WOAP 2015 Burger Challenge - as it happens

WOAP has started and MJ has got six burgers in their sights. A description and picture of the burgers and a consensus score from the staff who attended are included. We will update content and add a more descriptive analysis of each burger as we get around to it.

Bresolin, Game Changer

Double beef patties with cheese, streaky bacon and The Bresolin BBQ sauce in a housemade wagyu fat brioche bun, with handcut fries, $18

Friday 28 August

Presentation: A good looking burger proportion-wise but construction looked a bit rushed. Cheese and bacon were off-set, and the handful of chips appeared to be just thrown on.

Taste: Pure Cheeseburger. Slightly sweet and smoky. Cheesy goodness. Crispy bacon.

Bun: Excellent bun. Pillowy and soft. Good size.

Pattie: Nice texture, a fairly thick grind.  Slightly underseasoned.  Excellent char and cooked medium rare. A bit of gristle through because of the grind is my only gripe.

Condiments: Processed cheese slices were pretty good - where to get those from for the home-made burgers? Bacon was crisp. Just enough sauce (BBQ and mayo to keep it moist. Onions to round it off. Fries were the best we've had. T sauce on the side.

Burger-ability: Easy to pick up and eat.  Not messy at all.

Overall feeling: This was an excellent burger. Great effort. Up there in taste and just gets shaded (in our view) by the Egmont St Eatery. Just needed a little more care as the ingredients were top shelf. Should be top 5 and a contender. Hopefully they keep it on their menu! Restored our faith after the disappointing mothertrucker.

Thunderbird, Mothertruckin' Monster

Wagyu beef patty, Randwick Meats bacon, Kāpiti smoked cheddar and Thousand Island dressing in a Pandoro bun, with onion rings and dirty milkshake shot, $20

Wednesday 26 August

Presentation: Long and thin with a skewer to keep it upright. contents were out of proportion and assembly was rushed.  One collapsed as it was being brought to the table and was impossible to right.

Taste: Non-descript, with no outstanding flavour. Lacked burgerjuice and not enough mayo to support. The pattie, while meaty, could have been seasoned more. The pickled onion wasn't quite enough to provide the necessary tartness/crunch.

Bun: Yes. Not toasted (or very lightly toasted).

Pattie: Nice texture, well cooked.  Real variability in sizes across the burgers at our table. Mine was tiny and quite round creating an imbalance. I had to cut it in half to make it fit the burger otherwise it would have popped out the back when I took a bite. Note that the picture is not of my burger but of my colleague's burger.

Condiments: Nice cheese and crisp bacon. The pickled onion was nice but a bit sparse and not a substitute for gherkin. Tomato and lettuce rounded it out. Light on the mayo and a single onion ring. 

Burger-ability: no. Around half the people were using a knife and fork. Sacrilege.

Overall feeling: This was your standard run-of-the-mill burger. Passable for a general meal but not for a burger competition. There was nothing that stood out or distinguished it from others we have tried. There are probably many better burgers out there. A bit of false advertising as there was only one onion ring and no dirty milkshake shot. At $20 with no fries it was probably up there in price. I'm feeling a bit frustrated about the whole experience. A whole different level down from yesterday's burger.

Egmont St Eatery, Cheese, Beets and Meat

Primestar’s aged beef patty with smoked beetroot relish, fried pickled onions and housemade Jack cheese blend in a fresh steamed bun - all housemade, $20

Tuesday 25 August

Presentation:  Check. Taste/Bun/Pattie: Check. Check. Check. Condiments: Check. Burger-ability: Check.

Overall Feeling: Check out the char on the bun – Brioche. Sweet. Steamed then charred to perfection.  Pattie perfectly proportioned, ground and seasoned – pure beefy goodness. Monterey Jack Cheese melted onto the pattie. Finished off with onion rings and beetroot relish and a bit of mayo.  Perfect to pick up and eat. Melted in you mouth. A brilliant example of a classic cheeseburger. Restored the faith!! Get there before it's too late.

Wholesale Boot Company, The Classic

Ground local venison, house smoked and aged cheddar, pickled Spanish onions, in a Pandoro burger bun, with WBC chipped potatoes, $24.5

Tuesday 25 August

This is what Burger Wellington needs more of – just a burger with a few ingredients that show a little flair. The superstar is the mountain of smoked cheddar (which just happens to be resting atop a coarsely ground and perfectly pink venison pattie). Good tang from the marinated onions. Came with fries too. Did I mention the cheese? 

Note: this burger was reviewed by Simon L.

Portlander, The Hunter Games

Wild venison patty injected with Te Horo Swiss cheese topped with Meat Direct smoked bacon and a sweet dark cherry relish in a Zaida's milk bun, $25

Monday 24 August

Restored my faith in venison.  After promising to never order a venison burger after my only other venison experience a long while back at Reka, I had to bite the bullet having been invited by a good friend. Couldn't twist his arm to try somewhere else and I am glad he stood firm.

The pattie was cooked deliciously rare, and the cheese, bacon and relish gave it salty, sweet and cheesy (not sure how to describe cheesy as its also texture). The cheese wasn't injected, which probably wouldn't have worked anyway.

The bun could have been better.  A bit crumbly and the sesame seeds didn't add value. The potato skins were quite good, and the P was a good effort (as was the bar code on the twizel stick).

Note: this burger was reviewed by Jason LW

Spruce Goose, Paua Toa

Wildfish Export's pāuā and chilli fritter with fennel and green apple slaw in a Zaida's brioche bun, with lemon salted handcut fries, $25

Sunday 23 August
(Satisfying but room for improvement)

Presentation: The burger came nicely presented on a board, complete with lemon salt (couldn’t really taste the lemon), handcut fries and a seaweed ‘garnish’?  The aioli served in a pāuā shell was a nice touch.

Taste/Bun/Patty:  the bun was nice and fresh (and a good size), the patty very tasty (if a little chewy in parts but you can’t help that with pāuā), 

Condiments:  The fennel and green apple slaw was excellent (the stand-out element on the plate).  Couldn’t really taste the chilli, which was a little disappointing.  The fries were good as far as handcut chips go. 

Burgability: 8/10 – easy to eat but the juiciness of the patty meant the bottom bun got soggy.  Perhaps I need to eat faster, Simon?

Overall feeling:  For 25 bucks I expected a lot and, while not outstanding, I was pretty happy.  

Note: this burger was reviewed by Nick D.

Burger Liquor, Tipsy Lamb

Pirinoa Station backstrap, Garage Project Angry Peaches molasses, hot n' cold yoghurt, carrot and lettuce, $14

Score: 5/10
Friday 21 August

Presentation: 10/10 - good looking burger. Addition of the cartoon Lamb to the stability skewer a nice touch. Great colour on the bun.
Taste: Like a kebab, but with bread instead of a wrap. Complete with garlic yogurt sauce and a bit of spice.
Bun: well cooked - probably the highlight of today's effort.
Patty: not a patty. Strips of lamb. Lamb slightly tough and the flavour struggled to cut through the overpowering of sauce and spice.
Condiments: she was saucy. No fries or any sides though.
Burger-ability: met Robyn's one handed test, but failed the patty criterion.
Price: $14 (without fries). Came to $19.25 each once we added some sides.
X-factor: nil - felt like 3 am on Sunday morning.

Overall feeling: A long wait for this burger, despite being one of the first to arrive for the lunch rush. Highlight of the meal was probably the sides of poutine, fries and onion rings, which came in advance of the burgers.

Duke Carvell, Smokey and the Bandit

Smoked brisket patty with secret sauce with smoked Kāpiti cream cheese, Island Bay Butchery bacon and wild onion in a Duke's housebaked triple deck steamed bun, $18.

Score: 7/10
Wednesday 19 August

Presentation: a good looker..
Taste: delicious. Full of flavour. Sauce outstanding. 
Bun: steamed bun works well. Lucky, 'cos there was heaps of it. 
Patty: good flavour, too small. 
Condiments: Simon definitely appreciated the small handful of fries (I don’t think these are "condiments" though). 
Burger-ability: unanimously a 10/10. Robyn could eat one-handed. Simon inhaled at particularly rapid speed (with Richard providing some speed eating competition)
Price: $18 (with fries). Excellent value. 
X-factor: the special sauce was special. Whilst a not much there, the bacon provided a good smokey note (hence the name, I guess. The website photo is misleading). 

Overall feeling: Jason summed it up with a comment on the way out that we haven’t found "the one" yet. This was a good burger. "Good". Frustratingly, it could have been great if they'd followed through with the Gucci Big Mac vibe, which simply could have been achieved with a second pattie. Biffing the centre bun, and going for a giant hunk of beef would have also been a better option. 

Ti Kouka, Aporkalypse Now

Slow roasted bourbon glazed Longbush pork shoulder, ginger ale bacon, apple, smoked BBQ mayonnaise in a Leeds Street Bakery grilled bun with hot sauce, crackling and pickles, $23.

Score: 6/10
Monday 17 August

Presentation: false advertising on the crackling. Immediate let down but otherwise looked inviting.
Taste: delicious. Full of flavour
Bun: different. Yum but slightly English muffin like. Got a bit soggy on the bottom
Patty: not a patty, pulled pork
Condiments: crackling was a disappointment. Can't offer crackling and then make it a tiny undercooked / hard piece.
Burger-ability: gotta knife and fork it... Well, some of us used our hands and licked them.
Price: $23 (without fries). High end of price range.
X-factor: hot sauce as you like it.

Overall feeling: yum but sloppy. Too many not quite good enoughs.

Trade Kitchen, Sea Horse

House ground chuck and brisket patty with prawn salad, crayfish mayonnaise and butter head lettuce in a brioche bun, $20.

Score: 7/10
Friday 14 August

Presentation: Burger looks like a good size. Lots of chips. Chips are perfect - crunchy, not too hot, salty goodness. 
Taste: A solid burger. The prawns and crayfish mayo actually worked. Who would have guessed.
Bun - brioche, toasted, soft 'like a nice fur lined glove'
Patty - too thick, dry, unseasoned, good grind on it though
Condiments - not enough sauce, prawns well cooked - made it memorable, crunch of onions good, lemon good.
Burger-ability: could put in down, pick it up
Price: $20 (ok coz comes with fries but no mayo)
X-factor: not really, point of difference with prawns

Overall feeling: satisfied and happy but not coming back tomorrow


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