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Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Laundry, Wellington - Double Double - 5/10

Two beef patties on an Arobake bun with lettuce, tomato, cheese, mustard & house tomato sauce - $12

Laundry is one of the new breed of restaurants emerging in Cuba Street.  It was set up by a few foodie friends in a converted laundromat, with the food cooked out the back in a converted caravan.  Burgers, toasties, tacos and wraps.  Rustic, eclectic, homely decor.  Laid back service.  Vintage/retro.  you get the picture.

More importantly, burgers were the focus of the menu.  Six of these on tap (eight if you include the two vegetarian options).  Prices range from $8 for the classic throwback; to $18 for the Drunken Deluxe.  I went for the Double Double.  Dawn went for the Matt Daddy (bacon, blue cheese and mushrooms).


When Laundry first opened it was apparently packed, with long waits.  My work colleague CG pretty much told me my blog was baseless without a Laundry review.  Interestingly, a week before we visited, CG suggested that he might have to give up on Laundry (he was a weekly regular).  Wait times were too long (albeit with fewer people), service was marginal,and the quality of the burgers had dropped.  After our visit we had to concur.

We went for lunch on a weekday.  Laundry was probably at 50 percent capacity.  We seated ourselves.  We collected our own menus.  We went up to the counter to order.  We waited close to 30 minutes for our burgers...

Now perhaps my judgement has been clouded somewhat by the circumstance.  My expectations are possibly too high.  But so they should be.  The place is trading on its ability to cook a great burger.  Unfortunately they have fallen slightly short.

On the upside, it was a good looking burger. The patties were perfectly cooked.  I loved the char, which imparted flavour and texture.  There was a hint of grilled cheese, which I like.  Hand cut fries were top notch.  But that is probably as far as I go with the positives.

On the downside, there was no real flavour.  There was a homemade sauce, which was slightly smoky but on the whole tasted like passata.  It was also served with the fries.  With a lack of punch, there was not enough of it in the burger to have an impact.  There was only a hint of grilled cheese, the main portion was grated and, as you can see from the second photo, bunched on the burger  and not even melted.  The tomato was slightly powdery.

I was pretty agnostic on the bun.  An artisan bun, it didn't really stand out or add to the burger.  It was very slightly toasted.

With a poor support cast, the patties had to carry the burger.  Alas!!  While the patties were homemade, they lacked real homemade taste (perhaps a bit too fine a grind and additives for my liking). Even with the double, the burger was not "meaty".

Dawn's verdict on the Matt Daddy was that the blue cheese was a bit overwhelming (which carries weight considering she loves blue cheese).

Overall, it was difficult not to be disappointed, which was disappointing.  An OK burger when expectations were elevated means it only scores a 5.

Across the road, Ekim Burger has set up shop.  There was a constant queue at least six deep the whole time we were there.  I wonder whether they were the same people that used to queue at Laundry?

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