Anyone who followed the various Texas posts earlier this year - or, indeed, who follows me on Twitter - will know just how taken I was with the idea of the lunch truck. Austin has a fantastic number of such things, frequently owned / run by the best restaurants in the city, where they serve scaled down, takeaway versions of their best dishes for the busy lunchtime / office market.
It's a brilliant idea and can be healthy, hearty and a much appreciated change from the usual deskbound sandwich. Happily, London gets a taste of the same over the coming weeks thanks to Pearl's brilliant Jun Tanaka (seriously, Michelin, why no stars?) and Mark Jankel of the Food Initiative and their Streetkitchen project. They've got a classic Airstream trailer and turned it into a mobile kitchen, and from now until October 18 will be serving up a simple range of delicious food at Covent Garden (until October 14) and then at Old Spitalfields for the final days of the Restaurant Festival.
I sneaked a preview of the menu a few weeks ago and, while I had to run off before the cheesecake came out, can certainly vouch for the Jerusalem artichoke soup (with cob nuts and a lovely little brioche), healthy roast sweet potato and other bits vegetarian option, the faultless Loch Duart salmon with beetroot and mash and, perhaps best of all, the 16 hour braised featherblade of beef. Jun explained that all the dishes had to be capable of being eaten with a wooden fork as they wanted to make everything, from packaging to cutlery, completely biodegradable. The featherblade doesn't as much get cut by the fork as yield to it in an utterly wanton manner, the little beefy slut. It is a little bit good and about the best way of spending £6.50 I can currently think of. The entire range costs between £4.50 to £6.50 and, in order to make this a success, they need around 300 customers a day. If you're in the vicinity, be one of them. You really won't be disappointed.