Burger Wellington 2016 : Bebemos

BW16 Bebemos

This is the Joined In Holy Macrimony burger at Bebemos in Newtown.

The official description is:

Harrington’s chorizo & Preston’s short rib burger, cheese, bacon aioli, chipotle slaw, on a housemade Mac & Cheese bun w/ sweet & spicy tomato chutney

In reality, it is a food coma on a plate, but one that comes with absolutely no regrets. The macaroni cheese bun makes it incapable of being eaten as every burger ought (with one’s hands), but was the perfect platform for the flavours of the other components. The short rib and chorizo patty was dense, but intensely flavourful and meaty and wonderful. The slaw was creamy and worked so very well to help cut through the dense meatiness of the patty.

I should perhaps mention that this is by far the largest burger I’ve had thus far in this year’s Burger Wellington competition. You’d have to colour me impressed when it arrived as it spoke to a certain confidence sadly lacking in Burger Wellington burgers I’ve eaten elsewhere.

As for the accompanying sides, the in-house kumara crisps were nice, but didn’t really work with the burger, even in a textural sense. While a wasted opportunity, they didn’t detract from the burger in the least.

Burger Wellington 2016 : Little Beer Quarter


This is the Rheinheitsgeburger at Little Beer Quarter in the CBD.

The official description is:

Paying homage to old brewing guidelines – 200g beef patty with ParrotDog Red IPA cheddar, spent grain-fed bacon and pickles on a malted barley bun

In reality, the Rheinheitsgeburger is a revelation from the first bite. It is impressive when it arrives, but what really makes the burger is both its excellent execution and the unexpected joy that is the ParrotDog Red IPA cheddar.

This burger stands out as perhaps the best burger burger I’ve had thus far in this year’s Burger Wellington competition. The bun is big, but soft and pliable while still holding its shape throughout. The patty reaches the edges, as does every other component ensuring that each bite captures the flavours of all. The burger patty is tender to the point of utterly evading problems of inadvertently pulling away far more than one might want with every bite. The pickles added texture and sharpness. The shredded iceberg lettuce gave it crunch and subtle sweetness.

I feel a need to rattle all that off lest I give the impression the burger’s success rests solely on the shoulders of its cheese. It doesn’t, but damn that cheese is something else and hell if it doesn’t really elevate the burger as a whole.

As for the accompanying sides, the chips were excellent and the dip was delicious, but both paled against the majesty of the burger. Which is as it should have been.

The Rheinheitsgeburger was so good we were confidently muttering “Fuck Yes!” from the first bite to the last. It has also been my go-to recommendation for friends and workmates looking to take a punt on a worthwhile burger. This burger has yet to disappoint.

Burger Wellington 2016 : Scopa

BW16 Scopa

This is the Lasagna Topper burger at Scopa in the CBD.

The official description is:

Aged Wairarapa beef with Kāpiti mozzarella, lettuce, tomato and gherkin sandwiched between two pomodoro lasagna toppers

In reality, the Lasagna Topper is more than advertised. It is lasagna in burger form. The toppers are pasta sheets that are crumbed and fried. The beef patty looked and tasted like an Italian meatball. The burger has red sauce, much like a lasagna would. The mozzarella and spinach on the patty nicely bridged the various components of the burger.

Faithful to its concept, nice execution, good flavours. The only downsides were that it was a bit small, it couldn’t be eaten as a burger (which is to say, with one’s hands) and was limited in what it could offer if it was to remain faithful to the underlying concept.

As for sides, there were none that came with the burger. We could have ordered sides from the menu, but opted not to in the end. If a burger comes with sides, they should work with the burger. If the burger doesn’t come with sides, perhaps that is intentional. I don’t like sides for the sake of sides. Not much point in that kind of thing, really.

Burger Wellington 2016 : Leaderboard


Wellington On A Plate has arrived and I am wholly and completely all about Burger Wellington. My initial shortlist had 37 burgers in the CBD alone, and I’ve been, some say, obsessively working my way through them since this all started. My workmates are concerned for my health and workplace productivity. I’m afraid to even consider what my parents think.

The first week is always a scavenger hunt to try as many burgers as tempt from the descriptions alone. I’ve had some amazing burgers, some average burgers, and a few garbage burgers. I’ve been to places I wouldn’t have otherwise thought to go, been surprised by places I’ve previously enjoyed, and confirmed why there are some places I never should have bothered. I’ve had burgers on my own, with friends and workmates, or surrounded by strangers.

At time of writing, we’re heading into the second week with recommendations, gossip and hearsay driving all of us to chase down the likely finalists so we can say we’ve had the best burger in Burger Wellington 2016.

What follows is my leaderboard of the burgers I’ve eaten, and it will be updated the more burgers I eat.

  1. Rheinheitsgeburger @ Little Beer Quarter
  2. Classic Kiwi Burger @ Boulcott Street Bistro
  3. Turducken Down @ Five Boroughs
  4. Joined In Holy Macrimony @ Bebemos
  5. Fowl Play @ The Bresolin
  6. Danny’s Champion Pheasant @ Arizona
  7. Maggic Burger @ Burger Liquor
  8. Lasagna Topper @ Scopa
  9. Tall Dark & Sassy @ Monterey
  10. Charley’s Trap @ Charley Noble
  11. Mansfield’s Saucy Story @ Thistle Inn
  12. Sterling Burger @ Sterling
  13. Sichuan Two-Tooth @ Egmont Street Eatery

Honourable mentions:

  • Burger Pavlova @ Boulcott Street Bistro


  • Assorted disasters and “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME” moments I can’t really get into here.
  • Wellington On A Plate has begun and Burger Wellington is in full swing with an initial shortlist of 37 burgers to get through.
  • Burgers are awesome and I love them.
  • Burgers > Pizza.
  • Burgers.
  • I’ve eaten so many burgers.
  • I’ve so many burgers yet to eat.


  • Assorted disasters and “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME” moments I can’t really get into here.
  • I didn’t see any of the films at the New Zealand International Film Festival when it was in Wellington, but then I don’t really see many films these days.


  • Assorted disasters and “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME” moments I can’t really get into here.
  • A visit to a meat processing plant that challenged me for days and weeks afterwards. “Is it normal to go from being horrified by the slaughter of an animal to thinking its carcass looks delicious soon after it has been killed?” was one of the many questions I had rattling around my head.


  • Assorted disasters and “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME” moments I can’t really get into here.
  • I don’t actually remember anything else happening in May.


  • Assorted disasters and “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME” moments I can’t really get into here.
  • An enjoyable if, at times, challenging family reunion in Gisborne over the Easter break.