New street food van offers tacos with an Asian twist
PUBLISHED: 08:00 21 May 2019 | UPDATED: 11:42 21 May 2019
Pulled hoisin jack fruit and slow-cooked beef shin on the menu at Moco Kitchen which will be out and about around Norwich this summer.
Holidaymakers heading for Whitlingham Broad Campsite this summer are in for a treat as a brand new street food van takes up residence for the holidays.
Moco Kitchen, which fuses the flavours of Asia into Mexican-style soft shell tacos, will also be popping up throughout the warmer months at events across Norfolk.
The cute converted horse box is a passion project for best friends Nina Gooda and Lucy Hurrell, along with their husbands.
Although they initially set up a food cart last year, this is the first season the horse box has been out in action, with the duo launching their business officially this March.
Nina and Lucy are no strangers to the world of food and drink. Lucy's dad David Adlard, famously ran Norwich's Adlard's restaurant (now Roger Hickman's), and Nina's first ever job was cleaning cutlery there as a student.
"We've been friends forever really," Nina says. "We always get together to do foodie things and our husbands have been a part of that for a long time. Lucy's husband's been general manager at various different restaurants, whereas Ed (my husband) and I are more the business side of things.
"We'd been talking last year about how we should do something together. Then I went on maternity leave, as Lucy did a few years ago, and it was a natural break. We both had little ones and, for us, it put everything into perspective. So, we set up Moco Kitchen. The name is actually inspired by our children- Max and Coco. They are our inspiration… and equally our distraction," Nina laughs.
While coming up with a concept for Moco Kitchen, the ladies decided they wanted to do something unique. Not burgers. Not hotdogs. Just delicious food with a twist, made with local ingredients.
"We had to start somewhere so thought about doing soft shell tacos. But they're not your traditional Mexican flavours. We've given them a hint of Asia which has been an absolute hit.
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"And we're also doing brownies. Lucy's brother is the Topless Baker. He's becoming quite well known publically and does all things sweet. He's let us have his brownie recipe so we always have those on the van."
Meat and vegetables for the tacos (which can also be loaded nachos or bao buns) are sourced from Norwich, with combinations including slow-cooked beef shin with pickled red cabbage, spring onion, black sesame and sriracha mayo, or pulled pork with shredded lettuce, salsa verde, crispy onions and red chilli.
Of course, vegans and vegetarians are being well catered for too.
"With the growing vegan market," says Nina, "we've been asked to come up with dishes suitable for people who are on a plant-based diet. None of us are actually vegan though, which made it interesting. We had to make something we would love ourselves and so we started to experiment with jackfruit which is quite similar to meat. The taco has hoisin jack fruit, pickled red cabbage, spring onions, pickled cucumber, sriracha sauce and sesame seeds. It's been getting amazing feedback. Some of our biggest meat eating friends love it. Actually, my husband's friend came down to visit - he usually eats huge racks of rubs - and the jackfruit tacos were his favourite."
Black bean tacos are another option for those avoiding meat. "I'm half Brazilian and most of my family are Brazilian so black beans are a traditional meal for us. When I was younger you couldn't get them in this country but now they're everywhere and we love using them. That taco is scrummy."
Find Moco Kitchen at Whitlingham Broad Campsite in the summer holidays most Saturdays, at Warwick Street Social this bank holiday weekend, at Fashion Reboot in Norwich on June 6 and at Redwell Brewery on June 16.