STREAT

St Paul’s Court, Federation Square (Flinders St edge)
Phone: 0425 058 724

Sponsored by Nuffnang

I’m not in the city during daylight hours much in Winter, so it was a surprise to me to hear that STREAT had been operating in Federation Square since March this year. STREAT is a social enterprise which both serves a diverse range of grab-and-go street food and trains homeless young people, providing with a pathway to a career in hospitality. The organisation is very much in the same mould as more high-profile ventures such KOTO in Hanoi, and Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurants. STREAT takes over 40 young people each year, and puts them through a six month training program, while also supporting them in other aspects of their lives. The trainees are then transitioned into jobs in hospitality.

In more concrete sense, STREAT is a food cart that sets up its wares each morning (Tues-Sat) on the Flinders St edge of Fed Square. In the tradition of all great street food, the STREAT cart quite a compact set up, with food prep being carried out in a commercial kitchen off-site, the little cart, adorned with dried chillies and herbs, manages to pack in just enough kitchen to produce some great food. The menu changes daily, inspired by street food carts from around the world. One day it might be som tum (a Thai green papaya salad), the next you might find them serving chicken satay on rice, or Seekh lamb kebabs.


The day I visited I decided to try the Jamaican jerk chicken and pineapple salsa wrap ($9).


It was tasty, with a nice balance of sweetness and acid. The chicken was tender, and the pineapple lent a nice texture to the wrap. I did feel that it would have benefited with a little lettuce, or maybe even some rice, to trap the sauce, as the wrap started to drip not long after my first bite. Still, great food isn’t always neat, right?

Ms A just missed the last chickpea and lentil wrap – all sold out! – so instead, she had the sweet potato, leek and lentil soup. $7 for a large serve, it came with a warm multi-grain roll.

She was kind enough to let me try a little, and on a chilly day as it was, I certainly appreciated how hearty it was. There was a nice use of spices, and just a little kick of chilli, too!
There’s not much seating at STREAT, but it’s right near the sloping steps leading into Fed Square, so weather permitting, it’s not a bad idea to park yourself there with you meal. There’s often some entertaining busker putting on a show for your entertainment. Last time, I saw a guy balancing on a pole, cracking a flaming whip!

So go check it out, especially you office workers nearby! They have a loyalty card where if you have nine meals there, the tenth goes to a homeless person! You get to feed your belly as well as someone else’s who needs it.

Foursquare users, if you check in at STREAT anytime this August, you can get a meal with a bottle of water for only $10. And for more details about things going on in and around Fed Square, iPhone users can download the Fed Square app.

Competition: The kind folk at STREAT have provided a meal for two for me to giveaway to my readers. So leave a comment below, telling me what your favourite street food is – and where you found it – by 5pm on the 10th of August, and you’ll go into the draw to win! Winners will be announced on this blog.

Streat on Urbanspoon

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Nuffnang and Federation Square, and Ms A and I chowed down as the guest of STREAT. I like to think my account was unbiased, but you may not agree. For a completely unbiased take on the STREAT experience, you can also see Penny’s review at jeroxie.com. She takes better pictures than me, too!

8 Replies to “STREAT”

  1. Its good to see that a place can be both socially conscious and turn out good food. Wish I could say the same for fifteen…shudder.

  2. I want to eat there now! Such a great idea, I'm glad the food was good too. 🙂
    Maria – wow, really? I had the Fifteen food & wine degustation a couple of years ago and really, really loved it.

  3. I haven't managed to be in the city when STREAT has been there, but next time I'm going in on a Saturday I think I'll have to go there. My favourite street food is pad thai from the streets of Bangkok. I think our regulations are too strict to support the amount and variety of street food available in a country such as Thailand, but some of the hole in the wall eateries in inner Melbourne are fantastic.

  4. The best street cart food I have had was eating ceviche and drinking beers on the old colonial streets of Antigua in Guatemala.

  5. Great to see that another socially focused food operation producing quality, delicious food! Kinfolk is one of my favourites doing a somewhat similar concept.

  6. I'll be sure to head there. As soon as the weather starts being a littler kinder to the outdoor diner!

  7. Hi everyone,
    Thanks for the comments and thinking on street food!
    Tresna– STREAT offices are housed with Kinfolk cafe at 673 Bourke st. We like their work a lot as well.
    Matt- We really dig Thai street food. Check out our page on it http://streat.com.au/food/featured-country
    We're all for a robust street food trade in Melbourne. Here's hoping!
    STREATmelbourne

  8. Wow, either you all didn't want to win, or you don't read instructions properly! I wanted to include you all in the draw, but that would be unfair to the three people who actually did tell me about their favourite street food!

    The winner is… Matt! Will be in touch to get your prize to you. 🙂

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