On my day off last week, I went to Curtin University in Bentley to give a guest lecture for Web 206, an Internet Studies unit. They’ve had me back at least once a year since 2010. We do the lecture in a Q&A format, and this year I answered questions tweeted by the students as well as asked within the lecture theatre.
This time around, I was also keen to check out the food trucks around campus, an initiative called ‘Park’d’ that’s just one part of the university’s Place Activation Plan, which aims to create more vibrant spaces around the campus. It’s a fantastic vision that will bring new energy and excitement to this sprawling brick and concrete campus.
The original 6-month trial of Park’d was a great success and it’s now in its second semester. The food trucks and their locations around campus change daily, usually parked at three different places from 10am to 3pm. That day, they were:
- Jumplings and Mutter Krause (Angazi)
- Hey Pesto and Tim’s (Happy Chappy) Ice Cream (216 Forecourt – next to Design & Art building)
- Vince’s Woodfired Pizza and Cuban Sandwich Co (Henderson Court)
It was my chance to taste the Cuban Sandwich Co’s Caribbean pulled pork sandwich which I’d heard a lot about. Although they tweet their truck’s locations around Perth each week, it hasn’t been convenient for me to check it out.
When you order, you have the choice of a fresh or toasted bread roll; I chose fresh. The slow-cooked pulled pork shoulder was sweet and soft, stuffed into a long, chewy bun lined with pickled jalapeños, with crisp cos (romaine) lettuce leaves and a generous drizzle of creamy aioli.
Your sandwich is made to order, wrapped in silver foil and handed to you through the window with a grin. There were a few orders ahead of mine, so I had to wait to receive my sandwich (somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes, nothing outrageous; a toasted bread roll will take longer than fresh). It’s not the handsomest sandwich, but it’s mighty tasty.
Note added December 2013: the price has gone up to AU$9 per sandwich.
It’s a tiny space to take orders from and make sandwiches in, but these guys seem to manage just fine.
Campaigning for the upcoming student guild election was in full swing that day and I lost count of the number of times I was approached by people waving flyers, eager to tell me why I should vote for them (my answer was “Sorry, I’m not a student”).
Although my Bachelor and PhD degrees are from Murdoch University, I’ve also studied and worked at Curtin, so it’s more than just another university to me. Every time I visit, it feels a bit like coming home, even though life on campus keeps evolving.
If you study or work at Curtin – what’s your favourite food truck?
More information on the food trucks featured in this post:
- Tim’s (Happy Chappy) Ice Cream
- Hey Pesto
- Mutter Krause – currywurst, next time I’m looking at you!
- Jumplings – I’m a big fan of Jumplings and have written about them as part of Yum Cha in the Park
- Vince’s Mobile Woodfired Pizzas
- Cuban Sandwich Co
Other food trucks are part of Park’d – check the links below for details.
Park’d food trucks at Curtin University
Various locations on weekdays at Bentley campus, usually 10am to 3pm. There are also weekly food markets featuring even more food vendors on Wednesdays 11am to 2pm in the Food Plaza between Buildings 106 and 108.
For weekly schedule updates including times, campus locations and maps:
Occasionally, factors like very bad weather can impact on food trucks and markets, so make sure you check for the latest updates.
I’ve just bought a new camera, a Fujifilm XE-1 – this was my first proper excursion with it, with 18-55mm lens attached. I’m having fun learning the camera’s intricacies and feeling pretty pleased with the results so far. I have no plans to give up my Nikon DSLR but there are times when a smaller camera is advantageous.