Without a doubt our favourite part of the annual Wellington on a Plate food festival is Burger Wellington.
The annual competition to see which Wellington eatery can make the tastiest burger is a perennial masterclass in innovation, imagination and cooking prowess. More than 69 bars, restaurants and cafes are competing in this year’s competition – which is the best? You get to decide.
Visit a participating restaurant, rate your burger out of ten and text the score and name of the restaurant to 8552. Once the votes have been tallied up, the top five finalists will enter a Burger Wellington Cook Off at the end of the Wellington on a Plate festival.
These are some of our favourite entries in this year’s competition…
Pan de Muerto’s offering boasts a spiced venison patty, Kapiti aged cheddar, chimichurri dressing in ACME corn ciabatta bun, served with hand-cut spiced wedges and chipotle mint yoghurt for $22.50.
The Grill’s Classic Sunday Roast Lamb Burger is $20 and features a Wairarapa grilled lamb patty, caramelised root-vegetable cake, minted green pea puree on a toasted Pandoro bun, with rosemary-fried potato wedges and minted sour cream.
Vivant! Restaurant & Bar’s burger features a venison denver leg with cranberry-chili chocolate sauce and Kapiti Aorangi brie on Cottage Lane artisan bread. It’s served with chunky chips and costs $21.
Arizona’s Game-to-Meat Burger is $24 and has a Wairarapa venison patty with cranberry chutney, streaky bacon, iceberg lettuce and ranch dressing. It comes with Arizona fries.
High-5 Sliders for Burger Wellington at Artisan: hot smoked salmon or halloumi on a rye bun; confit chicken or chickpea on a corn bun; pulled duck and pork, or lentil, on a sage bun; venison or mushroom with blue cheese on a walnut bun; and chocolate mousse and tamarillo on a doughnut bun.
Caffe L’affare’s polenta-crusted, Yellow Brick Road tarakihi with spicy shrimp remoulade will be a crowd pleaser, served with lettuce in a pandoro Turkish bun. It comes with triple-cooked hand-cut chips for $16.50.
The Portlander’s special burger features a wagyu patty with mushroom sauce, gruyere, caramelised onions, roasted tomato and parmesan crisp on sweet brioche. It comes with truffle steak fries for a total price of $25.
How does a pork patty with puha aioli, apple and pear relish on a Brezelmania alsasser and harakeke burger bun sound? Get it with roasted gourmet potatoes at Charlie Bill for $22.
Hummingbird has got to be one of the early favourites for Burger Wellington glory – crayfish, warm house-made buttered roll, kewpie mayonnaise, pickled lemon and herbs, with wakame-seasoned triple-cooked chips for $34.
Little Beer Quarter’s burger boasts a beef and lamb patty with pork belly, fried quail egg, aged cheddar, chilli-onion jam, pickled beetroot, aioli and lettuce in a pandoro bun. It costs $21 and also comes with chips and dip.
Soi has devised a chicken burger infused with Thai green curry and lemongrass, with Asian slaw and Japanese mayo on a Brooklyn bun. It comes with coconut-lime salt fries and costs $22.50.
Feast on a plate of sliders at The Realm. From the sea, enjoy John’s Market fish, mesclun, tomato and tartare sauce; Randwick sirloin, mesclun and homemade tomato relish complete the “moo” portion of the plate; finally, the “baa” consists of Randwick lamb, mesclun, and mint-cucumber yogurt. It comes with shoestring fries for $15.
Absolute Steak’s Burger Wellington offering – ironically – doesn’t feature steak at all. Instead, enjoy fresh whitebait fritters in a handmade bun with salad greens, beetroot and a creamy lemon-mustard dressing, and hand-cut fries for $18.
Also check out our picks of some of the best Dine Wellington menus.