Beatbox Kitchen was never supposed to have wheels. It was only when Raph Rashid realised that a shop and a food truck cost about the same that he decided to take his burgers on the road.
The giant mobile boom box made its debut at Meredith Music Festival in December 2009. Since then the flagship item, the Raph Burger, has become a cult classic both at Meredith and on the streets of Melbourne.
But pretty soon, you won’t have to chase the truck to get it.
Rashid has secured a long, skinny site on the corner of Sydney Road and Albion Street in Brunswick, and has plans to install a table-tennis table at the back. It’s close to halal burger joint Royal Stacks.
Like the team at Royal Stacks, Rashid knows his constituency (he also owns Taco Truck, and the nearby All Day Donuts and Juanita Peaches). The 40-seat diner will have a separate grill for vegetarians.
“I’ve always really cared about trying to do something that’s just as tasty for vegetarians,” he says. “In the last few years I’ve really seen the interest in that grow.”
Beatbox Kitchen’s vegetarian patty hasn’t been perfected yet, but it’s close.
Rashid has been experimenting with cooking vegetables to create different textures. He has no interest in using mock meat. “Food shouldn’t be there just to substitute a feeling,” he says.
The original Raph Burger will also be available, in all its 175-gram, 100-per-cent pasture-fed chuck-steak glory, with the usual “stereo sauce”, gouda, lettuce and tomato. “It’s just a really simple, honest, working-class burger,” Rashid says.
In the same spirit, Rashid has sketched out an interior design that focuses on the counter to encourage banter between cooks and customers. No doubt it’ll make ordering more fun than shouting at an eight-foot-high truck window.
Beatbox Kitchen is slated to open in October.
682 Sydney Road, Brunswick