It's not often that you see a giant ghetto blaster on wheels serving burgers. But, for locals of the inner northern suburbs, Beatbox Kitchen is a regular sighting on street corners. Owner Raph's quirky idea to jazz up a food van has been embraced by Melburnians in the know as the best place to get a burger.
Beatbox Kitchen burgers do not come cheap, with the house (or should that be van) speciality, the Raph Burger, going for $11. But paying a few dollars more for your meal is beside the point, with many a happy customer declaring that the hefty price tag is well worth it. The ever popular van always has famished locals looking for their burger fix lining up, so expect a long wait to get to the front of the line.
You won't find a hint of unnecessary grease or wilting lettuce in your burger, as fresh ingredients characterise Beatbox Kitchen. The menu is extremely limited with only the beef Raph burger and a vegetarian mushroom burger ($10) available. Made from quality ingredients, the burgers are quite unlike those that would be found in your average food court.
Beatbox Kitchen also sells hot chips for $5 a cone, which can be doused in mayonnaise or relish. While the chips are rather standard, they are set apart by the spicy tomato relish, which is made exclusively for Beatbox Kitchen. Or, you can have them coated in the appropriately named 'stereo sauce' that Raph uses on his burgers.
Victoria, Lygon and Rathdowne Streets in Carlton are some of Beatbox Kitchen's usual haunts. You may be lucky enough to serendipitously encounter Beatbox Kitchen. But if you're not a local, a special trip to the northern suburbs may be needed- and because the van is constantly on the move, it can be a little tricky to find. That's where the power of social networking comes into play. Follow the Beatbox Kitchen Twitter account or keep an eye on its Facebook wall, for announcements on where the van will be and when.
Being music themed, Beatbox Kitchen's penchant for making appearances at music festivals is well suited. Previously it has made its way to the Laneway Festival and Falls Festival, venturing outside its comfort zone of just outside the city.
Every Friday night, Beatbox Kitchen becomes less mobile, perching itself at the corner of Rathdowne and Park Streets from 6pm until 9pm. If you're travelling to Carlton especially for the famed Beatbox burgers, Friday is a far safer bet than any other night.