Inspired by the classic comfort food of grilled cheese and its popularity in the US, David Manuel launched his food truck The Melt Hub back in November 2015. From the mobile black box you can expect handcrafted combinations of old-school comfort food with new-school flavours “with an Anglo-French American twist,” says David. Think gourmet melts and burgers. David takes the classic cheese and carb combo and turns it into something a bit fancy, a bit gourmet, and a lot delicious.
David spent 25 years working as a chef with most of the two and a half decades spent in London and Kent. It was during his time there that he became “hooked on the street food scene.” He came to Perth with a new business in mind but spent a few years working the circuit here before launching the truck.
With his experience working as a chef over the years, David had an abundance of ideas and one of the first challenges with the new business was to whittle down his enthusiastic plans into a workable menu. One thing that has remained at the forefront of the business is “keeping it local, fresh and seasonal with quality ingredients,” he explains.
Initially he found juggling the red tape and applying for licences with maintenance of the truck a bit of a challenge – but he was ready for it. “After a while it becomes second nature,” says David – as with any new business venture.
David’s passion for what he does is easy to see. “This business really gives me chance to express myself and be creative,” he enthuses. “I love to use seasonal produce or special ingredients that a supplier has sourced and stick them on the menu, and then hear feedback from customers.” David loves meeting his customers and believes that eating outdoors brings people together in the community. That’s something that you can really see at the Inglewood Night Markets – each Monday night in the warmer months Beaufort Street is teaming with hungry locals who love getting out and about, choosing a dish and catching up with friends and neighbours. As David says, “Perth is the perfect city for outdoor eating.”
After a massive few days at The Landing at Elizabeth Quay last weekend, David will be rolling into the Food Truck Rumble this Sunday 26 March from 11am until 8pm at the Perth Cultural Centre. In a special treat for this year’s Rumblers, David has reworked a classic and concocted a Steak n Frites Sandwich: meat, caramelised onion, provolone cheese, garlic fries, and truffle mayonnaise on a toasted baguette.
You can also find him serving the students at Curtin and Murdoch Universities, at the ever-popular Inglewood Night Markets “and anywhere else they’ll have us!” says David. Keep an eye on The Melt Hub Facebook page for upcoming events. And in case you need some cheesy goodness at your next party – The Melt Hub are available for private events as well.