Driving their passion in style: The delectable journey of 6 food trucks in Bangalore
Food trucks have become quite the rave in the silicon valley of namma Bengaluru. So we decided to write a few words about them, which included their passion, hardships and dreams associated with their culinary wheels. Read about the food they serve and do catch them at their priced locations whenever you get a chance. The food dished out from these rides can give their immovable counterparts a run for their money.
1. Square Ruth
The two founders of this food truck eyed two girls in college who co-incidentally were named – Ruth. And thus was the inspiration for the name “Square Ruth”. The head chef Umesh Chandran started his culinary journey in a restaurant dwelling in the food court of Phoenix market city in 2012. But soon, due to trickling footfall and high operational costs he decided to shut shop in the mall. Umesh had a desire to reach to his target customers rather than them coming to him. Thus Square Ruth was re-born in the form of a food truck.
The truck made its way to the streets of Indiranagar and was greeted with an overwhelming response. Serving American and Mexican delights they found their niche in the market.” We had our KTM Biker gang that used to visit regularly, our Lamborghini regular, the fabulous students from Frank Anthony Public School (FAPS) and many more .” says the founder. But soon the residents nearby raised complaints, leading to the food truck spending a night at the police station in December 2014.
However, this did not deter the team and they moved base to HSR Layout where business was slow, but they still had the Indiranagar faithfuls visit them regularly. More trucks joined the brigade and thus the gaze of cops also increased. Greasing the hands of the authorities became a nuisance for Square Ruth.
Despite all odds, Square Ruth continues to nourish their culinary dreams. The food truck now plans to set shop at 13th main Indiranagar as a “dinner and carry out restaurant”. But will still be operating from their beloved truck focusing mainly to cater to the IT crowd. A regular day in this food truck’s itinerary sees them prep up from 2 pm and pulls them on till 8-10 pm till stocks lasts.
2. Fuel Up
Co-owner Deepthi Das worked for Café Noir and ran a cake shop before she decided it was time to “fuel up”. A pastry chef by profession, Deepthi tied up with Sagar Govindappa to start a food truck business after being inspired by the popular TV show – Eat Street. Their truck dishes out exotics like crème brulee, chicken wings, nachos and churros. Fuel up is a truck that was built to make big business and not just to be branded as a “mom & pop’ shop. But to make this a reality they have faced many hurdles.
Co-owner Sagar says they faced several legal obstacles initially because no specific provision to register such a ‘food truck’ has been provided by the RTO. With a plan to make the business national across metros, the owners continue to find it difficult going about the law of the land. Be it the Traffic Police Authority, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) or the local police, they all seem to have some issue or the other with food trucks. This pushed Fuel Up to cater to the IT parks only.
Today, Fuel Up caters to the Embassy Group and serves the staff working at Manyata Tech Park. In the past, they’ve served food at various locations, including New BEL Road and Sahakarnagar. Irrespective of the number of challenges they face, Fuel Up continues to focus on reaching out to all food lovers and satisfying their taste buds.
3. Spitfire BBQ Truck
Spitfire BBQ truck has been making the rounds for over a year in Bangalore. It dishes out some of the best barbecued burgers, hotdogs, nachos and buffalo wings just to name a few. The brain behind the food truck, Siddhanth Sawkar, a 24-year-old professional armed with a Masters in Italian cuisine, saw the food truck initially as a stop gate before opening his own restaurant in Bangalore. But little did he know that his love for BBQ will make him go mobile; a love that he had since he was a little kid. He learnt the art of BBQ from his parent in Singapore, where they would host a BBQ party every weekend for an airline crowd.
He started off his business back in 2009 as a Spitfire BBQ service with at least 4 big orders per week. But later he saw a decline in business owing to seasonal trends. Sawkar thus decided to finish his Masters and returned to revive his brand of BBQ as a food truck in May 2014. Since then he hasn’t looked back and exemplifies the tagline #itsnosintogetsauceonyourchin – enjoying street food without having to worry about the public’s eyes falling on them.
He has now teamed up with Gauthami and together they share their love for the food truck. Gauthami has a degree in Hotel Management (BHM) from Christ University and specializes in Bakery and pastry arts. Together with sous chef Mani Kantan, they form a brilliant team and continue putting smiles on people’s faces all the way from age 3 to 93. After a successful stint in Bangalore, the Spitfire BBQ truck is ready to grow more wheels with expansion plans of going national and international.
4. Gypsy Kitchen
Shakti Subbarao worked for 12 years as a corporate trainer before he drew inspiration from the TV series – Eat Street to open up his own Food truck- Gypsy kitchen. But unlike a Gypsy, this food truck has found home at HSR Layout where it finds many faithful, happy to devour their lamb burgers, chicken tikka and fried fish to name a few. Initially with a plan to set up a breakfast joint in Goa, the arrival of twins into Shakti’s family gave them a less chance to relocate.
With high real estate pricing Shakti found no strength to locate a good place for a good price. Thus Bangalore got blessed with a unique Gypsy Kitchen. He bought a tempo traveller, worked on it for 4 months but was soon met with complains from his housing society. They set shop at 27th main HSR Layout and have not move ever since. The truck encounters the usual nosy cops and self-proclaimed traffic cops questioning their parking rights, but that never deterred their ambitions.
“People rave about food trucks they ate from when they were travelling, yet they have just the opposite mind-set when it’s in their own backyard,” explains the owner. Apart from greasing the cops, the food truck is doing well and business is booming for the Gypsy Kitchen.
5. Off Road
At times, difficult situations give birth to new adventures; and that’s exactly what happened to Siddarth Reddy. After losing his job and finding it tough to make ends meet he couldn’t shake of the idea proposed by his friend Bharath. “Let’s open a food truck. Mainly burgers and sell it outside the clubs,” said Bharath who has a 2 year experience of working at Burger King. Soon the duo found themselves perfecting their recipes for 2 months to make a scrumptious menu.
Next task included constructing of the food truck. Siddharth bought a tempo traveller, but only found confusion with engineers and fabricators at the sound of “food truck”. They later got work done saying it was a mobile canteen and took 4 months to get it into shape for its culinary journey. The truck comes across similar issues of parking where it should not obstruct traffic nor be close to any other hotel. Failing to do the former, they faced the usual objection from all quarters for the food truck.
Off Road serves yummy burgers and sandwiches in locations like Kammanahalli and Sahakarnagar. Today they are a passionate group serving customers with a smile, off the road.
“Street food will appeal to the masses as long as it is delicious”- drawing inspiration yet again from the TV series – Eat Street, two trained chefs -Jimson Johns and Leoma D’souza set out to start S.W.A.T food truck. Jimson was a manager at YUM Restaurant and Leoma a trainee at Accor Group of Hotels before a discussion about their hectic work hours lead to -“Why not a food truck?” Thus, along with Vivek Cornelio S.W.A.T was born.
S.W.A.T, which stands for ‘Serving with a Twist”, was the idea to serve curbside gourmet food from all over the world one dish at a time. These chefs found customisation of their food truck a mammoth task. Running from pillar to post, they got their truck ready with the requirements of a mini kitchen in a van.
The business is accustomed to the usual challenges of getting the best raw materials, the perfect parking spot apart from seldom truck break downs. But the team, filled with foodie spirit overcomes the hurdles to serve the food they believe in. Their delectable menu is kept fresh with new additions but some favourites like the “All American Meat Burger” has always been around. S.W.A.T has some innovative items rarely available in regular restaurants like their Deep Fried Oreos and the Macaroni & Cheese burger which gets the cheese lovers drooling.
The S.W.A.T oscillate between Indiranagar and HSR Layout serving out from their fashionably black S.W.A.T truck. They love a good review on their Facebook page and take constructive criticism in their stride for improvement. The business is looking for more hires and serve lunch at the IT parks as part of their expansion plans.
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