Monday, June 23, 2014

Little Fat Duck, Spagme, La Famiglia & Oishi Bento Food Trucks

New food trucks have roared into KL & Selangor in recent weeks, revving up a key trend for the F&B entrepreneurial boom. Expect to see more mobile vendors-on-wheels pop up in the months ahead, but for now, this is the Klang Valley's essential guide to getting Italian & Japanese street eats at cheaper-than-restaurant prices.

Little Fat Duck, which surfaces on most nights at Subang's SS15, bears the most intriguing name of these trucks _ it could be an allusion to its founders' culinary ambitions, since the truck serves no duck. The men here nonetheless supply a makeshift eating space by the street for patrons _ helpful, since the wait for Little Fat Duck's food can exceed 15 minutes at peak hours.

Little Fat Duck is scarcely two weeks old, but it's already amassing a significant fan base for its pastas; choose from bolognese, carbonara or aglio alio _ with chicken or beef _ or pesto with fish, each for RM5. One serving probably suffices for a light dinner, though some customers might require two or three.

It's frills-free food, capably executed under the limitations of budget & circumstances, but rudimentary in preparation & flavour. The word 'Gourmet' emblazoned on the truck is a shrewd tagline, but it might not necessarily fit. Note that the truck can be swamped sometimes, so customers who take away their orders should check to confirm everything's in the bag; we ended up missing the pesto fish pasta that we had paid for, but that was equally our fault, since we could see that the men in the truck were struggling to keep track of multiple orders.

Little Fat Duck also offers chicken confit & grilled fish with Hollandaise sauce (RM12 each, both with mashed potatoes) ...

... mushroom soup (RM4) & omelette with shredded cheese & choice of chicken ham or beef salami (RM3) ...

... & house-made milk pudding (RM3). Soft drinks & iced lemon tea cost RM2, so it's possible to eat & drink here for RM10. The caveat is that while it's likely a fair bargain, it's not an exhilarating steal. That's OK though.

Another truck that might be worth chasing: the cheerfully coloured SpagMe, which operates in different places on weekdays for lunch. It's more often at Jalan Dungun, sometimes outside Ampang's Wisma MCA & occasionally at Pusat Bandar Damansara.

Fried spaghetti is Spagme's forte; prices start at RM6.50 for spaghetti with egg, chicken sausage & ham (no pork here), RM9.50 with tempura fish, RM11.50 with chicken fillet & RM17 with spicy lamb.

We like Spagme's prices; there's more meat than expected in their substantial servings, surely enough for a heavy lunch. Not the healthiest meal around, but hungry patrons shouldn't mind much. Spagme often teams up with a pink-coloured juice truck named OMFJ Oh My Fruit Juice, so you might see them side-by-side at their locations.

Next up, back to black: La Famiglia, the only truck that runs both for lunch & dinner. It's mainly at Dungun in the daytime & heads to Subang (SS15 too) after sunset..

La Famiglia's pastas range between RM6.50 & RM8. The priciest option, 'The Boss,' is pretty worthwhile, with plenty of spaghetti in a sweet-savoury combo of carbonara & bolognese sauce, topped with tender chicken slices, onions & garlic. We slurped up each strand & every bit of the sauce.

Finally, some Japanese: We caught Oishi Bento at Dungun as well, though it tends to travel to other office enclaves throughout the week. Fortunately, there's a phone number on the truck for folks hunting for them.

Forgot how much this cost, but it proved the most satisfying of our food-truck finds: Japanese rice, warm & flavoursome, with creamy Japanese curry (comprising chicken, carrots & potatoes), hot & even more flavourful, plus a side salad & a selection of tasty maki slices.

Restaurant-level fare; Oishi Bento provides us with optimism that KL's kerbside enterprises will continue to raise the bar for themselves, serving menus that prove not merely wallet-friendly but palate-worthy too. 

Note: Everyone's doing their job, but what makes it tough for these trucks is that they're often chased away by city hall officers. All of them were forced to leave Dungun on a recent weekday, only minutes before the lunch crowd flowed out of the offices here.

Little Fat Duck. SS15 Subang (usually outside Public Bank). 8:30pm-midnight, Tues-Sun.
Spagme Food Truck. Daytime, Mon-Sat, Jalan Dungun, Wisma MCA or Pusat Bandar Damansara.
La Famiglia. Lunch at Jalan Dungun, dinner at SS15 Subang.
Oishi Bento. Whereabouts a constant mystery, but call Alan at 012-663-8733 to check.

Stay up to date: The Eat Drink KL newsletter is sent by email to subscribers every Monday; it's the Klang Valley's foremost weekly round-up of new restaurant openings (even before they're featured on this blog), F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits.
Subscribe to Eat Drink KL Weekly for free via this following link: 
Note to subscribers on Gmail: The newsletter will be in the Promotions folder of your inbox.

Sausages to sambal. Muffins to marshmallows. Peanut butter to mango chutney. Cornflake ice cream to honey aloe yogurt. Lavender-laced lemonades to lychee-&-guava juices.
Eat Drink KL: Small Businesses, Huge Flavours is the first eBook to help customers navigate the diversity of independent F&B entrepreneurs who bake & boil in their own kitchens, offering some of Malaysia's finest, most fascinating food products.
This is a catalogue of insights into what inspires our contemporary culinary craftspeople, from Elsie & her sister Jennifer's experiments with tong yuen at home to Eugene & Emrys' escapades with hand-crafted sodas in Tokyo.
This resource will be continuously updated with new listings, so bookmark the following permanent link & check back regularly to find out what's fresh: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses

Also, take a look at the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, completely redesigned with a revamped look, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for April-June 2014, including more than 30 new entries for this quarter. This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/Eat-Drink-KL-100-Favourites-Apr-Jun-2014 (Link expires June 30, 2014; see blog entries after that date for new link).

Check out EAT DRINK, a new F&B website jointly run by The Expat Group (TEG) & Eat Drink KL. This website features all of our up-to-date reviews, plus exclusive weekly articles & a searchable database on restaurants in KL & Selangor: EatDrink.my

40 comments:

  1. My guess would be that the name Little Fat Duck came from Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck.. (I watch too much food TV)? These food trucks would've be a great back in my student days there....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SC: yeah, i was thinking it was a reference to The Fat Duck too, though it's anyone's guess whether they might actually have another reason for it, heh :) yeah, it would be kinda fun to come out after classes and look for these trucks. burritos, please! :D

      Delete
  2. Very nice and new concept, how did you find this place? LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ken: heheh, follow the smell of the food :D yeah, i think more food trucks are coming up :)

      Delete
  3. Chased away? They are not licensed? We don't have such things here...but if we did, I would tapao. Wouldn't want to sit around in the heat and eat. Ummm...where's the duck? I love duck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Suituapui: i figure they're all registered businesses, but i don't know what the process of getting permits to operate food trucks at specific locations might be. we tapaoed too! :) and yes, there was another customer asking, why no duck wan? heh :)

      Delete
  4. Interesting concept. Surely they need a license though?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Yum List: i'm not sure which part of the licensing procedure they're stuck at (though i suspect someone along the way will comment on this and confirm what's happening, heh) :)

      Delete
    2. i think they got chased away because they're operating in a parking spot. thus, its illegal

      Delete
  5. While it's a good idea, the long queues , the parking in some space etc does provide some inconvenience for these high density areas, imagine havin 10 such trucks all in one vicinity! The other outlets (if any) who pays rent to do run their biz would suffer .. But I'm not tryin to say negative stuff here .. I would be one of those queuing to buy frm these trucks but I'm just sayin that in the long run a proper solution is needed. I wonder how are food trucks legal in other countries..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rebecca: yeah, so far these trucks weren't really obstructing traffic, but it's true that if their numbers grow, they could turn into a nuisance, and you also make another great point about physical eateries nearby. i guess the solution would be proper spaces where these trucks can operate and thrive, but right now, that might only be feasible at night at housing neighbourhoods :)

      Delete
  6. I love food trucks, more food trucks please! This is perhaps the future of travelling hawkers :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. KY: heheh, i wanna see some mexican food trucks! gimme tacos! :D

      Delete
  7. But aren't they licensed? I wonder how dem Lok-Lok vans manage to park at their locations permanently.

    But kudos to the spirit of entrepreneurship! May we see more meals on wheels around town!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. UnkaLeong: hmm, dunno, maybe the lok-lok vans escape dbkl by operating at night at residential areas. guess it's a hard life operating a food truck in KL for now, cooking in a cramped truck under the afternoon heat ... but ya, it might be nice to look forward to more of these trucks outside our offices :D

      Delete
  8. Food trucks are a marvelous idea...but not workable in Malaysia due to circumstances beyond the public's control imho =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ulric: it'd be interesting for us to talk to the truck operators and get their perspective ... couldn't really chat with them cos they were all pretty busy cooking and taking orders and setting up their trucks properly :)

      Delete
  9. I've seen food trucks like this in Bukit Kiara too, but they're mostly selling fruit juices. =D

    The idea of food trucks is quite nice. Because the proprietor does not need to fork out the exorbitantly high rental, the additional cost won't be reflected in the pricing of the dishes.

    Instead of chasing the food trucks away, what the local municipal council could do is dedicate a certain part of the city or suburbia for them to operate. You know, something like the popular food street in Penang? (I forgot the actual street name. =/ )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Waverly: ice-cold juices are a fine relief for this current weather! :) i kinda shudder to think of the cost of refurbishing the trucks to turn them into food trucks. but yeah, a food truck street actually sounds like a very cool idea! :D

      Delete
  10. I thought the Little Fat Duck sells roast duck! Hehehe. I would love to tapao that and eat at home. :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CK: haha, a food truck that sells roast duck would probably do quite well! nice idea! :D

      Delete
  11. It's really hard to operate in PDB now since the roadworks there practically ensures that food trucks cannot stay for long and enforcement officers are always there since traffic is a problem (I've actually seen fist fights happen from people who park and block large vehicles).

    I've seen SpagMe a lot of times around the corner (after McDonald's) at PDB too, where the traffic is not so bad. The juice truck I've only seen on the main road at Menara Millenium.

    You know, I wonder why they chase the food trucks away but not the morning nasi lemak vendors since there's even more of them...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Huai Bin: sounds like a lot of challenges for these trucks ... they really have to be resourceful and smart about their locations, i guess. but i assume they have their fan, in PBD and elsewhere :) but no equal treatment for everyone, eh :)

      Delete
  12. I've tried the Spagme and the pink OMFJ juice truck at PBD. It was a perfect combination meal. The portion of Spagme is worth of the price and the OMFJ juice was taste like the commercial standard (Juice Works, Boost Juice) and it was selling in lower price range.

    Regarding the license issue, been told by the food truck operator currently in Malaysia the government they doesn't have any law for this kind of business. Which means there is no any law article, license for them to apply.

    Just upset that M'sia still can't accept this kind of modern business. I mean there is really common in other countries. ( Canada, US) Is time to move on M'sia!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joshua: thanks for the info on the license question. yeah, guess if these food trucks are going to become more common, they should be encouraged by healthy and clear policies.

      Delete
  13. I know I can trust you if you say it’s delicious. Totally intriguing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cquek: hope you get the chance to check out some good food trucks soon :)

      Delete
  14. These people are creative! Hope to see more of these
    The pastas and bento looks delicious and affordable lor...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melissa: yeah, definitely admire their spirit and their stamina ... it definitely has to be hard work! lots of pasta options now from these food trucks, and the prices are not bad at all :)

      Delete
  15. Great concept indeed but pity them for chasing by city hall officers :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Choi Yen: yeah, the ones at night at ss15 seem safe though :)

      Delete
  16. They must have watched the movie "Chef". After I watched it in cinema I said to myself we'll see food truck biz popping up in kl soon. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Micgil: looking forward to the flood of food trucks that might roll in over the next year :)

      Delete
  17. Check out this Thai food truck in TTDI. Last I saw it was setting up outside Artisan Coffee for dinner. It's bright red in colour, you can't miss it. Their Tom Yam and Thai Roasted Chicken is heavenly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Smudger: thanks for the recommendation, i've heard about it but haven't had the chance to check it out yet. sounds like a real treat for fans of thai :)

      Delete
  18. interesting! i love this idea and always thinking why malaysia don't have nice food truck, now there are!
    but these locations are all not so convenient for me. >.<

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jean: yeah, i guess there are so many factors that make it challenging for food trucks of this sort in KL. hopefully there'll be a few more opening near you soon :D

      Delete
    2. Jean - look at fb page Malaysian food truck / mobile cafe. malaysia now start to go like US

      Delete
  19. hai. wanna try The Boys Food, dataran wangsa, wangsa melawati

    ReplyDelete
  20. but for now, this is the Klang Valley's essential guide to getting Italian & Japanese street eats at cheaper-than-restaurant prices. Best Food Truck In LA

    ReplyDelete