Portlander, Wellington - Moolander, 6.5/10

 A sweet Brioche bun holds a wagyu mince patty topped with a mushroom bechamel sauce, gruyere cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions and aioli. $25  With truffle handcut fries and parmesan crisp $29

Review by Bradley Cuff

Having recently won me over with the Lamborghini it was with stars in my eyes that I ventured back to Portlander to celebrate the return of the Burger Wellington finalist - The Moolander.

And like a night at the Oscars all the celebrities were there - Wagyu Beef, truffle fries, parmesan crisp, Swiss cheese - but like that movie 'New Years Eve' and that other clanger 'Movie 43' just having a heap of stars in a film does not make it good.  Unfortunately the same has to be said for the Moolander.

As always with Portlander, the burger came out looking great. Also, as is to be expected with a burger housed in a light brioche bun, 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, but stars still in my eyes, I reached for the knife and fork ... and tucked my napkin down the front of my shirt.

With the credits and the trailer to this burger so good (it was 5th in Burger Wellington you know) the first scene (read bite here. See what I am doing with the movie references!!)  was a let down. With all of these star ingredients where was the flavour??? I looked across at my dining companions the stars in my eyes replaced with tears. I hoped they weren't feeling the same way.  Alas.  They were.

Now don't get me wrong the burger wasn't awful. But, with all the fan fare and an A-list cast that included a sweet Brioche bun holding a wagyu mince patty topped with a mushroom bechamel sauce, gruyere cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions and aioli with truffle handcut fries and parmesan crisp; how could it not be great?

Well let me tell you. First the meat patty whilst medium and juicy was stewed rather than seared. There wasn't a hint of caramelisation and its accompanying taste and texture. It also sorely needed seasoning. The same must be said of the onions.  I couldn't tell if they were supposed to be raw or cooked, seemingly somewhere in between. The gruyere had no taste at all and the aioli simply blended into the b├ęchamel sauce. All these stars simply merged into one bland flavour with a sloppy texture.

I loved the hand cut fries and the parmesan crisp. However, I simply could not taste the truffle.

At the $29 price point, you would expect more.  This needed to be a night on the red carpet experience. The price on its own required a point to be deducted.

However, the real let down was the lack of flavour, seasoning and, in particular, caramelisation on the patty. This big budget extravaganza just didn't hit the mark. A disappointing 6.5 and a no from me.


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