It’s also three years old! Imagine that – three years since the food truck scene exploded onto Sydney’s…well…anywhere, really. Anywhere where they can get a permit to park and run a service. We now have trucks that do everything from Italian to Mexican, from Vietnamese to French, and even Yum Cha. While some of these trucks serve cuisine that almost naturally lend themselves to “street level eats”, I personally cannot believe we lack one of the cuisines with the most street cred of all – Malaysian.
Get your act together, Sydney: it’s only taken three years, but enter Yang’s Malaysian Food Truck. Finally, we’ve got legit street food, served street-style. Get your app ready, we’re going food truck hunting.
Date Last Visited: 28/4/15
Address: check Sydney Food Trucks for latest location
Recommended Dish(es): soft shell crab, ramli slider
Oh, that was a fast hunt. Please, in this day and age of smartphones with GPS and a 3/4G connection, finding your nearest food truck is as easy as loading up the Sydney Food Truck’s site/app, and seeing what’s around your area. As I found out, Yang’s Food Truck has traded at Queen’s Square (outside Hyde Park) for two Tuesdays in a row. Most fortuitous, as this location is only a three minute walk from work. No Lord of the Rings style marathon, for sure.
Although…given the amount of food ordered…maybe it would have been best if we had conquered a marathon first.
Food at Yang’s is quite cheap, even for a food truck. The most expensive dish is $8, a price point that most other food trucks start at. Chef Alex Wong knows how not to alienate his target market – we’re talking cheap but delicious feed. We are recommended 2 dishes per person, or perhaps 3 for those with a bigger appetite. Naturally, I opt for the heavier side of that equation. After all, you have to earn the I’m Still Hungry badge – it can’t be bought 😉
Yang’s keeps their menu short and sweet, with around five or six items on the board at any given time. Between two visits, I didn’t notice any major changes – my favourites have appeared both times, which more than satisfies. But don’t be surprised if the menu does change!
They also have a drinks menu, with selections like pulled tea. I didn’t pay it much mind, but the option is there.
I’m going to let you finish reading the post BUT, let’s get the best dish out up front – the soft shell chilli crab w/fried mantou & chilli sambal. Warning: if you can’t take at least a bit of heat, you miss out.
With the wussies out of the way, let’s talk business.
The contents of the box is fantastic, honest to Truckus, the God of food trucks. I don’t even know why I just typed that sentence, it’s so weird. Anyway, the soft shell crab is deep fried to perfection. I don’t actually think there’s any way to improve on the texture. Juicy, crunchy where it needs to be, without too much batter. Oily? Do I look like I care?
The crab is already well-seasoned by the peppers and spices Alex puts in, but where the dish transcends mere “soft shell crab” dish status is the generous bed of chilli sambal beneath. This is fiery stuff for the uninitiated, whilst feeling like home for Malaysians and people like me (Northern Chinese) that grew up eating chilli like it was Redskins.
Back to the crab – it pairs with the sambal like butter pairs with my stomach. The fried mantou? A super guilty eat, for sure. Use it to mop up the rest of the sauce. You won’t be disappointed, even if your personal trainer will think otherwise. Forget about that, and move on.
I generally don’t do vegetarian if there’s a meat alternative, and this time was no different. Fortunately, a friend that did get the dahl roti was generous enough to let me try some.
I’m conflicted, because I like this roti, but it’s not roti as I know it. Roti canai by definition, must have a soft, fluffy and layered texture. This roti pretty much tasted like one thick layer. It’s quite chewy, and still carries a lot of flavour, but totally misses on texture.
And yet, I still like it! It pairs well with the chickpeas, and the diced cucumber/tomato on top give it a bit of a crunch that’s most tenable on the taste buds. I think it would be even better if it was the texture of roti canai, but that’s for Yang’s to fix, and for me to imagine in the meantime.
Same story with the chicken roti. Same odd texture. Hmm, perhaps it’s not accidental, and actually deliberate? In that case, welcome to the most un-roti-like roti that-still-tastes-ok I’ve ever had. The chicken was quite average – a bit dry and chewy. I’d actually opt for the vegetarian one again. There is a nice curry flavour though, as befitting chicken served this way.
Yang’s Food Truck has one other ace up its sleeve which got me coming back – the ramli slider. This inspired from the Ramly Burger, where a beef patty is wrapped in an egg omelette, sauced up with various mayos and soy sauces, with vegetables of choice and maggi seasoning. Yang’s ramli slider looks similar to the original, but the original is not something I’ve had. Watching the below video three times got me close though:
So how is it? Oh, it’s good. It’s a very small portion, thus earning its slider moniker. It’s unlike a burger in that it lacks gooey cheese to tie things together, instead relying on the fried egg and generous saucing to keep it all harmonious. There’s a bit of a spicy kick to it (but nothing like the chilli sambal of the soft shell crab), which went well with the beef patty, which is heavily seasoned. The icing? Toasted sugar buns. Oh Truckus, I am sold.
It’s such a dirty burger, but resistance is futile.
By the way, I did get two curry puffs ($3) on my first visit, but these are quickly dismissed – there’s very little filling, relative to the pastry itself. Speaking of the pastry, it was super thick, dry, and tough. It didn’t taste like much, honestly. Luckily, it’s easier to make a $3 mistake than a $30 one.
Still, despite some mediocre dishes, Yang’s is worth visiting because their flagship dishes kick ass. Next time Yang’s is at Queen’s Square, you can bet I’ll be slider-ing over once more, to get my spice groove on all over again.
Finally, Malaysian street food is literally on the streets.
This post is based on 2 independent visits to Yang’s Food Truck
Have you had a chance to try out Yang’s Food Truck yet? Let me know what you think in the comments below!
- The soft shell crab and ramli sliders are a go-to every time
- Cheap, even for a food truck
- Roti canai is not roti canai
- Two very good dishes leave every other dish in the dust – i.e., Yang’s is a two hit wonder
- A food truck means you’re not always going to be getting a crab fix when you feel like it
I have a new scoring system! Read all about it here.
Most important takeaway – three separate scores for food, service and ambiance to give the final score. The new system is not compatible with any score given prior to 11/11/2014.
F7.5 | S3 | A2