Jurisdiction: (NZ) Burgers
Outcome: Majority Verdict***
Ratio decidendi: Newly opened and looks to be a big hit with the lunch time corporate crowd. Personally think this is more a burger for the masses, offering middle of the road, crowd-pleasing combinations and flavours – apart from the Elvis burger of course!
Salient features: Big Bro ($16)
Scope of discovery: Big Bro and Elvis Burger ($12)
Case note: Were it not for the reservations of this dimsumforone blogger, Burger Bro would be in Unanimous Verdict territory (hence the *** next to the verdict above). On my second visit with a party of ten, I was left wondering whether I had received a different burger to everyone else – the overwhelming consensus being that this should be the new go-to burger lunch joint.
For the record, it’s not that I think Burger Bro makes bad burgers – it’s just that I don’t think there’s anything spectacular about them. The closest analogy I can think of is a big breakfast fry up (scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages and buttered mushrooms) – in that you don’t need Neil Perry in the kitchen to make that taste good. The differentiating factor needs to come from either the quality of the ingredients and/or the execution of the patty – neither of which were noteworthy in my opinion. As a point of comparison, I’d suggest trying Burger North which remains my go-to burger joint on the Wynyard end of the CBD.
The Big Bro has an all star line up of hand pressed wagyu, slow cooked pulled BBQ pork, cheese, egg, slaw, pineapple, lettuce, tomato and aioli – which altogether makes for a tasty, juicy, messy affair as one would expect. Objectively considered however, the beef and the pork come across as non-descript (rather than taking their rightful place as the heroes of the burger). On closer examination, this is unsurprising given the almost…dumpling-filling consistency of the ‘pulled’ pork and the uninspiring appearance of the patty. Certainly a case of the whole exceeding the sum of the parts.
The Elvis burger will certainly attract many novelty orders (it certainly got mine!) given the maple syrup and peanut butter addition to the more usual beef, bacon and cheese combo. Unfortunately I struggled to enjoy this for two reasons. First reason being the bun, which was overly dense and had an almost crumbly consistency when bitten into (I suspect it must have been part of a dodgy batch because it was nothing like the bun on my Big Bro visit). This combined with overzealous application of the maple syrup and peanut butter left me feeling like I was eating a warm peanut butter and jelly sandwich – as the 3 elements dominated the palate, leaving the meat, cheese (and even bacon!) almost indiscernible on the palate. Needless to say this won’t be the one that knocks Brewtown’s rendition off its lofty perch.
On the chip front I found both the accompanying side of chips and the kumara sweet potato wedges to be pedestrian. The wedges were too heavily salted for my liking given they were of the sweet potato variety, and didn’t quite pass the crunch test.
Obiter dicta: Clever way to productively use this nightclub space during the day.