Thursday, 15 September 2016

Burger Liquor, double standard - 8.5/10

Double Standard - ground chuck, cheddar, pickle, house ketchup and mustard mayo (double beef and double cheddar) $15

Burger Liquor is halfway up Willis Street, just past the Capital Markets food court. It previously housed Crazy Horse Steak House and, before that, Armadillos.

For me, Burger Liquor sets the bar for burger joints in Wellington (to be fair it is one of only a few dedicated burger joints in Wellington). Regardless, they have upped the game and set the bar high. It is currently my go-to place. They have been going a couple of years now and I apologise for taking so long to get a review up!!

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Nanny's Food Truck, Hit the Mark - 9/10

Nanny's food truck makes, hands down, the best burger in Wellington - if you can find him.  He is a truck you know.  And he moves around.

However, if you go to the Nanny Nation facebook page, you can get cryptic updates on where Nanny's is likely to be. If he is near where you are, then get there.  But get there early because there will be a line. And there will be a line for two reasons - the burgers are damn good - and Nanny's is the slowest fast-food provider I have ever been to.  Expect to wait 15 minutes to 45 minutes from the time you order. Maybe longer, maybe not so long.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

WOAP 2016 - Sterling, Sterling Burger - 6.5/10

Awatoru venison burger with beetroot relish, housesmoked cheese, juniper pickled celeriac and Sterling secret sauce, with truffled shoestrings $22

Sterling is the latest to try to make something of what has been a revolving door at 101 The Terrace.  Previously The Pub (which had a solid burger offering) and before that the Eating House and before that an Italian restaurant whose name escapes me.  From the people who brought us Egmont Street Eatery, Burger Wellington 2015 champion, we though they would be worth a look.  Even if it was a venison offering.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

WOAP 2016 - Grill Meats Beer, Lambshank Redemption - 8/10

Spiced Wairarapa lamb patty with braised shank, Cuba Fruit Mart beetroot, baby kale, roasted pumpkin, Kingsmeade Castlepoint feta, and pine nut aioli, on a Pandoro bun $20

Not a big fan of lamb burgers, and having just had a baa'd lamb bao at Egmont Street Eatery earlier, I was quite hesitant about going to Beer Meats Grill (BMG). However, I knew they did a great burger so I thought it was worth a shot for sure. Plus it was a solo trip so if it was disappointing, it would only be me.

Fortunately, my intuition was right.  BMG does do good burgers.  They actually made me like a lamb burger. Just looking at the picture you can probably see why. It was a damn good looking burger.

Monday, 22 August 2016

WOAP 2016 - Nannys Food Truck, Mark 2.0 - 6/10

200g beef and lamb patty with cheese sauce, bacon, chipotle sauce, fried pickles, caramelized onion, homemade mayonnaise and fresh slaw on a Zaida's milk bun donut, with fries $15

Nannys Food Truck is my favourite and is my best. Their 'hit the mark' burger does just that. The highest ranking burger in my blog (when I finally get around to publishing it). No wonder I was excited they were part of WOAP 2016.

Nanny's developed a special burger just for WOAP - the Mark 2.0. However, being an innovator, it wasn't so much a facelift as a completely new model. They went for a beef/lamb patty.  A slice of apple was added to the mix. and changed out the milk bun for a donut.  Yes. A deep-fried, sweet donut. Like the kind you get in a fish n chip store.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

WOAP 2016 - Ramen Shop Umami Burger - 6/10

By Bella Donna

Eastbourne Village Meats pork and beef patty with Hillside bacon, foraged seaweed and pickled shiitake mushrooms in a soft bun. $12

This was one of those curious beasts that didn’t quite live up to its promise.  I liked it well enough, and it had an excellent price point, which meant I felt OK about supplementing my meal with two of their mini pork buns – incredible BTW – and some kim chi), but it didn’t make my soul sing.

WOAP 2016 - Egmont St Eatery, Sichuan Two Tooth - 6/10

PrimeStar mutton blended patty with Sichuan sauce and pickled celery in a bao bun, with crispy fried tentacles $22

It happens every year. The winner of the previous year's WOAP burger challenge decides to have a go at something completely different. More often that not, it ends up in something that isn't as good as their previous effort.  This time round it followed pattern once again.

Last year's burger was sublime.  Chances are they could have re-entered with the same burger and it would have been a two-time winner. (I wonder why no one has tried to enter the same burger two years running. If it is great then why tamper with it?)

Thursday, 18 August 2016

WOAP 2016 - The Hideaway, Hot Blooded - 8.5/10

Preston’s beef patty with On Trays ghost chilli, cheese, crispy chicken, fried onion strips and compressed tomato in a housemade black pudding brioche bun. $21

The Hideaway does a good burger generally. I think they have stepped it up and delivered something special for the WOAP burger public.

It arrived in a neat, compact package and when unwrapped, revealed a sizeable pattie oozing with melted cheese atop a fairly thick slice of tomato within a broody, dark bun with charred edges.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

WOAP 2016 - Mishmosh, That Sh*t Cray - 7/10

by Bella Donna

Poached Moana Pacific crayfish with housemade celery and dill mayonnaise and sriracha in a Zaida’s milk bun, with ready salted potato chips, $15

Mishmosh - where's that?  I hear you say... ask a 20-something: it's in the heart of the Courtenay party zone on the Allen Street corner.  Not your usual lunch spot - bar stools, dark room, sports on the telly.

The burger was YUM !! There weren't any hunks of cray meat. Rather small pieces were stirred through a thick, creamy mayo, giving a good crayfish flavour.

The crisps, surprisingly, made the burger, giving it an excellent crunch (who needs ice-burg?!).

Finally, there was just enough sriracha for a pleasant tingle. Nice bun too.

Excellent price point, but I was left a teensy-bit hungry. Crisps in a burger don't make up for fries on the side.

Definitely worth a go if you're after something a little different (and don't have a monster-hunger going on).

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

WOAP 2016 - Maggic Burger, Burger Liquor 7/10

Preston’s aged beef patty with onion dip, cheddar, salt ‘n’ vinegar pickles and Randwick Meats bacon jam in an Arobake brioche bun, with housemade agria chips. $16

My second burger of the WOAP Burger Challenge and I decided to go for another sure thing.  My second favourite burger joint in Wellington - Burger Liquor.
 This year they have gone for a classic beef burger, which is a relief considering their detour into a roast lamb burger last year which tasted more like a souvlaki...

Unfortunately while the recipe was an improvement on last year, I don't think they quite stepped up this time. Being completely honest, I would take one of their double standard* burgers, over the Maggic any day of the week.

WOAP 2016 - Charley's Trap, Charley Noble Eatery & Bar, 8/10

Wagyu beef patty with trashcan gypsy-smoked Preston’s bacon, chimichurri, On Trays gruy√®re, truffled mayonnaise, cucumber pickle and salad (GF), 21

My first burger of WOAP and I went with a surefire winner.  Charley Noble has been in the top five for at least the last three years and won a couple of years ago.

This year's effort did not disappoint with a very solid effort at a classic beef burger.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

WOAP 2016 - Beef Pat Tie, Park Kitchen - 2/10

By Bella Donna

Randwick Meats premium beef mince patty with smoked beetroot, smoked provolone and bacon and egg aioli in a brioche bun, with chunky fries (NF) - $18.5

I think this might be the worst burger I’ve ever eaten, the 2 is for the fries – they were perfect (seasoned, crisp, great aioli – wouldn’t have picked it as bacon and egg but).

It was even weirder than it looks. They were riffing on a Beef Wellington – hence the enclosed shell.  The bread/pastry may have been baked, may have been deep fried.

It was horribly, horribly sweet – apparently it was a brioche, and the texture was cake like.  The filling was cooked along with the bread, so it came out stuck together making it impossible to add the vital burger ingredients to cut through the sweetness.

 No hint of the promised smokey-goodness; rather the beetroot added to the overwhelming sweetness.  Got a little hit of provolone at one stage – t’was nice.

Don’t go.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Velvet Burger, Dunedin - 4/10

Velvet Burger is in Dunedin. It is an institution there with two stores and is held up as the best burger joint in town. It is also in Christchurch and in Auckland.

I was keen to give it a go when last I was in Student City.

 Unfortunately, as you can see from the photos, it was pretty unappealing.

I went for the Big Brown" - two patties with double cheese, aioli, salad and velvet relish. Cost me $13.90. Also had a half scoop of fries at $2.90.