Approach The Fancy Banger from any direction and you’ll notice the aroma of barbequed sausages long before you see the truck. It’s a foolproof drawcard for a business that changes its location every day.
But what will keep them coming is the concise, tasty menu. There are six choices, each inspired by a global cuisine – such as the harissa-infused Moroccan merguez (mutton) with caramelised onions and preserved lemon yoghurt. “Nothing is run of the mill. It’s all a bit fancy, hence the name,” says owner Richard Birch.
The sausages are sourced from selected butchers, and a baker in the inner-west provides the Portuguese bread rolls. There’s also a spicy vegetarian sausage with spinach, feta and beetroot relish. Birch makes all the sauces himself, including mayonnaise, ketchup, pickles and relishes.
The Fancy Banger first started in 2012 as a food stall at Glebe Markets. Looking to expand beyond the weekend market trade, Birch decided a food truck was the next logical step.
Describing the typical food truck as a “box on wheels”, Birch drew on his photography background to hone the aesthetics for his, choosing a distinctive French vehicle from the 1970s – the Citroen H Van – which was mostly used on farms. The vehicle is rare in Australia, so Birch’s tall black version was refurbished in the UK and then shipped to Australia and fitted with a kitchen.
Birch says he left the photography industry when it became digital and allowed people to fix mistakes later: “In the old days it was all about nailing it.” He says the food-truck business is much the same. “You find a location and you only have one chance to get it right.”
If the Japanese chicken-and-ginger sausage with wasabi pickles is anything to go by, so far, so good.