The Bun Mobile: A family affair
Alicia Moo | On 08, Oct 2013
Delicious buns served from a truck and popping up on a street near you is all thanks to a wonderfully loving family.
The Bun Mobile is fast becoming a Brisbane icon and owners Harold and Christine Fleming have mustered the next generation to run their second, red bun mobile.
In their fifth week of feeding Brisbane’s bunstars, I sat down with Daniel Clark and wife Natasha McCarthy and it very quickly became clear this is a couple that thrive on a love of food and a love of family.
Chef by trade, Daniel has an impressive 20 years experience in professional kitchens all around the world, from executive chef at Londonâ€™s St Martins Lane hotel, to working in France, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Cyprus.
But leaving the glamorous and often stressful life of big cities for sunny Brisbane was calling.
â€œWe wanted to come back to Brisbane to be close to family and being a part of The Bun Mobile has allowed us to have quality time with our two children,â€ said Daniel.
â€œIt was hard being basically a single parent to our daughter and this couldnâ€™t be a more perfect solution, so we jumped at the opportunity,â€ said Natasha.
Working in Papau New Guinea, Daniel was reading about food trucks in Melbourne. Combined with his love of Asian cuisine and fusion concepts he planted the seed in his step father Harold Flemingâ€™s mind, then The Bun Mobile was born.
â€œHarry [Harold Fleming] couldnâ€™t sleep after that, and he just made it all happen,â€ said Daniel.
First tasting these Asian steam buns at Momofuku in New York, Daniel fell in love with the idea and Harold took it from there, creating his own secret recipe (I tried guys, itâ€™s a recipe forever known to only Harry and Daniel).
â€œThey are like little pillows, soft, fluffy and beautiful,â€ said Daniel
â€œI love them because they are so light, unlike a burger that can make you feel heavy,â€ said Natasha.
Selling 100 plus buns each service and often selling out, The Bun Mobile is on a roller coaster of success.
â€œWe had a couple drive all the way from the Gold Coast just to taste our buns.â€
For Daniel and Natasha, the difference is the enjoyment the job provides.
â€œI love dealing with the public and talking to people and providing fast, quality food with great service,â€ said Natasha.
Apart from the three standard buns of chicken, pork and wagyu beef, daily specials are also on offer with endless flavour combinations filling the minds of Daniel and Harold, dependent on season, events and general chefy genius, using only local produce the buns are endlessly appealing.
“We constantly experiment, blind taste test and research new recipes,” said Daniel.
Sundays are reserved for ‘family day’ usually spent in the backyard around wood fire oven pizzas or a slow cooked lamb shoulder with a complete ban on work talk.
The Bun Mobile succeeds on this sort of ideal life; relaxing, comforting, friendly and delicious.
â€œWe would love it to become something that Brisbane can say is theirs, itâ€™s definitely around for good,â€ said Natasha.
Daniel says the Brisbane food scene is thriving, with local restaurants proving their game amongst the likes of Sydney and Melbourne.
â€œBrisbane is growing extremely fast and food culture here is driven by quality. Brisbane in three words? Watch this space.â€
Gourmet food available on the streets, for less than 10 bucks, you just canâ€™t say no to that.
So convert to the ‘bunstar’ life and fall victim to a religion of deliciousness.
What: The Bun Mobile
When: Lunch and Dinner to a place near you
How Much: A ridiculously tinyÂ $8
Other: Like them on Facebook and stalk to your stomachâ€™s content