Burger Wellington 2015 Week 1 Roundup

Burger Wellington week 1 has come and gone just like that. Burger Wellington is my favourite part of the Wellington on a Plate festival that runs during August in Wellington annually.

This weeks post is different to my usual postings and is a roundup of the 8 burgers that I have tried during the first week of the challenge.

Excuse the photo quality this week as I chose to use my phone camera instead of lugging around the DSLR with me to work and everywhere. I had to deal with cramped spaces and less than desirable lighting. I think they achieve in getting the point across though.

I will list the burgers in order I had them, list their descriptions and then share my thoughts of the burger. I hope you enjoy, even my visitors outside of Wellington, you can enjoy the festival through my eyes.

Note: I have listed where I have tried the beer matches.

Bin 44 Restaurant + Bar – SUPERCHARGER BURGER

Beef Patty with Panhead Supercharger aromatic hopped relish, Kāpiti cheddar cheese and Waikanae Butchery streaky bacon in a brioche bun, with roasted garlic and herb fries.

Matched w Garage Project Red Zeppelin

bin44 supercharger burger
This my first taste of the burger challenge at Bin 44 which so happens to be where my colleagues and I meet every Friday for lunch. The place was packed but we had anticipated this and got in a bit early to order our burgers. I opted for the beer match with this one as it was Friday and I enjoy a beer with lunch on a Friday. Once it arrived it looked no different to the beef burger on offer on the regular lunch menu. Unfortunately my beef pattie was a tad overcooked for my liking, the fries were over fried and did not have any of the garlic herb seasoning. I suspect that these were deep fried and not roasted as stated. The burger was fairly large, and required cutting in half before being able to tackle. Not the greatest start but it was decent, the Panhead Supercharger relish was the highlight. The token bit of lettuce on the “plate” could have been left off.

Queen of Jackson – MÉNAGE À TROIS

Three milk bun sliders matched with a Garage Project beer teaser: PrimeStar Waygu beef with Fix and Fogg peanut butter and cucumber pickle (Angry Peaches);Bidvest crispy pork with plum sauce and Ōtaki watercress (Death from Above); PrimeStar wild venison with cherry relish and portabello (Aro Noir)

Matched w Garage Project Angry Peaches, Death from Above, Aro Noir

queen of jackson menage a trois_beer
Saturday came and went recovering from Beervana on the Friday night so it wasn’t until Sunday that Sarah and I made it down to our local pub the Queen of Jackson for their Burger Wellington offering. A little different than most here as instead of one burger, they offered a selection of 3 mini burgers. These were each individually matched with different beers served in cute little vials alongside the mini burgers. The beers offered differed to what is advertised on the official website and the first mini burger was matched with Baylands Brewery Rocksolid APA – a solid choice. I must say that I really enjoyed the first burger and wish that they offered this in a larger form instead of offering alongside the other two. They last two just weren’t my cup of tea, while Sarah couldn’t stand the last one due to the excessive use of mushroom. I gladly finished it for her though. Not bad, but could have been better.

The Arborist Rooftop Bar & Eatery – BA BA BAAA BA BA BAR LAMB

Two Harringtons hickory-smoked lamb patties with ribbons of pickled cucumber, secret sauce and double cheese in a Pandoro brioche bun, with fries.

arborist ba bar lamb
No beer match with The Arborist’s offering as it was Monday and I don’t like to drink during the work week. I found this burger to be great value for money. The two lamb patties were cooked perfect, with a slight pink in the middle. The bun was soft the cheese melty and the sauce delicious, the cucumber was a nice touch. The fries were also awesome.

Duke Carvell’s Swan Lane Emporium – 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.

Matched w Garage Project Garagista

duke carvells smokey bandit
Two burgers in one day? It can be done! Out for dinner with Sarah and a Friend we found ourselves at Duke Carvell’s for their entry. I had this matched with the Garigista which is a nice IPA so I’d say it went well with the burger. Now, the burger was a Big Mac replica and they did a damn good job. I’d have this over a Big Mac any day. It also wasn’t overly large so i joked that I would have enjoyed six more. I’m not sure that I really noticed whether the pattie was brisket or not – it wasn’t super huge and there was much going on the burger – it still tasted great. The chips were great but too few! More chips please!

St Johns Bar & Restaurant – JUICY

Two Preston’s Lamb patties with ‘Juicy’ sauce and cheese in a Clareville Bakery turmeric bun, with ‘Hypnotize Fries’.

st johns bar juicy
Still recovering from double burgers the day before I set off to St John’s bar for another double lamb burger. I was served pretty quickly with nicely sized burger for a bite at lunch and a wonderful bowl of fries. The tymeric bun was a bit different but tasted great. There was no salad in the burger so was a total meat and melted cheese fest, the patties were cooked well, just under medium. A great effort and one that I would have again as you didn’t feel bloated and want to have a sleep to recover after eating. I would have loved to have a Panhead Supercharger to was it all down with though.


Moana Pacific pāuā and PrimeStar pork patty with caramelised pineapple, pickled cucumber in a Zaida’s squid ink bun, with salt and vinegar chips and Kiwi onion dip

plum cafe for richer for paua
Wednesday and already over halfway through the first week of the challenge. I braved the wet weather and headed up Cuba St and popped into Plum Cafe for what turns out to be an interesting looking yet deliciously tasting burger. Who would have thought that paua and pork would taste so good together. Once you get past the colouring of the squid ink bun – you really didn’t realise that you were eating a black, paua and pork burger! Instead of the usual fries Plum has served up salt and vinegar kettle chips with a classic kiwi favourite, reduced cream and onion dip! Fantastic.

The Grill at The Amora Hotel – WAIRARAPA GAME BURGER

Char-grilled venison and chorizo patty with guacamole, nacho chips, salsa and coleslaw in a Pandoro burger bun, with kumara chips

amora hotel wairapa game burger
The Grill at the Amora Hotel was easy to get to as it was very close to where I’m currently working so I was able to pop in for a quick bite. Quick bite hah! This burger was HUGE, with a generous helping of kumera chips. I approached eating this burger by cutting into quarters and going from there as I wanted to taste all the ingredients together. Mission successful – it tasted like eating nachos. In burger form. I only just finished the burger but was unable to finish the chips. This was a big delicious burger.

Pan de Muerto Mystic Mexican Cuisine and Tequila Bar – BURGER MEXICANA

Corn and cinnamon crusted chicken breast with char-grilled Anaheim chilli pineapple and guacamole in a housemade bun, with Mexican street corn and corn chips

pan de muerto burger mexicana
Friday came around again rather quickly and marked the end of week one of the Burger Wellington Challenge. With a bunch of coworkers we headed to Pan De Muerto for their entry. My first chicken burger of the challenge, I was looking forward to this one. Very similar to the Amora burger with the corn chips and guacamole and this one was also a challenge to eat. Cut up into quarters again and go for it. The flavours worked well, the chicken was super crunchy and the corn chips with salsa on the side were a welcome change to fries and sauce. I left feeling very satisfied.


That wraps up week 1 of the Burger Wellington Challenge. A total of 8 burgers. Sarah and I are over the Wairarapa in Martinborough today to try one of the local offerings before heading back to Wellington. I will try to get through some more burgers for a final wrap up a post next week. I will also try to get a regular post in on Wednesday so stick around.

If you’re in Wellington have you taken part in trying any of the burgers this week? For my out of town readers, what burger looks the most appealing to you? Let me know in the comments below.