Up until recently, your options for street eats in Vancouver were limited to the hot-dog-in-a-bun variety. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good hot dog every so often, and I appreciate the tasty creativity that is Japadog just as much as the next person, but sometimes you are looking for a little something more in your street food offerings. Well, we finally have an array of unique food trucks throughout downtown, and today I decided to make the trek down for a little shopping and a little tasting. The hard part was deciding which truck to visit!
I ended up basing my decision on what was closest to the Skytrain station I was getting off at, and a truck I had seen before (therefore knowing exactly where they are located – it can be hard to track some of them down, especially when they move around). This also might be one of the better known food trucks in Vancouver – Roaming Dragon.
From their website, Roaming Dragon describes itself as follows: “This unique mobile restaurant takes beloved Pan-Asian favourites – fried rice, short ribs, steamed pork buns – and makes them absolutely soar.” With my love of Asian food, this was a great place to start my street food tasting experience.
The menu is short, but offers up a good variety of eats in two price ranges (note – only 2 of their menu items are vegetarian). Wanting to maximize the number of items I would get to try, I went with two from the $3 menu – the Korean Short Rib Taco and the Fried Rice Balls. Love the presentation and vibrant colours!
Fried Rice Balls – Chinese sausage, shrimp, chicken, bamboo shoots, mustard greens, and Japanese rice, breaded and deep fried. Served with curry and teriyaki aiolis.
I had to bite into these as soon as I sat down to enjoy my lunch.
Holy amazing Batman! These were crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside. I could have sworn they tasted like a really good mushroom risotto, yet I don’t see mushrooms anywhere on the menu description. No matter, they were awesome. I could have eaten 2, maybe 3 orders. Okay, maybe not 3 – I probably would have felt a little bloated after that, but the idea is still tempting. Do not pass up on the rice balls. Might just be the best balls to grace your lips 😉 Oh yes, I just went there.
But let’s not forget the taco.
Korean Short Rib Taco – Marinated beef short ribs, sesame sauteed spinach, bean sprouts, carrots and shiitake mushrooms, topped with Korean BBQ sauce and nori, served in a corn tortilla.
A little messy to eat, but again packed full of flavour. Tender beef, crunchy sprouts, and that nice hint of the sea from the nori. I love how they aren’t skimpy on the vegetables in their dishes – makes you feel like you are having a much more balanced meal, even with some deep fried balls.
I paired my food with their lychee basil lemonade (also $3).
Refreshing and delicious – I like the way the basil works with the lemon and lychee flavours. Keeps it from being too sweet, and adds that “gourmet” feel to the drink. Also of note – you get actual pieces of lychee in your lemonade, not just juice. They are rather fun to slurp up in the oversized straw, much like the jellies or tapioca in bubble tea. This would be a great drink to cool off on a hot summer day. Hopefully we’ll get one of those soon.
All in all, I would say my Roaming Dragon experience was a success – great eats, refreshing beverage, all enjoyed on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery for some entertaining people watching.
If you find yourself out and about, roaming the streets of Downtown Vancouver and you have a hankering for some delectable Asian cuisine, make your way over to Robson & Burrard and hit up Roaming Dragon. Your taste buds will thank you.
Now I just need to decide – which food truck will hold my next street eat taste experience?