“The funniest thing about organising a food event is that I don’t get a chance to eat the food,” says Food Truck Rumble founder, Ai-Ling Truong. “Any friend that buys chips and says, ‘Hey do you want a chip?’ They’re my saviour. I always manage a few chips here and there.”
You have to feel for Truong. Despite spending six months organising Perth’s biggest food truck event, she’s too busy running around on the day to enjoy the fruits of her labour. Then again, considering the size of this year’s festival, it’s unlikely anyone would be able to experience every aspect of the Rumble, let alone the 40 trucks that will feed the Perth Cultural Centre this Sunday.
The laneway Art and Crafts Market, for instance, is a new addition to the lineup, as is the Urban Hawker Centre, which brings market food vendors into the fold for the first time. As well as the return of the break-dancing battle, local bands and DJs will provide the soundtrack while pop-up bars keep festival-goers hydrated. In short, Sunday looks set to be a very, very good day out.
To help plan your day, Truong has given Broadsheet a roll call of names that will be making their Rumble debut this weekend. From winning hamburgers to special festival one-offs, this hit list represents everything that’s great about the event.
Get on the Banh Wagon
The humble Vietnamese roll is the ultimate Perthian accessory right now. Banh Mizzle is a new truck that specialises in Vietnamese street food. On the menu will be foot-long banh mi and grilled pork noodle salads. If you’re flagging you can hit them up for a fix of Vietnamese coffee.
Eyes on the Pies
Everyone loves a good pie. For traditionalists, Miss Ferolla will sell crisp, buttery handmade pies filled with slow-cooked wonderment – say lamb, vegetables and rosemary gravy – and topped with zingy tomato sauce. Then there’s Bollygood Foods and its selection of Indian pies. The butter chicken is a favourite while intrepid eaters can go toe-to-toe with the hot beef vindaloo number.
Perth’s obsession with burgers shows little sign of letting up. Food Truck Rumble debutant Gary’s Diner will be serving classic cheeseburgers paired with curly fries. The menu at The Melt Hub includes both burgers and cheesy grilled sambos.
The Health Tick
This year’s Rumble isn’t all fried food and carb-loading. Making the trip up from Dunsborough, Kona Joe’s Health Shack will serve health-minded options with the truck’s Cocowhip and Acai Bowls suitable for dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan diets. Drawing inspiration from Turkey and its Ottoman neighbours, Empire Mobile Food offers vegan dishes such as purslane cigars and red lentil koftas.
The Value of Teamwork
Some trucks use Rumble as an opportunity to debut one-off creations. This weekend, Pash Frozen Yogurt joins forces with doughnut kings Top Dup to create the Top Dup Kind of Pash: frozen yoghurt with half a brownie bickie and a syringe filled with Nutella mousse.
Urban Hawker Centre
This is the first year Rumble will expand its street food offering via stalls at the Urban Hawker Centre in the Urban Orchard. Try traditional Colombian empanadas from Marcelita’s Empanadas, or Louisiana comfort food by Ragin Cajun. When we announced Batter Up! American Waffle Club via social media, the response was huge. It’s hard not to get excited about waffles topped with Carolina smoked pig, smoked Alabama chicken or Brooklyn brisket. The stall is run by an American who’s serious about sharing what American food should be.
Dancing in the Street
Perth’s biggest breakdancing competition, The Rumble 2vs2 Bboy/Bgirl Comp, is back this year at the James Street Amphitheatre. In between the knockout elimination rounds, there’ll be showcases of various dance styles. One of the crews participating will be The Society. They took out first place in the Mega Crew division of the 2014 Hip Hop International Australian Championships.
The expansion of this year’s event into the Museum Gardens means more trucks, as well as a Little Creatures pop-up bar and RTRFM DJs spinning tunes. Come June, this space will be demolished to build the state’s new museum, meaning Rumble will be one of the last events to take place here. Make sure you enjoy the space while it’s still here and be a part of its history.
As well as eating local at the Rumble, you can shop local, too. One of the most interesting vendors at the inaugural Art and Crafts Laneway Market is Dead Glass Design. They specialise in miniature scenery creations, oddities and curiosities, and generally create thought-provoking pieces. Check out the markets behind the Alex Hotel and Mechanics Institute.
Perth’s isolation has bred a flourishing local music scene. The Rumble has partnered with Cool Perth Nights to share some of our most dynamic bands at the Wetlands Music Stage. From hip-hop jazz-rock adventures with Pow! Negro to the new-wave instrumentals of Eleventeen Eston and alluring pop electronica of Bahasa Malay, prepare to have your horizons broadened.
Full details on all the line-up, activities and entertainment for Food Truck Rumble are available on the website. Food Truck Rumble is at the Perth Cultural Centre on April 3. Broadsheet is a media partner of this year’s event.