After an amazingly burger-free weekend, it was straight back into the Burger Wellington competition on Monday lunchtime. As the popularity of Burger Wellington grows and grows, certain venues become wildly sought-after. I remember my first year doing this, when you could just rock up to almost any restaurant or café at lunchtime and get their burger. These days you have to book well in advance.
Ti Kouka is a popular lunch venue at any time. So I’d taken the precaution of making a booking, and was seated instantly. The waiter took my order, which went to the back of the queue of people ordering burgers. Whilst I waited, another waiter brought the Garage Project beer match – again, Loral Royale.
Ti Kouka’s burger is called A Cheesy Spicy Cow Pig, and the description reads thus: Beef patty with honey-cured Longbush bacon, horopito, Zany Zeus Southland cheese spread, smoked beetroot and pūhā in a Leeds St Bakery cheese bun. Horopito gives the peppery spiciness, which added an extra dimension. The patty was cooked well done, which was a pity. It was served with their trademark chips, which are chunky and multiple-fried – probably thrice, from the crispiness. Here’s how it looked:
As I picked it up to eat it, there was the first sign of trouble. Cheese and beetroot juice dribbled from the burger. As I took the first bite, I could feel the contents slip-sliding around, and migrating to areas of the burger which would prove fatal in the long run. After two bites, I had to put it down and eat it with a knife and fork. Yes, my friends, burger collapse syndrome was evident. There was simply too much slipperiness going on in this burger. Whilst the bun was robust and would probably have survived until the end, the burger contents would have long since vacated the space between.
Nevertheless, this was a very good burger. If it hadn’t been for burger collapse, and if it had been cooked a little more on the rare side, I’d have awarded it a 10. As it was, I thought it was even better taste-wise than Boulcott Street’s effort on Friday, so I scored it a 9.
That’s two very good burgers already this year. Will there be a 10 later in the week? I’ve booked two relative newcomers to the Wellington restaurant scene for later in the week, when I will also be straying away from beef as the patty. Watch this space!