Thursday, November 14, 2013

Gumbo Kitchen and Taco Truck Dos, Melbourne CBD by Bureaucrat

Despite having established themselves as part of the Melbourne food scene, I haven't eaten from a food truck before.  I've seen them around and usually there's a long queue that prevents me from lining up for my chance to try out their tucker.

So when several food trucks set up shop in Melbourne Central shopping center recently, we headed down early hoping for a tasty lunch.  We got there super early because we wanted to make sure that nothing on the menu had run out.  Having inspected the menus of the two food trucks, the guys all decided to try Gumbo Kitchen while I went for Taco Truck Dos.

At Gumbo Kitchen, there were four options on offer - three po boys and the Dom.

Mr P went for the Dom - slow cooked beef - with fries and gherkin.  Not the prettiest presentation.  Of the guys, Mr P seemed the most ambivalent about the food.  The beef was tender and there was lots of chips.

Three of the guys went for beef debris (a different slow cooked beef) and the pulled pork po boys. As he couldn't decide which one he wanted to try more, Mr A, rather impressively, ordered one of each. While they all thought the po boys were okay, none of them thought they were anything special.  Mr C thought the sauce that was served with the beef was very gluggy and not very appetizing texture.  

Mr A thought that the sauce, especially for the pulled pork, was quite sugary and he wasn't sure how authentic that was.  He was expecting something a bit more smokey and more mellow in sweetness.  Also, Mr A had got the impression that the pulled pork po boy came with a piece of crackling.  However, none of us recalled that being on the menu.  Lastly, he also thought both po boys were a bit salty.

Mr G went for the deep fried catfish po boy.  We had to wait a bit for this as it had to be cooked. Although Mr G liked the catfish he didn't think it was worth the price.

As the offerings at Gumbo Kitchen was all a bit meaty and bready, I decided to get some gluten-free tacos at Taco Truck Dos.

As with the GK menu, I was a bit surprised at how pricey the tacos were - given that this is meant to be street food.  For $12 you get two tacos.  On this day, there were three options (two meat and one veggie).  I got the prawn taco w coleslaw, mayo and salsa, and the beef taco (rib eye) w chilli tamarind salsa, spiced pepitas.  For an extra $3 you can get corn chips and guacamole on the side.  I didn't as for the extras, but was given some complementary corn chips.  Two large, plump and juicy prawns that were cooked fresh on the spot.  A very light batter fried into a lovely golden colour.  Very morish with the paper thin corn tortillas.  The finely shredded slaw and mayo gave it a fresh crunchiness.  Very delectable.  

The beef taco was also very nice.  Flavoursome small pieces of beef that were tender and juicy.  The small pieces of beef meant it was easy to eat the taco.  A slight chilli kick from the salsa.  I was disappointed with the small size of the tacos.

Verdict - Gumbo Kitchen
Food - 6.5
Ambiance - 6.5
Service - 7
Price – 6

Verdict - Taco Truck Dos
Food - 8
Ambiance - 6.5
Service - 7
Price – 6

A slight mix of views here ranging from 'ehhh...' to 'meh' to unimpressed.

All the guys said that the food at GK generally tasted okay but didn't think it was worth the price and they wouldn't go back.  See also Big Fil's review of GK back in Jan 2012.

I thought the tacos were very tasty but it's quite steep for $6 each (having said that, it's much cheaper for the same thing when compared with Touche Hombre).  While the guys were, more or less, full from their meals, I was still quite hungry.  Unless you're wanting a snack, I don't think it'd be cost-efficient to have a full meal just from TTD.

Gumbo Kitchen
295 Smith St
Fitzroy, VIC 3065
Telephone: 0411 037 652
Gumbo Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Taco Truck Dos
15 Keele St
Collingwood 3066
Telephone: 8060 6664
Taco Truck on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

obelix glutt said...

That is a big gherkin.

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