Garage Project presents Burger Wellington is back on!
(With bonus recommendations from the Garage Project team to get you started)
We know you all did an amazing job creating your own Burger WellingtINs at home over lockdown, but the time has come to put down the cooking tools, sit back, and let someone else do the cooking for you.
Yes, from 8 September, Visa Wellington On a Plate is BACK ON, which means you can start working through that Garage Project presents Burger Wellington list you’d painstakingly curated before lockdown.
We asked five Garage Project team members to help get you started with their recommendations. They scouted the 250+ Burger Wellington burgers available across the Wellington region, chose the burg that best caught their eye (and taste buds), then we sent them along to try their chosen Burger Wellington as we hovered in the background, capturing their culinary stream of consciousness as they devoured them - all in the name of research and recommendation.
As we mentioned, there are more than 250 burgers out there, ready to be consumed across the Wellington region - these are just a starter!
I’m pretty much a bottomless pit for sweet things. I love sweet things more than anything in the world, and this is a lot of delicious sweet treats all mushed together!
Did you enjoy it? How would you describe the flavours?
It’s really good! And the sweetness is not too overpowering because the zestiness of the lemon really cuts through the richness, so it’s got a really nice balance to it. But you still get that really rich chocolatey, roastiness, and the lemon gives a really nice citric finish. Plus you have that piquant raspberry centre - so you want to go back for more. You’re not kind of sitting there, overpowered by sweetness.
What’s the standout about this Burger Wellington?
The combination of all these different textures makes it so interesting! You’ve got the soft chewiness of the cookie, a little bit of crunch, thick chewy bits, and then, like the gooeyness of the curd. It’s just a really cool combination of textures. Then you have the saltiness and the crunchiness of the beetroot chips! I’m making an absolute mess….
When else would you get to eat something else like this? It’s such a special burger - I’ve never come across anything like this. You go and buy a dessert in a restaurant, and you get a tart or a cookie or you'll get a brownie or something like that. But to have it all together in a way you can eat it all together or pull it apart and eat the separate bits of it? It's such a unique experience. Plus all the elements in it are made to look like a savoury burger!
How do you think it will pair with Raspberry Cabaret?
Really well. There’s quite a bit of sweetness in the burger and I think the sourness will really just refresh your palate and stop it from getting really overwhelmed and tired. So it will be really cleansing. It will be perfect for it.
Any other last comments?
Definitely have napkins ready to go on the side! I’m just gonna go wash my hands now.
I’ve never tried vegan pastrami before, so that was a deciding factor for me: to see what the difference is between real pastrami and imitation pastrami. Also, I love this pickle beer so much - anything that can pair with it will be out-of-this-world delicious.
Tell us a bit about this particular Burger Wellington experience?
I like how it's really soft, it doesn't fall apart but it just melts in your mouth. It has a good structure and holds its shape really well! No disintegration here. I’m all about burger to bun ratio too, and this has a really good burger to bun ratio! You feel almost robbed in a way if there’s too much bread. It’s really there to hold everything together.
Really good texture and balance of texture, but there’s not so much going on that you don’t know where to start! I’ve been told this is a special plant-based pastrami that has been made especially for Nolita, by a craft meat company called Plant in Porirua. It's a soy and hemp protein - it’s a special blend.
It’s got a bit of a spicy kick - they’re trying to recreate nduja, which is a spicy pepperoni and they‘ve done a great job of it. Just a really nice umami kick! And, yeah - it tastes and has a texture like pepperoni sausage.
Why would you recommend this burger to other burger fiends?
Pickled onions, pickles are always a nice combo. The vegan aspect is a really nice point of difference because burgers are almost always about the meat. And this burger doesn’t have to be meat! But it still tastes like it. Plant-based eating is, like, new territory for a lot of people, but I think even meat eaters will be very happy with this burger!
As a meat eater would you recommend it to other meat eaters?
I would say if you didn’t otherwise know, you would think it is meat! It does have that texture to it. It’s not as gummy as regular meat.
How does Garage Project’s Cucumber Dill Pickle Sour pair with it?
Really, really well! The fruity, sweet-sour of the pickle paired really nicely with the pickled onions. And the sharpness of the pickle goes well with the peanut, umami vibe I was getting before.
Nolita’s Burger Wellington, Ndu York, Ndu York
How many burgers are you planning on trying this year?
Between five and ten, I think, is a good mark to hit! It's quite a lot, but I think this year, I have a lot more friends to go out with too [Corie’s not mateless, he was just new to Wellington when Burger Wellington was on last year].
We heard there’s a guy at GP who always eats a whole load of burgers every year… Matt?
No, that would be Scott. He has, like, 20 every year! He’ll go multiple in a day, sometimes.
There was a guy that tried over 90 burgers last year…
WHAT?? How is that even possible?!
Sometimes burgers are all about the beef patties and this is just something a bit different! It’s pepper-crusted and the capsicums and mushrooms are the perfect additions to that. The truffle flavour is not overpowering and I love that it's on both the top and bottom of the bun. You get a good generous spread of it! The perfect cheesy sauce! I think it’s based on philly cheese steak but with a bougie kind burger twist, with the truffle in the cheese sauce.
Tell us a bit about the flavours.
You know what? I really love the grilled capisum and the onions! It really gives a great texture to the burger and adds freshness to the meat component of the burger. I love pickles, so that’s a win. The pickles cut through the slices of pepper-crusted beef and act as a nice cleanser between bites - it counteracts the meatiness!
What about the structure and the messiness factor?
I feel like if you’re having a burger, it’s supposed to be messy! But it’s holding its structure surprisingly well, considering that it’s cut beef and covered with a gravy. I’m pleasantly surprised! I love pouring the sauce over and being able to dunk it back into the gravy that sits in the dish. The bun somehow doesn't entirely soak up the gravy too which is great because it doesn’t fall apart - somehow it keeps everything less messy! But it needs to be a little bit messy - that’s what a burger is kind of about. The taste is definitely worth it!
I don’t think that’s going to be a good look! I’ve been known to eat burgers with a knife and fork But I'm actually OK!
Would you recommend Deli Classic?
Definitely! Just looking at all the different burgers, this stands out - it still uses beef but not as the usual ground beef patty, which is a fun spin on a burger. It’s a burger but it’s inspired by a Philly cheese steak. The flavours are super fresh with the capiscum, pickles and onions - different from using lettuce and tomatoes to combat the freshness of the meat. I love a crinkle cut fry and it’s great letting it sit on the plate with the umami gravy, which you pour over the burger. They're perfectly seasoned too!
How do you think it pairs with the Arvo XPA?
I think the name says it all. It’s the perfect midday beer, and if you’re going out for lunch, it goes perfectly. It’s really smooth and doesn’t steal the show. It just pairs really well with this savoury dish.
How many burgers do you plan to eat?
I’m unsure at this stage, but I’ll go and try a few with work and with friends. We also have a Slack channel at work where everyone shares their burger reviews.
The fact that it had ostrich in it, definitely! I like something different and creative. I don’t want to try burgers that have been done before, so I tried this one because it sounded super different and I don’t know if I’ll have the chance to try something like it again!
El Culo del Mundo’s Burger Wellington burger, Abelardo Montoya
What’s the standout about this Burger Wellington?
The kiwifruit chimichurri was really good - it was super balanced, and really added to the burger nicely. The fries were amazing, and fries can be seen as a bit of a secondary component to a burger, but these were stand out on their own. Nice bit of spice and a dip to mellow it out. The buns were super soft, which was really nice. Sometimes you get dried, dense buns that can really fill you up. And the ostrich was the stand out. It just kept me going with every bite - like, what am I eating right now?!
Why would you recommend it?
It’s important to challenge yourself with new and interesting ingredients and methods of cooking if you're going to go out and participate in a food festival. You should take it as an opportunity to try new things.
Especially support places that have the drive and creativity to do those things! Just try something different! There’s alway a beef burger out there!
The Arvo XPA pairs really well with it. It's a nice, fruity, super crisp Pale Ale that goes really well with it. It’s a nice accompaniment to cleanse your palate for this burger. XPAs are always a nice accompaniment to a complex burger, which is what a good beer should aspire to be. A nice accompaniment without outdoing the flavour of the burger.
How many burgers are you planning to try?
As many as my wallet will allow! I’ll see how I go, have a look at some that are particularly crazy and use this as an opportunity to try some new things. I think about five is a good number and then that way I can remember the burgers that I have had. Yeah, let’s say five!
Chef Cameron Seymour from El Culo del Mundo
What’s the standout about this Burger Wellington?
Perfect amount of citrus and hop flavour to cut through the rich pulled pork and cheese, and some nice zing from the Spanish style aioli. The crumbed fried avocado adds great texture, and the pretzel bun is a smart choice. It’s a big burger so the lighter side was a great idea. Hope the sunchoke crisps stick around as a regular menu option. Delish! The Arvo XPA was a great choice of beer match too.
The fried avo is what first caught my eye in the description and they’ve nailed it! Awesome use of Mexican flavours across all the ingredients.