I’m not sure why there is a chainsaw suspended from the ceiling of this new Brighton burger joint – or the reason behind the multi-coloured toy trucks lining the walls. Perhaps it has something to do with cult film Pulp Fiction, from where Royale Brothers gets its name. I haven’t seen that movie (please don’t hate me) but I have been to the little burger shop. Operating out the back of The Pantry, and run by the same friendly folk, Royale Brothers is the newest player in Melbourne’s burgeoning burger scene. A couple of weeks ago I was invited by the lovely people at The Pantry to try their little brother’s fare. Now to be straight, I am not huge on burgers. I would much rather enjoy a plate of salmon sashimi with brown rice and a toss of pickled vegetables (hello Purple Peanuts). But burgers are dude food at its finest and sometimes you need to make the boy happy. So I took my man and we went along to sample the offerings and get in on all that greasy good stuff.
Super lively and super happy, Royale Brothers is a take away joint with a few seats out front so you can sit in the sunshine. The menu is mostly classics with some moments of intrigue. Think battered fish burgers with lashings of Coney Island cocktail sauce, jerk spiced pulled pork shoulder and panko crumbed pinto bean patties with house slaw. You want chips? They’ve got them, and a range of sauces like aioli and onion gravy for your dunking pleasure.
My choice, the Royale with Cheese, is the restaurant’s signature dish. A juicy beef patty sits nestled inside a pillowy milk bun with loads of delectable accompaniments. Think crunchy pickles, slivers of onion and a generous slice of melted cheese. This burger screamed fast food for me but without the greasy drippings that usually go with it. The beef patty was tasty but better coupled with the melted cheese, crisp onion and the tartness of the pickle. There was just the right amount of everything. The onion was thinly sliced so as not to be overpowering, the patty was just thick enough and the lettuce was a burst of freshness. Overall though, I felt there was a sweetness to this burger that tipped it to the fast food side of things and just wasn’t to my taste. Maybe it was all those condiments. Having mustard, mayo and the Royale Sauce all in the one mouthful was perhaps a little much for me.
The chips were glorious with a nice soft potato inside. They came out covered in the Royale Spiced Seasoning. I thought the seasoning was mild and nothing really out of the ordinary or memorable. But chips are chips and these were crunchy and salty so all was good with the world.
My man went for the Bacon Royale. With double cheese and layers of beef and bacon how could this burger possibly disappoint. The bacon had an almost smoky flavour to it – fantastic with the mustard and all that melted cheese. He said it was one of the better, non-greasy burgers he had eaten and enjoyed it even more than some of the most popular Melbourne burger spots (I won’t name names but you can guess).
I think Brighton residents will be munching on burgers by the beach rather than the usual fish and chips for what’s left of the summer. The service is fast, the vibe is fun and the food is super tasty. Whether you want to dine roadside with a glass of sav or take it all away for a quick bite, Royale Brothers is definitely worth a try. It’s a good meal option in the South East, even if it is fast food.
My Fair Melbourne dined as a guest of The Pantry and received two complimentary meals.