I love living north of the river. I’m five minutes from the beach, seven from the city and I enjoy the close proximities to shops, movies and cafes. But there are some things we’re definitely missing – and stellar fried chicken and burgers fall in that category.
When it comes to sinful junk food, I tend to frequent the likes of Chimek or Short Order. But they’re not local options which means a trip there is planned, hardly spontaneous.
And yes I know it’s probably a good thing for my thighs that this is the case. Except now I no longer need to worry because Vic Park’s hotspot Royal’s Chicken and Burgers has now opened a second store – in Wembley! Yes super close. And yes, super exciting.
Royals has been on my list of places to check out forever. And finally, on their opening weekend in Wembley Jeremy and I found ourselves there to eat ourselves into a greasy food coma. Bring it on.
Owned and operated by brothers Al and Ken, with childhood friend AJ at the helm – there’s good things happening here. Kanye, Lupe, Tupac are all sure to be on first name basis with the team; a steady thrum of hiphop base providing the backdrop amid the open space and bright natural lighting. A bright mural on one wall is complemented by skateboard deck art on the others.
The menu is extensive, but all sounds delicious. Prices are more than reasonable, and there’s something for everyone. Jeremy was quick to choose the Bernie Mac ($11.00) – a burger made with 100% ground Angus beef with double cheese, creole remoulade, lettuce, pickle and onion, which he happily doubled up on suggestion (an extra $4.00 for the second patty).
For a side dish, tater tots with chipotle mayo ($4.00) rounded out his Royals experience.
His burger… wow. Yes that’s all I feel I can articulate because it was truly great. The patty barely held it together, brimming with juices and cheese clinging tenderly. I love the fine chop on the lettuce to provide a nice fluffy yet crisp layer. The creole remoulade is their take on big mac sauce and it is gooooood. Highly recommend this burger – it was the winner for the day and definitely my choice next time I head back (which I’m sure will be very soon).
Combining my love of fried chicken and burgers came in the form of ordering the chicken RoyAl ($12.00) – a burger with buttermilk fried chicken thigh fillets, fancy sauce, creole remoulade, lettuce and tomato, which I also jacked up to add bacon and cheese for an extra $3.00.
And of course, with my love of onion rings ($4.00) I had to pick them too with a creole remoulade dipping sauce. These were on the money, super thin and super crisp – the batter was light and crunchy and well seasoned. The burger was also really tasty. The chicken stayed crisp the whole time, and there was a great combination of spices in the coating. I can definitely see the appeal of trying it on it’s own next time, the burger was a great introduction to it.
And what’s a meal of burgers and sides without some milkshakes? Chocolate ($5.00) for Jeremy and strawberry for me ($5.00). Syrupy, old fashioned and frothy. Nothing ground breaking, but it hit the spot and was the final straw that pushed us both into food coma status.
Welcome to the hood Royals – we are ridiculously happy to have you. It’s about damn time!