Food Truck Rumble

The first ever Food Truck Rumble was on Sunday, part of this year’s Eat Drink Perth. The Rumble was the vision of Ai-Ling Truong who, with the support of the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority and a volunteer crew, did an amazing job in bringing together 17 food trucks (one pulled out at late notice due to a medical emergency) and a pop-up bar for an all-day festival at the Perth Cultural Centre.

Last year, Ai-Ling was chair of the Eat Drink Blog conference committee that organised a wonderful pop-up food truck dinner for delegates. Food trucks have risen in prominence and popularity in Perth over the past couple of years, with highly successful food truck initiatives at our universities, including Park’d at Curtin; regular appearances at different street festivals, farmers markets and street food markets in the city and around the suburbs; and the establishment of Perth Gourmet Food Van, promoting and driving support for food trucks in Perth. Local councils are becoming more open to food trucks – in particular, the City of Fremantle and the City of Perth have been keen to revitalise under-utilised and ‘forgotten’ public spaces and look at ways to allow food trucks to operate. With all of this interest, it’s no surprise the Food Truck Rumble was enthusiastically received.

I started my Rumble with a salted malted caramel popsicle from the Delish Ice pop van but I was soon blissfully caught up taking photographs and chatting with friends and blog readers. When I finally thought about getting something to eat, I realised I’d left my lunch run much too late – there were long lines at every truck I was interested in, with a minimum wait of anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour in the blazing sun. I had a sense of deja vu from the first Yum Cha in the Park in Northbridge a couple of years ago, where the relentless lines and lack of shade were energy sappers. Other events held on the same day brought lots of punters to the city – Perth Home Grown Market and the Young Butchers Picnic at Forrest Place, and the Perth Wildcats versus Adelaide 36ers grand final decider at Perth Arena, for example. I’d hate to think how much bigger the crowd might’ve been had the weather been cooler! But this is life in Perth, and I’d choose a scorcher over rain for an outdoor festival any day. Considering that Eat Drink Perth 2014 has taken place a whole month later than in previous years, outdoor events such as this have been blessed with sunshine.

Some of the vendors seemed overwhelmed by the response, appeared to have underestimated Perth’s voracious appetite and ran out of stock; some were able to restock while other trucks had little choice but cease trading much earlier than the advertised end-time.

Certainly if there were more trucks there on the day, there would’ve been lines at them too, but it’s always a challenge to balance the number of vendors with sufficient walkways, entrance/exit points, open space, and suitable places to sit and eat. In public open spaces such as this, the capacity to support vendors is also dependent on available power and water sources. All of this I have no doubt had been carefully considered in the planning of the event.

I’m not going to harp on about what could be improved. There’s been plenty of feedback posted at the Food Truck Rumble’s Facebook page, with people sharing their impressions from the day. Like any first-time event, there were lessons to be learned, but I hope Ai-Ling, our food truck rumblers and all involved have been encouraged by the experience and response – and that this will be the first of many more Rumbles.

My favourite photos from the day are below. I took some of the pictures early in the day, before the crowds arrived.


Miss Tartufo Miss Tartufo Gelati

Miam MiamMiam Miam – French crepes, waffles, macarons and French sweets

Miam Miam

Delish Ice Delish Ice has been a favourite of mine this summer

Churro Central Churro Central – these 16-inch churros are simply rolled in cinnamon sugar or served with whipped cream and topping

DSCF1578An improvement I’d like to see next time is more shaded areas with seating and tables

Merrywell If you missed out at the Merrywell truck you can of course dine at The Merrywell restaurant at Burswood Entertainment Complex

Vince's Pizza Vince’s Mobile Wood Fired Pizza

Hey Pesto Hey Pesto served burgers (including a ‘Three Little Pigs’ burger with pork belly, smoked ham and short cut bacon), coffee and drinks

Ben & Jerry's ice cream – Not counted as one of the 17 food trucks, Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Wagon has been parked in the Perth Cultural Centre for a while now. The other ‘permanent’ Perth Cultural Centre vendors Polly Cafe and Pajeco traded as usual too


DSCF1626Lines soon stretched right across the walkway

Butty's Butty’s rib burgers and cheesy fries were a favourite with the crowd

Comida do Sul Comida do Sul served up Brazilian food and La Paleta creamy Mexican popsicles


Mojito Cantina Mojito Cantina – Mexican food, Mexican soda and coffee

Little Caesars Pizzette Little Caesars Pizzette

Lil Tortilla Boi Lil Tortilla Boi – soft tacos with organic pulled beef, Creole pulled pork or refried black beans. These smelled fantastic!

DSCF1645Carnival amusements were set up in front of the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA)

DSCF1633-2The steps next to the wetland provided seats and some shade

Ffoodies Many queued up at Franklin Foodies (Ffoodies) for a taste of Philly cheese steak grinders, BBQ beef brisket tacos and buffalo wings

Jumplings Jumplings had my favourite duck dumplings, as well as chicken and chilli crab

The Juicist - before the queue began The Juicist – cold pressed juice, lemonade and coffee – pictured here before the queue began

Swing dancers The Swing It dancers performed throughout the day. I’m sure more entertainment would have been well received by the crowd

Kustom Cupcakes Food Truck Rumble included the first appearance of the Kustom Cupcakes truck

Kustom Cupcakes Kustom Cupcakes

Cupcake-eating contestantsKustom Cupcakes put on a cupcake-eating contest – eight contestants competed for the chance to win a year’s worth of free cupcakes

The cupcakes The cupcakes, with impressively bouffant icing

Cupcake-eating contestants Cupcake-eating contestants


DSCF1714We all tried not to think about what the buckets were for

Cocktail Gastronomy pop-up bar The Cocktail Gastronomy and The Classroom Bar’s pop-up bar provided an oasis right outside the State Library. Interestingly, the queues here were nothing compared to those at the food trucks. On the menu here: beer, cider, soft drinks and cocktails – the Liquid Nitrogen Espresso Martini, Lemon Meringue and Lychee Mojito. Cold water was also available for free.

Lemon meringue, with citrus vodka, limoncello, fresh lemon juice, torched meringue Lemon meringue, with citrus vodka, limoncello, fresh lemon juice, topped with meringue, torched to order via Bunsen burner

Adding liquid Nitrogen to the Espresso Martini Adding liquid Nitrogen to the Espresso Martini – always a spectacular sight



Food Truck Rumble was held on Sunday 13 April, 11am to 8pm in Perth Cultural Centre. The Eat Drink Perth festival continues throughout April 2014, with its final event Taste of Perth on the first weekend in May.

The food truck rumblers were:

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