This rant actually happened last year during the Visa Wellington on a Plate Competition. It was a tough week but good fun. Unfortunately i didnt have a proper cameraphone and so havent got photos for the first three burgers. I have deleted the names to protect the innocent but otherwise its as i emailed to the team...
It started last Thursday with a team lunch at the eating house. Burgers all around apart from X who had the Putanesca pasta. The burger was prime Wairarapa beef mince with Kingsmeade Lansdowne Gouda and pickled zucchini with fries ($19.90). Burger scored a 7/10 considering it was the first we tried, this was probably a highish score. It was a bit difficult to eat (easier once cut in half and quite messy). The condiments were nothing to write home about and the fries were ok. The major letdown was the bun – which was probably too tough. It did have pickles in spades though – which was a good thing!
The next day i followed up with a Venison patty with smoked black jack cheddar, crispy port belly and date chutney in a home made bun ($19). This was the pick of the bunch really. Looked good, easy to eat. Juicy, tasty, with the perfect bun. Burger scored a 9/10. Being from Arizona, I was pleasantly surprised. Their deconstructed nachos were also really good!!
On Monday the boss and i met with our WOAP client for a light lunch at Plum. An Angus beef patty with pancetta, Kapiti kikorangi blue cheese, beetroot relish, caramelised onions and rocket in a cottage lane bun, with fries, tomato sauce and aioli. The bun was square, but the burger was really quite tasty. A choice of shoestring or chunky fries and aioli as well as t/sauce was a bonus. However, it was a bit too sweetish and so i gave it a 7.5 out of 10. Great value for money though at $15. (then i finished of a orange blossom panna cotta with whittakers dark chocolate, almond and confit orange zest)
Come Tuesday i was getting into it and met a mate at the General Practitioner for a prime star Wairarapa beef and bacon patty with chicken liver pate and red wine shallots with shoestring fries and truffled mayonnaise ($22). A damn good looking burger and tasty to boot. Unfortunately it was let down by being very messy (lots of juices and the bun crumbled for some unknown reason). Also the mayo didn’t really taste like it had truffle in it.
|Peppermill - Porirua|
Wednesday i was off to Porirua for a workshop presentation and thought i might sneak into the peppermill for their char grilled beef patty with caramelised onions, Kapiti kahurangi creamy blue cheese, rocket and ration creek orchard chilli apple gem with hand cut fries and aioli ($18).
A real let-down due to the cheese and the caramelised onions being cold. As well the bun made the burger a bit too bready. On the plus side the fries and aioli were the bomb. Unfortunately i couldn’t score higher for those so it got a 5.
Thursday i cried off.
|Peppermill - Porirua|
Friday i was about to cry off but then thought i couldn’t let the team down so close to the finish. So off to Smith the Grocer for a spiced Wairarapa lamb patty with lettuce, tomato and cheese in a pandoro bun, with crinkle cut fries and tzatziki ($17.90). This was against my better judgement, particularly as it was a lamb burger and with morrocan flavouring – sacrilege.
Unfortunately my judgement was right. The burger was pretty bland (albeit spicy) and fries (which weren’t crinkle cut as you can see) with Tzatziki just don’t go. Also it didn’t look like a burger – more like a sandwich. However, i gave it a 5.5, slightly tastier than the peppermill...
|Smith the Grocer - Lambton Quay|
Epilogue. Its now Friday afternoon and bloated bigger than a whale washed up on an isolated Wairarapa beach. Finding it hard to find inspiration when the mind is clouded. Good thing the competition is close to over. From the looks of things it has been a great hit and the burger competition, which BERL sponsors, has been heavily subscribed. Coasters on all tables with our logo inviting people to vote for the burger. I have been told that the morrocan spiced lamb patty with tomato salsa and provolone cheese on Bordeaux bakery bread with hand cut chips is the best burger ever and it would be really really sad if i missed out on it. WOAP doesn’t end till Sunday...