Massive Magazine's Natasha Tziakis samples some of the 180 burgers on offer as part of Burger Wellington, which is part of the Wellington on a Plate 2018 festival. To check out more from Natasha follow her on Instagram @tzifo_eats
Massive will update this blog as Natasha munches through the Burger Welly festival so keep an eye on the website for updates!
Burger number five - Beach Babylon, Groovy Burger, Yeah! $24
The rundown: Two custom blended beef patties with three-cheese fondue, iceberg, bacon jam, pickles and onion rings in a 'milk' bun, with cheese-fondue curly fries.
The burger looked really cute when it came out as there was a little onion ring on the top bun, like a little fried halo of goodness. The patties were nice enough, but for me, they were things you can make at home as there wasn't really any flavour hit of any kind. Because there were two patties, they kind of slipped and slid against each other making the burger quite hard to eat as a whole. I eventually took out one of the patties so that I could eat the burger properly. It says that there is fondue in the burger but I didn't really taste any, but the cheese fondue on the fries was amazing. The burger itself wasn't really anything special, but it was still tasty. It was like a ramped up and gourmet version of like a double cheeseburger. The burger was definitely filling which I appreciated.
Burger number four - Dragonfly, Shinjuku Burger $25
The rundown: Crumbed pork cutlet with tsukemono slaw, tonkatsu shrimp and togarashi in a steamed sesame bun, with Japanese mirin and soy-glazed sweet potatoes
This burger is pretty bloody tasty. I was really apprehensive about the burger because pork is difficult to keep soft and tender when cooking it in large quantities as it has the tendency to dry out and become leathery. But oh wow, how wrong was I. I split this burger with my boyfriend and it was a huge portion. But back to the crumbed pork cutlet. The crumb was really golden and crunchy, and the actual meat was really soft and juicy. The tsukemono slaw was really really tangy which balanced the pork and the bun out. Something I've found out through WOAP 2018 is that with so many of the burgers the bun and meat can be really heavy, but the Shinjuku Burger hit a good balance. The tonkatsu prawns were tasty by themselves, but they were a bit finicky to eat within the burger, so I took them out to eat on the side. The 'fries’ were very soft, they could have been crunchier, but the mirin glaze was very sweet which complemented the tanginess in the burger.
Burger number three - Moon 1, The Block Party $17
The rundown: Moon made felafel patty with an onion bhaji topper, borscht salsa, tzatziki sauce, zany Zeus smoked brinza cheese and Asian slaw served in a pumpkin seed and turmeric Arobake bun with a side kūmara bravas.
The burger looked really good with the crunchy pumpkin seeds on top, but the bar is quite low lit so I couldn't really get a good look into the different components of the burger. On first bite the burger was really earthy in a nice way, but there were no real stand out flavours as such, although the brinza (cheese) had the biggest presence and it was great. The burger was a little dry, but not annoyingly so, so that was fine. I matched this burger with the Hawkes Bay Ginger Fusion 4 per cent ginger beer and they complemented each other really well. The onion bhaji was crunchy which helped cut through the soft felafel. The salsa was quite tangy in both the burger and on the bravas which was nice. The bravas were a bit odd though. They kind of tasted like roast kūmara you'd have on a Sunday night, it wasn't anything special and it didn't really match with the burger.
It was a lot of food for just $17 so it was great value. If you're a fan of spices and eastern flavours, this burger would work well for you.
Burger number two - Burger Liquor, The Party Popper $17 without fries, $23 with fries
The rundown: Beef Patty, candied bacon, cheese, salt and vinegar crisps, Fanta barbecue sauce, and homemade 'hundreds and thousands’ island mayo in an Arobake 'lucky dip fun bun’, with a take home party bag.
This burger is probably one of the most talked about for Burger Wellington this year, so I was excited to try it and see what all the fuss was about. Burger Liquor definitely has been clever in regards to the marketing and design of its burger this year. Back to the burger though, the salt and vinegar crisps gave an unexpected crunch which was really cool, but that was it when it comes to the taste really. There was a lot of bread in comparison to the burger fillings which made sense because the coloured buns were a big part of the hype around the burger. It seemed that a lot of the effort went into the bun and the filling was left lacking. Luckily the fries were SO good. They were so crunchy and golden on the outside but so fluffy and soft in the inside.
If you want a cool Instagram pic for your followers and you're keen to look like a WOAP aficionado then I'd recommend going here, but if you want a really tasty burger then this isn't for you.
Burger number one - Gasworks, Texas Mule, $23
The rundown: Texas style smoked brisket, cactus and iceberg slaw, peach relish on a ciabatta bun, and hand cut fries.
The minute this burger was placed on my table a smoky smell hit my nostrils, but not unpleasantly, it was warm and inviting. The slaw look nicely charred and the actual size of the burger was decent. The waiter actually cut my burger into two and placed it on two plates as I was sharing with my boyfriend. This burger embodied what Gasworks is, a local bar with good food and really friendly service. The tanginess of the peach in the burger really complemented the smoky brisket which created a really balanced bite. It's quite a wet burger which I think is down to the slaw, but the bun stood up to the test. It stayed soft but also didn't disintegrate. The cactus in the slaw was odd but tasty, and I think that's down to how they didn't over pickle the slaw which let every individual flavour come through. The accompanying chips were your stock standard chunky fries but the tomato sauce included was really good. It was almost a chutney in regards to its thickness and the complexity of the spices.
Overall it was a nice burger. It was a nice change from the normal bar food, but it wasn't really a stand out burger. If you want a tasty burger that’s local to the eastern suburbs of Wellington, this is a good choice.