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Roulottes – Food Trucks
Tahiti | various Food
Rulottes, the Tahitin Food Trucks
The Tahitian food trucks are comparable to those you find in city areas, offering quick and simple meals.
In French Polynesia, food trucks are a real tradition and part of the area’s rich cultural history. Food preparation is something the Tahitians take very seriously, and they will only offer you the very freshest food from these trucks.
Although there are food trucks all over Tahiti, the biggest concentration is in Papeete, where dozens of the vibrant vehicles congregate at Vaiete Square or in Pirae on the parking lot of the Aorai Tini Hau Park. These trucks serve everything from traditional island fare to cheeseburgers, pizza, and Chinese food.
Where does the name Rulottes come from?
Rulottes is the French word for “caravans.” When Tahitians refer to “rulottes” they simply mean “food trucks,” sometimes known as “restaurant trucks,” which are vehicles designed for the preparation and sale of snacks and beverages.
Depending on the location, it may go by other names, such as “camion-bar” in La Reunion or “gourmet truck” in Quebec.
The History of the Rulottes
In the 1930s, trailers made their debut in Papeete. They were essentially bamboo carts that the Chinese used to sell fruits and vegetables. In the 1950s and 1960s, they changed into small, portable stores so that people didn’t have to go to the store.
In order to sell pancakes, cakes, and even complete meals so that people might come and eat there, they eventually came to a standstill on land or in squares.
They have modern kitchen equipment and have been running family businesses for many generations. It is said that trailers came to Vaiete in June and July for the Tiurai and Heiva festivals to set up camps for the duration of the events.
Now that they have been there for the entire year, the location has acquired symbolic value.
The Tahitian food truck concept
Food trucks can be seen all throughout the island of Tahiti. Even parking lots or car parks are reserved specifically for them, sometimes with multiple trailers parked side by side.
They are also found near nearby colleges, schools, and business areas where people are looking to purchase a meal (“ma’a” in Tahitian).
Although it is typical for trailers not to serve alcohol without the necessary permits, this does not stop the celebratory ambiance that may be found there.
Local ukulele players often play in Vaiete to make the evenings more enjoyable with Polynesian music. If you visit French Polynesia for a holiday, there are some amazing experiences to have there!
What do food trucks offer to eat?
There is something for every taste. Polynesian, French, Italian, American, and Asian cuisines. Raw fish in all of its forms is a highlight of Tahitian cuisine. You can sample tuna tartare, sashimi with homemade sauce, half-cooked tuna, raw fish in coconut milk, and raw fish.
The famous Tahitian dish Poisson cru is a must-try. It is made with raw fish, coconut milk, and cold vegetables like shredded carrots and cucumber.
Grills are often used to highlight steaks, pork, and chicken. There are Asian dishes like sushi and Chinese chao mein. The list goes on, with food trucks selling delicious pasta and large pizzas.
There are other food trucks selling delicious pancakes and large pizzas. The rib steak is enormous, and there are plenty of fries to go with it. One benefit of food trucks is that they don’t skimp on the amount, and you can also order your food to go.
Another rulotte/food truck in Tahiti is the Taapuna Grill.
Tahiti Food Trucks Offer Affordable Meals
The reason why food trucks are so popular is that they offer significant portions at low prices. A dish costs approximately $8–$18; water and drinks are available in cans or bottles. However, no alcohol is offered for sale.
As you can see, getting meals from a food truck is always a great idea and experience. You can be certain that the ingredients are fresh and sourced locally.
Tahiti’s food trucks are also venues for locals to socialize. On some evenings, you might hear ukuleles playing on the side of Vaiete Square as you eat.
What are the Tahitian food trucks famous for?
Fresh ingredients, basic tables, absurdly enormous quantities, and affordable prices are just a few of the things that make Tahitian food trucks famous.
Where can I find the most Rulottes in Tahiti?
In Papeete, the capital of Tahiti, a portside plaza next to the island ferry terminal, Place Vaiete is where the greatest concentration is found. When dusk falls, approximately a dozen food trucks that are permanently parked there throw open their windows.
What kind of food can I get at a Tahitian food truck?
Chinese stir-fries and Thai-style curries, Polynesian fresh and cured fish dishes, international pizza, and French classics are just a few of the items on the menus that show the fusion of cultures that have influenced the cuisine of the islands.
Can I pay with my credit card at the food truck?
Unfortunately, food trucks do not accept credit card payments, you have to pay in cash XPF (Pacific Francs).
How do I make an order at a Food truck?
Counter service is standard for all food trucks. You approach the food truck, look at the menu (most trucks offer the menu in English), place your order, and then have the food brought to your table.
Are there more Rulottes on Thaiti?
It’s impossible to pass by one of Vaipoopoo Park’s four food trucks without stopping. The different dishes are all reasonably priced, and the ambiance is warm and local. In addition, you have one of the nicest views of Moorea, Tahiti’s sister island, and the Taapuna sandbank.