Before I start the review, I need to do something very important and make sure everyone correctly pronouncing the name of this burger chain. You could be forgiven for pronouncing it zhjoo burgers – as per au jus, the French culinary term meaning ‘with juice’. However, in this case, it’s most definitely jus’ – as in short for just and also for Justin – the owner and founder Justin Bell. Justin is a chef trained in London, Hong Kong and New York who applies a focus of great produce and attention to detail to his burgers. After expanding the business too fast, the Jus Burgers restaurants in Northbridge and Fremantle were closed, leaving the original premise in Leederville and another in Subiaco.
I visited the Leederville branch of Jus Burgers for a quiet weekday lunch and immediately began perusing the menu, which proved to be quite a challenge. It’s nice to have choices, but for a burger bar/restaurant, the Jus Burgers menu is quite complicated. As well as beef, lamb, chicken, vegetarian, roo and fish burgers from the original menu, there’s now a separate list of diner-style burgers and sliders, four bun choices (five if you include ‘no bun’) as well as salads, chips, onion rings, sweet potato wedges and slaws. In the end I opted for the Cheeseburger Royale ($13.50) from the diner-style menu and ‘made a meal of it’ by adding steak cut chips, relish and slaw ($5) and a can of Little Creatures Dog Days ($5). This brought the total to $23.50 – not bad value for a quality burger meal with a craft beer.
I’ve had Dog Days before and it’s a great summer refresher, with citrusy hops, low bitterness and a dry, quenching finish. Drinking it straight from the can was a bad choice though, as my hand warmed it up quicker than I’d have liked – I’ll ask for a glass next time.
The chips were a skimpy serve and seemed poor value, even when taking into account the relish and slaw on the side. Good thing I wasn’t too hungry, because the chips were really good – lightly salted and very hot, with a crisp exterior and creamy centre. The relish seemed more like a house-made ketchup and not dissimilar from the stuff you buy in the supermarket (which isn’t a bad thing), while the slaw was very rich and mayo-heavy – good thing it was a small serve.
The Cheeseburger Royale came in a sesame seed brioche bun and was filled (top to bottom) with aioli, a mountain of soft lettuce leaves, American cheese, a large beef patty, pickles, mustard and ketchup. The small brioche bun was soft, squashed flat when bitten and didn’t interfere with the rest of the flavours – very good. The house-made aioli was creamy and not too garlicky and the lettuce nice and fresh, but I found myself wishing for a slice or two of crisp tomato. The American cheese was melted over the patty and had a mild flavour and gooey texture. The patty, cooked medium-well, had a larger diameter than the bun and was juicy with a coarse, open texture and good beefy flavour. Thin, crisp pickle slices, tangy mustard and ketchup gave balance to what was a rich and satisfying burger that made me think of a fancy Quarter Pounder.
My only regret with this burger is that I didn’t ask to add tomato, which would have given it some welcome moisture, sweetness and crunch. That would have been really good, maybe even burgasmic. Whatever – in its original form, the Jus Burgers Cheeseburger Royale is…
Have you had a Cheeseburger Royale from Jus Burgers? What did you think? Comment below and let me know.