From sushi to handmade pizza and salmon to cinnamon crepes, Gurgaon’s fast food vans are dishing out delectables, usually found only on fine dining menu, at street food prices.
The city’s increasing love for food on wheels is evident from their prolific numbers – there are 50 food vans now compared to three two years ago. The cuisines have also diversified from Indian to Japanese, Mexican, Italian, American and Chinese.
Foodies say cheap exotic dishes, hygienic kitchens and quick service are the selling points of these mobile eateries.
Sushi House Mafia in Sector 29 serves Japanese cuisine. The kitchen’s seafood specialties include salmon, tuna and prawns. The truck, which started operations in February, also serves chicken dishes and vegetarian food.
“We want to bring Japanese food to the city streets. There is sushi, wasabi prawns, crispy salmon, hot tuna and more. We also have a number of vegetarian dishes and chicken sushi, as not many people like eating raw fish in the city,” Lvanika Marwaha, co-founder of Sushi House Mafia, said.
Sushi Mafia House is the second such venture of Marwaha and her friend Vikram Misra. The entrepreneurs entered the food business a year ago with the much-talked-about fast food van Eggjactly. The joint boats of over 50 varieties of egg preparations, served with hash browns, chicken and breads. The van, parked near Leisure Valley Park in Sector 29, has an American continental menu. Serving juicy burgers, pastas and waffles, Eggjactly has dishes in the range of Rs. 60 to Rs. 250. Marwaha said at least 100 people ate at the truck on weekdays and 200 on weekends.
“I eat at the truck at least once a week. The food is delicious, especially the burgers and crepes,” Kunal Asthana of South City 1 said.
Super Sucker, a food truck parked near DLF Wellington Estate in DLF Phase 4, started service in September 2013. The colourful truck is hard to miss and it is as attractive as its food. The van has also featured in food festivals and other events in the NCR. The joint serves Indian fusion food, Mexican and Thai dishes. The joint caters to 250 customers on weekends.
“I have tried almost everything on their menu and I am stunned by their keema pao. It is reasonably priced and sumptuous. The best part is that though the food is international, it is presented with a desi twist,” Rupanshi Mahajan of DLF Phase 3 said.
“We started with salads and after 10 months, we introduced tangy, spicy food, which people liked even more. One of the most important things for us is to ensure that the quality of the food is not compromised. We prepare fresh food each day,” Karan Malik, a chef and owner of Super Sucker, said.
The food vans also offer a range of desserts such as crepes, Belgian waffles, fresh fruit ice creams and popsicles. Frugurpop, an ice cream vendor, has introduced some fruit-flavoured delicious to the city residents. The van serves ice pops with mangoes, strawberries and kiwis.
“The popsicles come from Mumbai, where we first began its operation in 2012. The ice creams can be stored and eaten for three months. We are introducing new flavours the coming season with more experiments in our menu,” Pallavi Kuchroo, co-founder of Frugurpop, said.
Some of these vans change locations frequently. They are often parked near offices and residential areas. But foodies say it is easy to track the vans through their social media updates.
“Their accounts on social media platforms, especially Facebook and Instagram, are always active. One can easily track the location and go enjoy the meals,” Priya Mehta of Sushant Lok said.
Though these vans revolutionised the food business in Gurgaon, they operate with no clear rules. Entrepreneurs said they usually park their vans after taking permission from residential welfare associations (RWAs) or managements of corporate firms.
“Proper laws need to be formed for food vans. We need to be clear about the rules we abide by, in the absence of which we need to seek permission from the RWAs. Though most of the associations let us park, some also object,” a food van owner said.
An official of the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon said, “With the increase in number of food vans, we are in the process of formulating rules for their operation in the city. The MCG will notify them once the rules are ready.”