As far as food trends go, food trucks are almost passe in Melbourne these days.
So yes, while Grub Food Van has a kitchen inside a van, it’s a food truck which stays put and thus has some advantages over its competitors.
Specifically, staying in one spot means that it’s been able to put down roots. Literally. Walk past the carpeted dirt patch and there’s a whole kitchen garden sprouting in what is effectively a big back shed slash greenhouse.
And it’s awesome! Tomatoes, squash, herbs, lettuces, flowers, bizarre garden ornaments, ping-pong, fountains and a resident pooch – it’s like your favourite neighbour’s backyard which you can go and visit at any time (and where you’ll be served food and drinks) but you don’t have to do any of the maintenance. The undercover area means that you can hide away from the elements as the weather starts getting cooler.
The van itself is a beauty too, a bullet-shiny steel Airstream from the 60s.
The food is easy and straightforward as obviously the kitchen is restricted in size and stove power. Breakfast is toast, muesli, eggs while lunch is sandwiches. Cakes and pastries come from various sources including Noisette and Babka and coffee is from 5 Senses. When the sun goes down they service beer, wine, cider and cocktails.
I chose one of the open sandwich options written on the front of the fridge ($10) – smoked trout, dill creme fraiche, rocket and rye. It was a substantial breakfast with just-picked super-fresh peppery rocket for a green kickstart to the day.
RM chose the rillettes with toast ($10) and some ice tea ($4). He quite enjoyed it but I had a taste and didn’t fancy the wet, bland shredded meat compared to my dish. But I’m not a fan of cold potted meats in general so it’s just my prejudice. More bread would have been appreciated too.
C and J had the same thing – a tear-hard-with-your-teeth baguette filled with shaved, ham and avocado. Not particularly unique but tasty nonetheless.
On our visit on a Saturday morning the food and coffee orders arrived slowly despite us being one of three tables. We weren’t too bothered but the staff are a bit lackadaisical, so if you’re in a hurry it’s perhaps not for you. The food is simple and good for taste buds just waking up in the morning but the best part of the whole operation is the setting.
Grub Food Van, 87-89 Moor St, Fitzroy +61 3 9419 8991
Tue-Sun 7am-10pm, though subject to change depending on the weather
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