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.
We all know my thoughts on Venison. As I stated on my only other venison entry - The meat is just too lean to make a good burger. This means that too much effort has to go into compensating, often resulting in a train wreck of a burger.
Sterling tried a different approach. They just made the pattie disproportionately small so that you didn't really have to worry too much about compensating. In fact, I probably wouldn't have been able to tell you if it was venison, lamb or beef.
Now that I have got that off my chest we can move on.
It was visually a good looking burger. The wax paper half wrap is trending, with several burgers being served this way this year. An up-market doofer.
Everything was in proportion (apart from the pattie), with a good looking shiny bun and nicely melted cheese. A celariac salad was mixed in with the secret sauce (i think), and it all sat on some beetroot relish.
I terms of burger-ability it was up there. A compact package, the bun held the contents nicely. There was very little burger juice (although the celariac in sauce and the beetroot relish meant the burger wasn't dry. The up-market doofer wasn't required.
Flavour-wise, the condiments were really nice. Creamy, crunchy, slightly sweet, and a bit of a vinegary tang. The cheese was very good. Sharp. All quality ingredients.
Only other downside (apart from the pattie) was the bun. It was a bit too bready, and I couldn't quite work out whether it was slightly stale (it had been toasted). As you can see from the third pic, it was probably just a bit too much relative to the fillings. One of the crew removed her top bun and just ate the bottom half.
Ultimately it was an okay burger. Not good enough to challenge for a top five spot in my opinion. Scored it a 6.5/10.