A travelling bun bus and a great coffee corner
Recently mobile food vans have become hugely popular in America, though still remain unseen in Australia, especially Brisbane. Before heading to Brisbane last week for an appointment, I read a review online about The Bun Mobile and was intrigued. We frantically threw on some clothes and jumped in the car as quick as we could, as we were close to their closing time, and for us it was a 2 hour drive to get there. Today this mobile food van had pulled up residence at a West End Coffee shop called ‘Loading Dock Espresso’. Today we will tell the story of both the bun mobile, as well as the cafe.
The chef normally frustrates me to no end with what I call his ‘grandma driving’. He is so chilled out that he drives so slowly which drives me up the wall. But, when I told him we were 15 mins from where the bun mobile was and they were closing in 5 mins, the chef morphed into a rally car driver in my little Mitsubishi. All of a sudden we were on two wheels rounding corners and I couldn’t believe that we were doing over his normal 40km/hour. He was on a mission for these buns and nothing was standing in his way.
We turned up just in time, where he pulled up screeching at the curb and pushed me out of the car yelling out the window to me ‘Quick, go and order while I find a park…I’m not missing out on these buns!’
The Bun Mobile
The concept is fabulous, a travelling van of food that delivers tasty morsels to the streets of Brisbane. The Bun Mobile offers Brisban-ites cheap, affordable, quick, tasty buns filled with a variety of locally sourced ingredients. They pull up at different locations around Brisbane day and night, feeding the hungry masses for under 10 dollars a bun. We were lucky to meet Chef Harry and wife Christine with smiling faces who said they absolutely love meeting the range of different people coming back to them day after day for their tasty buns. They like a chat, and it’s nice to see people cooking and serving with a smile and a story to tell. Chef Harry has worked as a chef in many top Brisbane restaurants and it shows in the tastiness of the buns they are serving.
So what did we eat?
The Pork Bun: Twice cooked Pork with hoisin sauce, sakura pickled cucumber and shallot battons ($8) How we describe it: Super soft pork which was sweet and juicy. The pickled cucumber was crisp and tasty. The bun was light, airy and super fluffy.
The Wagyu Bun: Slow cooked wagyu beef, soy pickled shitake mushrooms, butter lettuce and dragon sauce ($8) How we describe it: Tender wagyu beef that melts in the mouth, earthy mushrooms and a fiery flavourful dragon sauce.
Delicious, cheap, fresh and tasty. It is well worth your time tracking and following this van. You can find their location calendar here. This is a great concept as the buns are fluffy, the filling tasty and well cooked, and the price is right.They have other buns on offer as well which we will try next time such as the chicken bun.
From a nutrition perspective: This is a healthy option for lunch. The buns are a great size in that they are packed full of fresh local ingredients, but aren’t gigantic so a great sized portion if you are watching your waist line. Wagyu beef also contains a high percentage of healthy fats that have actually been found to be protective against heart disease.
The Loading Dock Espresso
The Bun Mobile had pulled up at the ‘Loading Dock Espresso’ which is a little hidden gem of a cafe. You can order a bun, and sit and eat it at this rustic, simple, garage style coffee house. This simple concept was grown from the idea of setting up a coffee machine, some chairs and a couple of tables literally in a loading dock. This concept proves that you don’t need a coffee shop with $3000 light fittings and $500 chairs to be successful. Serve great coffee, offer great service, relaxed atmosphere and you are onto a winner and that is what this crew have done.
Serving Mambo coffee from the Sunshine Coast and a selection of pastries for breakfast, this is a hot spot for working brisbane-ites on their way to work, gym junkies on the way to or from the gym, or locals out for a stroll. We had chai tea served with honey which was delicious and smooth, served at the perfect temperature and subtly spiced. I sat there and just took in the vibrant aromas for minutes before indulging.
Another draw card for us was the inviting outdoor heaters that we squished under whilst enjoying our chai. In the back of the cafe, is an art gallery where they host showings of local artistic talent. Currently they are showing a university students work which is supportive of building strong community spirit.
A Healthy Breakfast
The Loading Dock Cafe also offer a $2 toast special, where the gold coin can get you 2 pieces of fresh Helgas toast that you pop in the toaster yourself, while you’re waiting for your takeaway or dine in coffee. From a nutrition perspective, this is the most wonderful idea, as this offers a cheap healthy breakfast option for busy people and a nutritious alternative to large cafe breakfast normally on menus. This gets the Nutrition Guru’s HUGE tick of approval.
Another thing that get’s the Nutrition guru’s tick of approval is the stools. Cleverly made of sturdy milk crates, I was delighted to find for the first time in my life, that they had little ‘foot holders’ in them which for me at only 4 foot 9 is a winner. Normally in cafes my feet don’t touch the ground and I end up with pins and needles and uncomfortable but I was so comfy on these chairs. Nice to see the short people are being looked after.
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The happy Nutrition Guru after a great afternoon
Until next time…..Ng and the chef