Motorhome Majestic is a new burger place in Ascot Vale, from the team behind Grand Trailer Park Taverna (CBD) and Truck Stop Deluxe (Werribee).
The theme for this new venture is that you’re supposed to feel like you’re dining in a modern motorhome, in the literal sense that they’ve gotten a white Jayco and kind of deconstructed it across the venue.
If I was to tell you I was excited about eating in a deconstructed Jayco, then I would be lying.
While Grand Trailer Park and Truck Stop have a genuine kitsch feel that goes hand in hand with the modern burger aesthetic, a brand new white campervan really has nothing to do with anything. I understand they were wanting to continue the theme from their previous two venues but did anyone involved at any point take a step back to ask why?
Let’s talk about the food before venturing further.
It’s fine. It’s modern burgers. Soft buns, one has a kransky sausage in it, and the fried chicken burger was definitely the highlight. The standard beef and cheese burger was a bit of a let down (it probably has a kitschy name but this was a media preview and there were no menus to peruse). Given the soft buns, tender meat pattie and thick cut tomatoes, it all ended up just being a bit mushy and desperately needed something crunchy to give it any sort of interest. On the flipside the fried chicken burger had crunch in spades while the chicken was juicy and tender. It was a real delight and a burger that I would definitely happily eat if I was in the neighbourhood.
The fries on offer also had crunch in all the right places. Unfortunately their pork ribs reminded me of the beef burger, soft and textureless due to being cooked too long. All resistance was lost before being smothered in a largely forgettable sauce.
They weren’t bad and at the end of the day, like the beef burger, you are still eating a good dish using good ingredients but I wouldn’t call either a great example.
Which is what Motorhome Majestic really boils down to. It’s a playbook by now that is all too familiar in Melbourne. American style burgers, shakes with booze, something kitschy, and over the top childhood-throwback menu items that share well on social media. However when the hook is as ridiculously thin as “we got a modern campervan and spread it about the venue” it just leaves me confused and uninspired. Campervans aren’t comfortable places and the only fond memory anyone has is where they are parked, not what they are.
I’m not sure what the vibe the creators of this wanted me to get from it? Was I supposed to be reminded of a typical family holiday? My family never did those, and if they did, I’m sure what I wanted to be reminded of wasn’t the campervan itself. And putting my experience aside, if I was reminded of it, why are there burgers? Surely a campervan holiday in Australia has fresh lettuce salads and BBQ sausages. Maybe a bag of fresh fruit bought on the side of the road. If that was the starting point to the food then now I’m interested. Now you have something unique.
Instead I’m just left confused as to why American kitsch is being smushed into a modern campervan. This isn’t a theme, it’s just two things whose only connection is their other two venues.
When all’s said and done, it’s a good place. The food is good, it has some hooks that I’m sure will get people talking, and if I was in Ascot Vale and felt like a burger I would definitely ram one of their chicken burgers into my gullet.
I also love the idea that a burger place is becoming ubiquitous in Melbourne’s suburbs. Standing side by side with the Thai joint you were a regular at a decade ago. Burger joints are the on trend suburban takeaway option and that’s a great thing.
But seriously, a Jayco?
We dined as a guest of Motorhome Majestic.
Find Luke from AleOfATime at http://aleofatime.com where he spouts his knowledge as the guru of Australian (but mostly Victorian) craft beer. I have learnt everything I know from listening to his podcast – which you need to iTunes right now. Also Twitter and Facebook.
Contact: Motorhome Majestic – 236–238 Union Road, Ascot Vale. Website.