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.