Portlander, Wellington, Lamborghini - 7/10

Shredded lamb shoulder twice cooked with duck fat in a bun with mushroom, lettuce, cucumber and mint jelly - $12

review by Brad

I like lamb. I like lamb a lot. But I am yet to have a great lamb burger. So like going to a romantic comedy at the movies, I ventured into Portlander to take on The Lamborghini with low expectations but hoping to be pleasantly surprised.

I will also come clean and say I had previously had a less that satisfying burger experience at Portlander with The Bullfighter.  I was trying not to let this influence me.  The stage was set.

The burger came out and looked great.  Shredded lamb shoulder twice cooked with duck fat, mushroom, lettuce, cucumber and mint jelly in a bun.  It smelt great.  Unfortunately, it was clear from the get go that this was not a burger I was going to be able to eat with my hands.  So, with sadness in my heart, I reached for the knife and fork and tucked my napkin down the front of my shirt.

My first bite was sheer delight (you see what I did there with the rhyming!!).  The mint jelly added some lovely sweetness and the lamb was good - very good.  This was different to any other burger I had eaten.  There was no patty.  There was no beef.  There was no tomato, beetroot or egg.  I didn't care.

The only downside to the burger was the bun, which was a bit on the bready side.  A minor fault was that there was perhaps slightly too much mint jelly, especially when looking back on the experience.

The presentation was great (not necessarily practical - side plates were ordered) and the fried kumara crisp side added a nice texturous chomp.  We probably didn't need the side order of chips but they too were good, well cooked, seasoned and presented well.

Whilst maybe missing a few of my burger favourites I didn't really need them.  The old firm of lamb and mint jelly really hit the spot and at $12 - a really good price.  A good solid 7 and I'll be back. 

Sorry about the photo quality.  I didn't realise the sun was right in front of me.  I know some of you are all about the picture so I have tried to pick up my prose to compensate...


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