LemonRose burst onto Sydney’s food truck scene this year, bringing with it a fusion of Middle Eastern and grungy American dining. Often seen outside Batch Brewing Company on Sydenham Road, this bright yellow van has several delectable delights on offer.
The idea for LemonRose was conceived by Antoin Sadafi, a man who has an equal love for hardcore, grizzly American food and nostalgic, flavoursome Middle Eastern cuisine. He decided that the flavours of his heritage (spices, rosewater and lemon juice) could be an easy way to break up the monotony of the major burger chains.
The truck itself is a piece of art. Antoin tells me that it took him and his family two years to build and fit it out, and he has lovingly made sure that every square inch reflects him, and the culture of funky, relaxed food that he’s trying to create. A bar running under the front counter houses hundreds of knick-knacks that Antoin has curated from his trip across the States. Vintage number plates, comic book buttons and a huge neon sign reading “cheap date night” adorn the display.
When you bite into these babies, the syrup pops and explodes into your mouth, dumpling-style.
“It just says something about what I want to create: good food for a good price, somewhere where you could take a date and have a great time,” he says.
As for the food, there’s a handful of options, but each one is a home run. The hero of the truck is the WTF burger ($12), a 24-hour smoked brisket topped with home-made mustard and a rosewater pickle. Antoin steam-cooks the meat over a huge grill in a matter of seconds, then casually flips it onto a soft brioche-style bun. The result is messy, but an explosion of flavours in your mouth. The mixture of mustard, rosewater and spicy pickles are an unexpected twist on the brisket burger we’ve had thousands of times before.
As a side dish, LemonRose serves up Shake and Squeeze Fries: thick cut home fries with a herby dipping sauce that are positively moreish. But for me, the highlight offering is the famous amreeka balls: little puffy balls of dough filled with rosewater and orange syrup. When you bite into these babies, the syrup pops and explodes into your mouth, dumpling-style, essentially ruining every other doughnut-based food for me. I should also mention that every recipe includes lemon and rosewater – hence the name.
LemonRose drives all over Sydney, so make sure you catch it when you see it. Check its Facebook page for locations.