A new food phenomenon is gaining momentum in India. Our country has long been known for its excellent street food served off thelas and this street food is now evolving into the more fancy food truck trend. These trucks offer a different experience qualitatively.
In the past few months there has been a spurt in the number of food trucks operating in Delhi and NCR, serving everything from dosas to tortillas.
Live kitchen makes food trucks a cleaner option — not to miss the open air feel. But what makes food trucks appeal more to the youth is the fact that there’s no geographical limitation and they offer pocket-friendly menus too.
Managing Director of restaurant chain Kylin, Saurabh Khanijo feels that the concept is very “efficient and has scalability”.
“It allows brands to showcase their product in the best way possible. As food trucks don’t have geographical limitations, one can send them anywhere. Brands can easily see the difference between setting up a restaurant and a food truck. The concept is quirky and way cooler than a restaurant today. It is also a great way to introduce oneself to fresh new consumers,” Khanijo told IANS.
Owner of The Masala Trail, Osama Jalali which has a food truck in Noida near Amity University, feels every city is booming with concept food trucks as they are a great platform to showcase a brand to the common man.
“It’s a great market as one can see the mushrooming of food trucks around. Also the crowd at food truck festivals is crazy,” Jalali told IANS, adding that he plans to expand his food truck outlets in the national capital region soon.
In Delhi, food truck concepts — which serve up multiple cuisines — have come up in creative ways.
In April, the capital hosted the Delhi Food Truck Festival — a two-day food extravaganza that brought together an array of local, national and international cuisines served by top food trucks in the NCR region.
Organised at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the food festival was a perfect blend of scrumptious food coming from more than 50 stalls along with soothing music, shopping stalls, live band performances, radio jockey and celebrity talks, and stand-up comedy acts to bring life to the festival — and thereby becoming the hub for youth.
The concept is reaching out to different tier cities too.
“The food trucks are trending in metro cities like Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai and gaining popularity. Now they can be found also in the suburbs of these cities like in Gurugram and Ghaziabad.
“There is a lot of potential in the business due to its live kitchen… a study says that trucks are cleaner than local restaurants because of live kitchen. Also, the trucks have a specific and specialised menu due to space constraints, which makes the food more authentic,” Prachi Goel, who is managing Gurugram-based Spacedog Hotdog Food Truck, told IANS.
Owner of Quirky Perky, a food truck that is going to be launched in the next 10 days, Richa Kharbanda feels that such a concept is booming in India because it “involves less investment compared to the typical static cafes”.
“Secondly, it is a direct connection with the target audience. It is basically a cool way to cater to their needs. Now, with a conscious mind, we want hygiene and the food industry definitely needs that. Food trucks these days do take care of cleanliness and quality along with quirky designs and themes,” Kharbanda told IANS.
This trend is not just catching the attention of some known hotel chains around the country but also celebrities.
Popular TV show host and video jockey Mini Mathur is part of the ‘Mini Food Truck’, a web series available on the India Food Network, where celebrities join her to cook up delights. Actress Katrina Kaif joined her to make some yummilicious pancakes.
Also, chef Ranveer Brar has turned host for Living Foodz’s food truck reality show ‘Femme Foodies’, which promises to explore the concept of ‘gourmet on wheels’.
“I strongly believe that food trucks are here to stay and will definitely gain popularity going forward. They are versatile and can easily adapt to any cuisine, culture and destination,” said Brar.
In 2017, by contrast, food trucks are projected to be a US $2.7 billion industry. Growth in the food truck sector is outpacing growth in the brick-and-mortar restaurant sector by 1.1 per cent.
However, this hipster food revolution isn’t entirely without its hurdles. Currently, the authorities have no clear-cut rules or laws pertaining to permitting the business of food trucks. But still, the business is growing and many new players are entering the market. Here is the list of food trucks that knows the art of dishing out scrumptious delicacies:
Need to know: EGGjactly, a bright yellow truck, serves delicious food with that one ingredient that seems to make everything better- eggs! It also offers healthy burgers, omelets, waffles, and pancakes as well as yummy shakes and desserts. EGGjactly, Vikrant Mishra’s baby, is GPS-enabled and posts its whereabouts on Facebook and Twitter.
A marketing man by profession, Mishra kitted out and customised his truck to have a water storage on its roof for cooking and drinking, as well as a holding bin at the bottom to ensure used water didn’t create a mess on the street the truck is parked in.
Known for: American Fast Food (read: it is an eggy affair!)
Must try: Anda Bhurjee Pav, Anda Curry with Rice, Messy Burger and Aam-lette
Where: Sector 29, Leisure Valley Road, Gurugram
Cost for two: Rs 400
Need to know: Started by Pallavi Kuchroo along with her partner Sudhir Grover, Frugurpop basically sells Paletaz (a version of Mexican popsicles) made from fresh fruits and free of any preservatives. They also have sugar free varieties. Add to that the fact that these colourful savouries are handmade.
Operating in Gurugram, this food truck can be frequently found at festivals and farmers markets.
Known for: Desserts
Must try: Fruitilicous, Green Apple Mint Tea, Oreo Cookies and Cream, Tiramisu
Where: Sector 57, Gurugram; Outside Nirvana Country Main Gate, Sector 50, Gurugram; Wellington Estate, DLF Phase 5, Gurugram
Cost for two: Rs 300
Sushi House Mafia
Need to know: Another venture of the good folks behind EGGjactly, Sushi House Mafia serves freshly rolled sushis prepared with the freshest sea food and exquisite ingredients.
The sushis served by the food truck, manned by owner Vikrant Mishra, range from traditional maki and nigiri to experimental fusion hand made rolls and from popular Asian curries to the unexplored flavours.
Known for: Sushi
Must try: Veggie California, Hot Tuna, Kick Sushi, Biggie Roll and Crispy Asparagus
Where: Leisure Valley Road, Sector 29, Gurugram
Cost for two: Rs 500
Need to know: Dosa Inc is dedicated to South Indian food. The owners have their roots down south in Andhra who use age-old recipes for authentic taste. Keeping the menu simple and precise, they do dosas, idli, vada, uttapam and the likes.
They are also available to cater events, in case you’re trying to do your next party differently.
Known for: South Indian
Must try: Idli- Chutney, Dahi Vada and Onion Dosa
Where: Okhla Phase 3, New Delhi
Cost for two: Rs 200
The Lalit Food Truck Company
Need to know: A passion project of forward thinking hotelier Keshav Suri, The Lalit Food Truck Company, is indeed one of the most well maintained, high on quality and hygiene trucks in the city. Their simple menu is inspired by popular Mexican street foods.
Known for: Mexican Fast Food
Must try: Falafel, Mean Vegetarian Burger, Chicken Taco, Churros and Tortilla Wrap
Where: World Trade Centre, Connaught Place; DLF Mall, Saket
Cost for two: Rs 400