MELBOURNE | Royal Stacks Melbourne is the latest burger joint to hit this city, but the brains behind the operation is anything but new to the Melbourne burger scene. You may know Dani Zeini from venues such as Dandenong Pavilion, Grand Trailer Park Taverna, Easey’s and Truck Stop Deluxe – yeah, the guy knows burgers. The City Lane was invited to the preview event for the flagship Collins Street store and we weren’t going to say no to an offer to try some burgers.
Royal Stacks will be immediately familiar to anyone who has visited one of US restaurateur Danny Myer’s Shake Shack branches. Burgers, desserts, frozen custards, shakes and local wines and beers made using locally sourced, quality ingredients. Zeini has teamed up with Ross Iaconis (VIC Meats) to provide the meat and Mark Mariotti (7 apples) to provide the ice cream. Just like Shake Shack, Zeini plans to expand Royal Stacks into a chain and prove that fast food and chain doesn’t have to mean bad. There are already plans for a Sydney Road, Brunswick branch to open in February.
The Collins Street store is deceptively large, with brick, wood, an exposed ceiling, a bit of neon and a massive throne. Combined with plenty of booths it all comes together to create a casual space fitting of the concept.
The burgers are undoubtedly the highlight of the offering at Royal Stacks and there was no messing about at the preview – guests were treated to full size servings of everything on the menu. The first burger we tried was the “Miss Elizabeth” ($12.50). Not the prettiest burger on the menu but the simple combination of an all Australian beef patty, Swiss cheese and truffle mayo works where it matters – in the mouth.
When the “Saint” ($13.50) came out the immediate thought was “this is more like it”. This beast contains 2 all Australian beef patties, tomato, butter lettuce, bacon, American cheddar, raw onion, chipotle mayo and pickled jalapenos. The unusually thick sliced raw onion aside, the Saint hits all the right buttons with some nicely balanced flavours.
Other offerings on the menu also sounded inticing, such as “The King” with it hand made mac & cheese croquettes and the “Prince Harry” with its horseradish, shallot and gherkin mayo sauce. Even the vegetarian option sounds interesting – it eschews the usual giant mushroom for a chickpea patty.
There are fries of course (including cheese fries), but potato gems are oh so hot right now, and for good reason. They are a childhood favourite that should have never been forgotten.
The frozen custards are available in a range of flavours, and this classic chocolate flavour was brilliant. For those who are unacquainted with frozen custard, it’s a thick, dense ice-cream that uses a custard base. It’s kind of like ice-cream crossed with Yogo but more indulgent. Try it for yourself and you won’t be disappointed.
With the opening of another burger joint in Melbourne, the question that’s being asked by many is “are we at peak burger?” Perhaps, but nobody has told Zeini. He’s wagering that the people of Melbourne are up for a new burger chain if all the, excuse the pun, ingredients are right. In his own words:
Fast food is a bit of a guilty pleasure for the occasional treat day. At Royal Stacks we’re taking that guilt away and focusing on quality ingredients. Fun dining is something that has worked so well with other venues, which we’re expanding on here.
If the food and receptiveness of the crowd at the launch is anything to go by, he might just be correct.
470 Collins Street
Telephone: (03) 9793 2133
Mon – Sun: 11:30am to 11:30pm