As Burger Wellington draws to a close, there are a couple of burgers left that I am keen to try: one is the Haggis, Neeps ‘n’ Tatties from One80. I thought I’d hop on a bus down to Oriental Parade at lunchtime, and give it a try. Just a quick check on the WOAP website before I set out put the kibosh on that plan: available Monday to Sunday, between 6pm and 10pm. Bum.
Next, I took a look at Concrete. Their burger sounds tasty, so I headed to their website to check availability…fully booked for lunchtime today, no tables until after 2:00pm. Strike two.
My third choice was MOF Bar And Kitchen. MOF is an offshoot from Ministry Of Food, a well-established Wellington eatery near the Beehive, and thus favoured by the political and civil servant types who hang around there. This new(-ish, I think it’s been there a couple of years now) is on The Terrace, on the site of the former Atlanta Café. I left on the dot of 12 for the five minute walk, and was fortunate to get a table. Just as well, because 15 minutes later they were turning away anyone who didn’t have a booking.
Their burger is called Quincey Conserve. There was no sign of a medical examiner on the premises, so I deduce that the quincy part comes from using quince. And yes, it’s right there in the description: Beef with Kāpiti Kikorangi blue cheese, quince and red sauerkraut in milk bun, with homemade potato crisps and MOF retro onion dip. It looked like this:
First thought: put it straight on the plate before serving it please. Second thought: a bit stingy with the crisps, isn’t it? I bit into it, and a substantial portion of sauerkraut, not to mention the blue cheese, shot out of the other end of the burger. The patty was cooked well done. Burger integrity was good (milk buns are fairly sturdy). Overall, I felt this burger was unbalanced – and not just the way it looked on the plate. There was far too much sauerkraut, and also too much cheese. Not enough crisps and too much dip. The sauerkraut itself was OK, but if you hadn't been told there was quince in it you'd have been none the wiser.
We set our standards so high, don’t we? What you might think would be a perfectly acceptable burger is reduced by the quality of the competition. But this is a competition, and therefore I have to award this burger a paltry 6.