13 March 2024

Street food is on the menu at first Food Truck Fest

| Lucy Ridge
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Poster reading "Food Truck Fest Thurs 14 March" with details of vendors and cartoon images of food trucks.

Hopefully the first of many food truck meet ups in the capital. Image: Supplied.

Owners of Jangdokdae Korean Food Truck in Turner are encouraging Canberrans to embrace street food culture with their first Food Truck Fest!

Michael Oliver and Yoonhee Jang run their Korean food truck together. They serve delicious, authentic Korean fried chicken, japchae noodles, tteokbokki, dumplings, and more. They have had a permanent location outside the Croatian Club in Turner for the last few months, but they started their business by doing the rounds of local foodie markets on weekends.

“We got to know all these different food truck businesses, which are all busy on the weekends but have nothing to do during the week,” Michael told Region.

“So we thought we’d set something up on a Thursday evening to boost business!”

Yoonhee and Michael stand outside their food truck.

Jangdokdae Korean Food Truck is run by Yoonhee Jang and Michael Oliver. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

They’re hoping that this will be the first of a monthly food truck gathering in Turner, complete with live music from local musicians and a bar courtesy of the Croatian Club. At this first festival, they have food trucks like Tacontento, selling crispy taco dorados, Canaan Turkish Gozleme, Five Passions Pizza, Thai Time and Filipino food from Julius Rice. There will also be an ice cream van.

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Michael says that since they started advertising, other vendors have expressed interest, so they’re hoping to have at least eight stallholders for their first event.

“We’ve got a really great mix of people coming. We’ve got Asian, European, Mexican and more! So there will be plenty of things to try and something for everyone.”

All the food trucks are Canberra businesses, and Michael explained that they really wanted to keep it local. They also hope it will be a regular opportunity for young musicians to showcase original tunes.

Alex stands with hands on hips in front of a yellow food van with a sign reading Tacontento with photos of food.

Alex from Tacontento will bring his crispy ‘tacos dorados’ to the Food Truck Fest. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

One barrier food trucks face is a lack of access to permanent locations with good foot traffic and the correct power source. While special events and weekend markets are great, Michael and Yoonhee would love to see more opportunities for food trucks in Canberra.

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Michael explained that in Korea, street food is so popular that there are stalls that specialise in just one item, but it’s very different here.

“Street food is everywhere in Korea! We’d love to create more of an everyday street food culture here in Canberra.”

The market will run from 5:30 pm to 9 pm on Thursday, 14 March. They’re looking to attract residents from the local area and people passing through on their way home from work. If the event is successful, it hopes to collaborate with the Polish Club next door to host more food trucks and street food stalls in the coming months.

Round takeaway container with noodles and vegetables and a box with fried chicken.

Japchae noodles and fried chicken are sure to be popular dishes at the event. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

The Food Truck Fest will be held at 68 McCaughey Street, Turner, on 14 March. The event will run from 5:30 pm to 9 pm. Find out more by following Jangdokdae Korean Food on Instagram.

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