Kotuku Rendezvous Cafe, Lower Hutt, - 7/10

Finally succumbing to a cold last week, I decided to stay home.  However, the cold wasn't bad enough for me to turn down lunch with Dawn, who had a rare day off.  Trying to think of somewhere we hadn't been before,  I suggested Kotuku.  We had been there previously when it was the Tiki Lounge AND I thought I had heard they did a burger.  Reaching agreement we headed out to Waiwhetu, which is where Kotuku lived ; off the beaten track.

Thankfully, the burger was on the menu and it sounded good.  I'm pretty sure it said 200g Wagyu but it could well have been Angus.  At $16, it probably was Angus.  Like I said, I had a cold so you can't hold it against me for not having all my facts straight.  Further, Kotuku doesn't have an online menu so I can't verify. I can say that the burger came with Thrice cooked homemade chips, which were winners!!

To summarise, this is the best looking burger that I have had so far.  The top bun nonchalantly offset to show off the charred burger and melted cheese.  They appear to have even glazed the outside of the bun!!   Unfortunately, it was almost as if they didn't want to take away from the appearance by providing any bold flavours.  That is not to say it was bad - far from it.  It is just that there wasn't much in the way of taste.  Again I did have a cold, so maybe my taste buds weren't as vigorous as they could have been.

Or perhaps it was by design to bring out the subtle flavour of the brioche bun.  This included a garlic butter?  dressing, which the mesclun leaves were tossed in.  The cheese was bland and I had to actually add salt to the burger.  There was a chipotle type sauce (which seems to be the flavour of the month).  However, it didn't really have much in the way of chipotle...The ketchup would have been more useful if it was actually on the burger.

Funny story.  The waitress warned me that the pattie was sometimes pink.  I asked her if it was sometimes pink or always pink.  She said she thought it was meant to be pink but some people didn't like it pink.  I said if it was designed to be pink then I will have it pink, but if it is meant to be cooked through then I would prefer it didn't come pink.  She said it was designed to be pink.  I said I will have it pink then.  This was actually quite a humorous exchange, which took a good minute or two.  I probably didn't do it justice but i suck at punctuation...

Anyway, as you probably will have worked out by now, (and it is evident in the third shot) the burger came well done.

As I was paying the waitress asked how the meal was.  I said it was excellent, apart from the pattie being well done.  She said that an earlier customer complained to the chef re the pink pattie.  He decided then that he was going to cook all patties well done to ensure he got no more complaints.  A travesty if the burger was able to be cooked pink...

My Bundaberg ginger beer came in a jar, with mint and lemon slice.  A novel touch, which I appreciated.   So if you like your burgers cute and subtle, with interesting wait staff in a setting off the beaten track, then this is the one for you.  The thrice cooked chips were divine.  7/10


  1. And no prices. Thanks...

    1. Sorry. You mentioned $16. Thanks.


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