Chefs on a Roll: Gourmet Food Trucks

What drives a great chef? Ingredients? Creativity? Meticulous attention to detail? We’d say all of the above. And what do great chefs drive? Food trucks, of course! (Find them on Facebook and Instagram—they do get around.)

Thai Mee Up food truck
Thai Mee Up’s fried pork ribs and green papaya salad exemplify the traditional flavors that will transport your taste buds straight to Thailand.


“Move over, orange chicken,” I say. “Hello, lemongrass!” I’m about to dig into Chef Tom Sribura’s fried chicken. It’s marinated in a punchy kaffir lime leaf, garlic, and lemon-grass mix, then dusted with flour for a perfect crunch. In December 2015, Tom left a twenty-year career as a chef at Mama’s Fish House to launch his own business, Thai Mee Up; two years later, it earned MNKO’s ‘Aipono Gold Award for Best Food Truck. “I’m making the foods I grew up eating in Thailand,” he says, his light blue eyes shining as wife/partner Brandie stands nearby, smiling. He tells me that they have recently reworked their menu, and “Wait till you taste what we’ve added!” I’ll heed his suggestion next time, because today I’m back for my favorite: fried pork ribs. It’s been a crowd-pleaser since opening day; there should be a warning sign attached to the menu board declaring the addictiveness of the dish. I attack the stack of ribs with my hands, and the tender meat isn’t fall-off-the-bone soft, but it’s not supposed to be. The texture lends itself to more chewing—and more pure porky Thai flavors that fill me with bliss. I end the meal by licking the sweet and spicy marinade off my fingers; I don’t want to miss a single drop. Served with jasmine rice and green papaya salad, this is a meal . . . or two. And don’t forget the Thai iced tea! 24 Kiopa‘a St. (next to Longs Drugs) in Kula/Pukalani, 280-7753; and Plate Lunch Marketplace, 591 Haleakalā Hwy., Kahului; 214-3369; IG: @ThaiMeeUp; FB: Thai Mee Up



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

− 8 = 1