After opening Royal Stacks in Collins St, Grand Trailer Park Taverna in Bourke St, the Dandenong Pavillion in the suburbs, and also being involved in the set-up of Easey’s and Truckstop Deluxe, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to conclude that Stacks owner Dani Zeini is taking over Melbourne’s burger culture, leaving a trail of brioche burger buns in his wake.
His latest and possibly shrewdest venture, an all-halal version of his Royal Stacks outlet in Sydney Road (halal to cater to the strong Middle Eastern demographic in the area), is further testament to this. Within a week of its launch, we arrive on a Wednesday night to find Royal Stacks packed to the brim with families, adolescents, couples, friends and general burger enthusiasts alike. Despite this, the staff are calm under pressure and everyone is getting fed freshly cooked, tasty burgers within a reasonable timeframe.
I order the two burgers I’ve heard most about: The King – an all-beef patty (the beef is from Gippsland and fresh-ground daily), lettuce, tomato, a mac ‘n’ cheese croquette made from scratch, mustard and “special sauce”. I also order The Action Bronson aptly named after the larger than life rapper/chef – double beef patty, double “fake bacon” (a clever alternative made using smoked silverside that pretty much tastes like the real thing).
The King is a beef patty, tomato, butter lettuce, a handmade mac ‘n’ cheese croquette, American mustard, special burger sauce that tastes like sophisticated Bic Mac sauce. The King is yum. Deliciously saucy, with a fresh kick, and a super indulgent mac’n’cheese croquette, this was pretty damn tasty. In my opinion, the King could be enhanced by a slice of cheese and some beef bacon, but that’s a personal (and slightly overindulgent) preference.
But what really stole the show at Stacks was the Action Bronson – double beef, double beef bacon, American cheddar, caramelized onion, American mustard, tomato sauce and pickles; a perfectly balanced burger. With a beautiful, super fresh brioche bun that pops in your mouth with its freshly baked sweetness, a load of cheese, the sweet/sourness of caramelised unions, smoked beef “bacon” that doesn’t make you miss the real thing one bit, and minced beef so fresh and juicy you’d be hard to find a better patty this side of the equator.
The fries were crispy, hot and fresh, and the melted cheese on the potato gems was so melty it was basically a sauce, which suits this writer’s condiments/cheese obsession nicely.
For dessert, Royal Stacks is one of the few places in Melbourne you can get frozen custard (which is basically ice cream but I challenge you to find a more appealing-sounding name for a sweet treat). I tackled two “Frozen Custard Concrete Mixers” – where you mix various toppings into your chosen custard flavour like a McFlurry – one with salted caramel custard mixed with Snickers bars, and one with Oreo custard mixed with M&Ms. The Oreo custard was a standout, but I’d like to try it with peanut butter to push the indulgence boundaries even further.
Royal Stacks has good service and a real family-friendly vibe; but more importantly, some seriously tasty burgers. Regardless of whether your diet requires you to eat halal or otherwise, Royal Stacks Sydney Road is definitely the answer to your Northside burger craving.