling the world – their chicken wrap with a secret coconut and lime sauce is satisfyingly stuffed with avocado and vegies for a healthy balanced meal. Then there are Moroccan lamb burgers abd Prego steak rolls. Everything is freshly made on the spot. They’re at the farmers’ market in the Company’s Garden every Saturday and at other markets and events throughout the month.
Richter and Sam of Wahine are another well-travelled pair cooking up a storm. Sam grew up in Fiji, and Richter grew up in Pretoria. They have met in South Korea and serve Polynesian food, influenced by Sam’s South Pacific heritage, to an enthusiastic Cape Town crowd. Think island curries, silky noodle dishes, smoked pork with home-made barbeque sauce, teriyaki chicken wraps and more. Find them at Black River Business Park on Fridays and at the markets and events on weekends.
Nomadic by nature, you’re unlikely to find one of these trucks parked permanently on a street corner near you, but it’s worth tracking down the best of them. The secret is to follow your favourite on Twitter and Facebook to find out where and when you can find them.