With some fortuitous timing, it turned out that Pdho and I were going to be in OC the same time as The Slummin’ Gourmet food truck was making its debut in Irvine. My friend’s brother is the proprietor and head chef of this fine food truck, so he was helping spread the news amongst his friends in the OC area.
I have to say that this truck was easily the largest, most tricked out food truck that I’ve ever seen. Supposedly, it used to be a Mother’s Cookies truck that they renovated into this sleek-looking food mobile that includes a flat screen television to keep folks entertained while they eat.
I’m not quite sure how to describe the menu. Given that Chef Tony is Cordon Bleu-trained, the food definitely skews more refined and fancier than one would expect from food truck fare, but there is also a bit of Latin and Asian accents through the dishes reflecting Chef Tony’s Chinese heritage and South American upbringing. It’s definitely a very ambitious menu, not only in the number of different items, but the complexity of the dishes. As I looked over the menu, I really had a hard time deciding because it all looked good.
The Seared Diver Scallops were seriously jumbo-sized. They were plump, juicy and perfectly cooked with some nice caramelization on the outside. I think it was served with a squash puree which was sweet and creamy, but I really like the scallops better.
The Lobster Corn Dog was definitely my favorite item. It was smaller than your regular corn dog, but considering it was all lobster meat inside some battered breading, it was totally forgivable. The lobster dog was extremely succulent and very well-seasoned, and I was impressed that the lobster to breading ratio was such that I didn’t feel overwhelmed with carbs. The mustard was particularly tasty with distinct flavor from mustard seeds throughout.
I really appreciated the unique take Chef Tony takes with tacos making a healthier yet filling version of its peers. the shrimps were prepared a la “honey walnut” style which one typically finds in Chinese banquets. The shrimps are perfectly fried and coated with a sweet mayo dressing and then placed in lettuce cups offering a light carb version of a taco. The shrimps were tasty and perfectly balanced by the crisp and refreshing crunch of the lettuce.
Overall, I really was quite impressed with the food, but I couldn’t help but feel that it was more high end dining than food truck fare. That seemed to fit quite nicely with the Irvine yuppy foodie crowd, because it was definitely the busiest of the 4-5 trucks that were set up for the Halloween festival. The quality of the ingredients were top-notch and even though the prices were on the higher side for food trucks, I actually felt like they were pricing in par with what they were serving. One of my biggest pet peeves with food trucks these days is they tend to serve mediocre food at a rather high price tag. I can definitely say that you won’t walk away feeling that way about The Slummin’ Gourmet. High quality food that you won’t find at any other food truck for sure.
PAFO Ratings for Slummin’ Gourmet:
Food 4 stars
Overall rating 4 stars