The award-winning team behind Dundee’s successful food firm Heather Street Food have brought a new addition to the city’s waterfront.
Entrepreneurs Chris Heather and Melodie Paterson have launched their second food truck which will serve up a completely different offering to their first, which specialises in doughnuts and coffee.
The new truck in their portfolio will bring dishes, including halloumi fries and regular fries finished off with a range of different toppings and soft serve ice cream to the area, and will also serve a range of alcoholic beverages including craft beer and prosecco.
As well as bringing the new food truck to the newly-developed Riverside area, they have also launched a beer garden which is open to the public for al fresco dining and drinking.
Located outside the V&A Dundee, the duo have had to employ additional staff to run the van which overlooks the urban beach and Slessor Gardens. Their horsebox which serves doughnuts and coffee is still based at the front of the building.
A project which has been in the making for months, Chris says the new van nearly didn’t make it to Dundee due to the pandemic.
He said: “Getting this van from where it was to where it is now has taken about six months. All of the hard work was done by Dougie Lawrie of Lawrie Fabrication in Errol. We’ve worked with him for years and he has an ingenious eye for projects like this; he single-handedly turned this van from a rusty old livestock wagon into a work of art. The creative team at V&A Dundee designed the outside of the van which ties in with Visit Scotland’s year of coasts and waters.
“It’s a miracle the van even made it to Dundee. We imported it from rural France in the middle of the pandemic last autumn just before Brexit. It had been used as a livestock van to transport sheep on a farm since the 1970s. As sheer luck would have it, an antiques dealer from St Andrews just so happened to be in France at the time and drove it back to Scotland on the back of his truck in one 48-hour stint.
“The museum’s riverside plaza overlooking the urban beach is an ideal space for al fresco dining and drinks. In European cities, spaces like this are filled with bustling pavement cafes and bars.
“We worked with V&A Dundee and Dundee City Council to create a new street food van that serves feel-good food and drinks. Our shared vision was to bring a continental feeling to the space so that friends, family and visitors to the city can meet and relax in a way that is safe this summer.”
What’s on offer?
The van will be open from 10am to 8pm Thursday to Saturday and from 10am to 6pm on Sundays. It will serve up a range of items and Chris says the must-try dish is the halloumi fries with his favourite topping.
Customers can enjoy the offering at the recently launched beer garden, too.
He added: “This time we have a new socially-distanced beer garden complete with panoramic views up and down the river,” said Chris.
“We’ve worked closely with our licensing officer to ensure it’s a safe space to relax and enjoy time with friends and family this summer.
“We also have a new menu. We’re serving halloumi fries, oregano and feta fries, luxury soft serve ice cream as well as draft beer and prosecco.
“We serve the halloumi fries with pomegranate, fresh mint and Greek yogurt with ras el hanout, a Moroccan spice. They come with a sweet chilli dipping sauce. The oregano and feta fries have been super popular, too. Working with local producers is so important to us, so our draft pints are brewed by Dundee’s 71 Brewing. They get kegged and delivered fresh from the brewery so the beer doesn’t come any fresher.
“The luxury soft serve we use comes from Jersey cows. Most soft serve uses skimmed milk which can lack flavour but the soft serve we use is full of cream so the flavour is really rich and delicious. We serve all of our ice cream in posh waffle cones as standard, and if you have a really sweet tooth you can opt for some of our sweetie shop toppings which were a big hit last summer.”
The future is street food
With the business set up to serve customers from the front of the V&A for the rest of the summer, Chris is adamant street food will be a trending option for diners looking for something different and a safe space to eat.
He added: “Until everyone is vaccinated I imagine most people are going to feel safer outside than inside.
“We were lucky enough to have queues for our food throughout the winter even in howling gales and snow storms which shows people have a strong desire to get out the house. If we have good weather, it could be a year to remember for al fresco dining.”