26 March 2013

Liu Food Van ~ Camperdown

While fashionable food trucks might be food wank of the month, we find a great el cheapo street food veteran alternative. This is a real food truck. Not an overpriced pulled pork taco in sight.

People often ask us to cover Sydney's fashionable food truck scene, 'cause it's street food, right? Yes, it is food served on a street. But slapping pulled pork on everything and doubling the price doesn't fall into our definition of street food or even good food. We liken it to the fad of upmarket gourmet $10 Vietnamese rolls, nice, but it misses the point. It's a bit of rip off, and a bit of a wank. 

We may sound sound cynical, but the food-wank trucks that were parked nearby Sydney University were nearly always empty when we saw them, yet there's thousands of starving students and cashed up uni staff next door. We tried a couple and they were expensive and disappointing.

Yet a few streets away in Camperdown, Liu Food Van does a great trade selling simple, old fashioned hamburgers and salad rolls at prices folks can afford.

Liu Food Van is parked just outside the old maternity ward at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital on Missenden Road in Camperdown. There's a few chairs to sit on while you wait and a little park to sit in nearby. Expect to see escapee patients, nurses, hospital workers and those in their scrubs ordering up.



This is your traditional 'Aussie' milk bar on wheels, with a small menu of hamburgers, chicken burgers, kransky rolls, salad rolls, coke, crisps and lollies. It's no fuss, the crisps are in boxes on folding tables out the front, tubs of mixed lollies for dessert on the counter. There's a brisk trade and the hot items are prepared fresh so be prepared for a little wait. If you don't want to wait, head down to Victoria Park where there's often a wankie food truck parked



There's a real calm sitting near the sandstone statue of 'Maternity' in the shade. The buildings in this area are undergoing development so who knows how long these little pockets will be around.



Hamburger with salad $5.50. The simplest of burger construction with all the essentials including beetroot. The bun is soft and fresh, egg is an optional extra. A hamburger will set you back $10 minimum around the corner on King Street these days. Bargain.



Kransky on roll with onions $4.50. Squeaky to the bite kransky sausage with a pile of fried red onions. No heart tick here.



Salad roll with Tandoori Chicken $6.00. Classic salad roll with grated carrot and beetroot. These rolls aren't made on the spot but they are still kinda wrapped-in-plastic fresh. Good alternative for a healthier option, and so much better value than the fake food trucks. To Eat Art Truck and your $12 pork roll we say "go truck yourself".



It's a tight space in the 'Od Van', the tall hamburger dude hasn't got too much room and they use all parts of the van except for the drivers seat.



As to the other options nearby a major Sydney hospital? We'll take the van anyday.

Liu Food Van is parked on weekdays on the corner of Grose St and Missenden Rd Camperdown.

Guaranteed food wank truck free.

16 comments:

  1. Haha, spot on! (re wanky food trucks, pulled pork etc.)

    Stan.

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  2. I've yet to try those swanky food trucks! But overpriced they indeed are D:

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  3. I used to work in RPA and ate from here often. he's been there for years, hard working and delivers good simple food. thanks for reviewing him and reminding me to stop by again sometime. Sadly only open in the day as he would a great night time spot.

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  4. I havent seen a burger so delicious looking like that for years!Nor at anywhere near a price of $5.50 either! Im checking this van out :)

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    1. There seems to be such a trend to over complicating burgers. Mr Liu keeps it simple and cheap.

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    2. "There seems to be such a trend to over complicating burgers"

      and putting them on wooden boards!

      Stan

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    3. Yes, a wooden board warrants an extra $10.

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  5. Wow, what a find! I've eaten from a few food trucks and I agree that they are not cheap. Some of them have tasty food though and good service (other have rude service and that's unforgivable) - but none of it is prepared fast. It's not a "quick eat". The think that most irks me though about the "wank trucks" is when they say they are going to be somewhere, you rock up and they've decided not to show up. I've pretty much given up on most of them as they've made Miss Piggy mad and that ain't cool!

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    1. I do like the idea of the vans being out and about around Parra and festivals. There's no excuse though for bringing the snooty restaurant attitude and prices with it though, and especially not turning up!

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  6. Wait until Clover comes and hipsterfies it just like she seems to want to do with everything else in this city...

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    1. Maybe they should put a bird or a moustache on the van - instant hip!

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    2. Put a bird on it! - http://youtu.be/iHmLljk2t8M

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  7. Oh yes I have tried this guy. I remember ordering an egg and salad roll and was pleasantly surprised when he fried the egg. Delicious!

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  8. I think your being a bit harsh on the food trucks ....I've eaten Eat Art Truck 3 times and its been bloody good twice and pretty good once. Also I've eaten Tsuru which I thought was really really good....their pork buns are amazing and the bulgogi buns are even better. ..As for prices - yeah a lot of the items could shave a dollar or 2 off ...but it's Sydney ...cafes are charging $18 for bacon and eggs these days! ..and most places in the cbd will charge you $9-10 for a sandwhich ....So $12 for a bun with a heap of brisket that has been smoked then slow cooked and also has a nice pineapple n bourbon salsa is a little pricey but it's not too crazy...it was big and very yummy. Their wings are damn good too. MY main gripe with them is they only have 3-4 items on their 10 item menu on at a time ..I've given up on driving to specifically eat from them for that reason.

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  9. ps ...my Mexican friend raves about the tacos from Al Carbon at their pop-up in Canterbury.

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  10. if only i worked more local to camperdown, would love to try!

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Thanks for your comment joy - please keep your musings happy - if you want to complain about a restaurant please do it on a restaurant review site (or your own blog) - we're all about celebrating cultural diversity and the great eats that come along with it. Think Maeve O'Meara, not Masterchef :-)

Our ethics: We pay for all our own meals and travel (although sometimes our Mum shouts us).