Sydney Park St Peters, NSW 2015
"Howzat!" The classic Aussie summertime catchcry rings out as we settle down for a sunshiny lunch at Sydney Park, St Peters. The cricketers are in their whites and focused enough on the game that the Veggie Patch Van parked nearby is no distraction.
Sydney's hippiest food van is a collaboration between the folk at the devotedly vegetarian Yulli's at Surry Hills, and the designers at TMOD. The latter are responsible for the van's part-barn, part-vegie-garden look, which incorporates recycled timber palings and pots of fresh herbs.
Like the others in Sydney's fleet of food trucks, this vegetable oil-fuelled and solar-powered van does the rounds of the city, tweeting its whereabouts to masses of hungry followers. Sydney Park has become a regular haunt, and makes the perfect picnic spot.
On this day, the park is full of families – kids are biking, kites are flying and dogs bound over the bulky green hills. It's a "Wish I was a kid again" scene, and ordering food at the Veggie Patch Van fits right in, perhaps because the height of the counter makes us feel like schoolkids visiting the tuckshop.
The menu is far from school tuckshop, though, and changes regularly. We order some of everything: two burgers, sweet potato and kale chips, a raw pumpkin pesto salad and a mellow cinnamon cola from the Happy Goblin brewery at Mount Ku-ring-gai. The food is vibrant. The chips – finely cut sweet potato and crispy pieces of kale, fried and served with vegan mayo – are addictive but a tad oily, so are best shared, while the burgers are the definite highlight.
As we finish our picnic and make a beeline to the Sydney Park Kiosk for iced coffee, the cricketers remain oblivious to what they're missing. Howzat, indeed – if that's what it takes to be a cricketer, count me out.
Address ... Often at Sydney Park, St Peters, but location and hours vary. See Facebook, Twitter or sydneyfoodtrucks.com.au for updates.
Do ... "like" them on Facebook. They post great stuff!
Don't ... forget your sunscreen. The van's awning offers only so much shade.
Dish ... vegie burger with zucchini, chickpea and feta patty.
Vibe ... hippy, happy, fresh, fun.