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Archive for the tag “Grill Meats Beer”

Burger Welly 2015 cook-off

Burger Welly logoI’m not sure I’d previously noticed a final cook-off to determine the Burger Welly winners each year after the public eating and voting is done. Apparently over 9,000 WOAP eaters voted this year, which gave the top 5 for each of the best burger and best burger/beer match competitions (the beer match using any of co-founder Garage Project’s beers, with some brewed just for the competition).

I was invited along to Le Cordon Bleu last night to see the cook-off in action, with the three judges being Chef Francis Motta of LCB, Davey McDonald from Ortega Fish Shack (on behalf of Garage Project) and Tara Nyström (who won the public competition to be the third judge).

Burger Welly judgingThe most important thing (other than who won) is that the finalists are all encouraged to continue producing their burgers for the next couple of weeks if possible, so keep an eye on all of the below venues for more opportunities.

The winners for 2015 were:

  • The Laundry for the matching competition with their Smoke Jerk Chicken Burger and Red Zeppelin beer (pink lemonade and red pilsner influences). The judges said both were excellent on their own, but enhanced each other together.
  • Egmont Street Eatery for the burger alone with their Cheese, Beets and Meat. The judges said they liked that it was a traditional burger, but done with a Kiwi smoky twist.

In no particular order, the finalists were….

Arborist Rooftop Bar and Eatery with their Ba Ba Baaa Ba Ba Bar Lamb burger. They started from the Garagista big hoppy beer and chose big meaty flavours to go with it, including pickled cucumber to cut through some of the richness. And those parmesan fries were damned fine.

BW Arborist

Charley Noble (last year’s champion burger) with their Ebisu fish burger. This one was about showcasing Japanese flavours alongside the smoky fish, inside a squid ink bun.

BW Charley Noble

Egmont Street Eatery with their Cheese, Beets and Meat beef burger. They’ve house blended three cheeses, smoked their own beetroot relish and pickled their own onions.


Grill Meats Beer with their Chook N Swine, Fire N Spice chicken and bacon burger with chilli fries. The secret ingredient being Mamia’s hot Ethiopian relish from a local Kilbirnie lass. Matched with GP’s White Mischief salted white peach soured beer (I can vouch for the beer, delicious – any leftover stock may be available at the brewery shop).


The Laundry with their Smoke Jerk Chicken burger and Red Zeppelin beer. Layered chicken fillets and smoked chicken remoulade with crunchy slaw out of a caravan kitchen. I believe there’s a little tamarillo flavour lurking around in there too.

BW Laundry

Five Boroughs’ Some Sort of (venison) Burger. The name inspired by a review in the past where one friend talked about how much her friend had liked ‘some sort of burger’ at 5B. Includes foraged wild blackberries against wild venison with truffled cheese and again, squid ink buns.

BW 5 Boroughs

Cafe Medici’s (last year’s burger beer match winner) Smokey and the Lambit burger. Using all local Wairarapa ingredients including pinot jelly and Claireville Bakery buns, the lamb burger was paired with crisp polenta fries which looked pretty darned fine.

BW Medici

Ti Kouka’s Apocalypse Now Longbush pork burger. Again big flavours designed to complement GP’s Death from Above beer, including ginger ale bacon, a dab of bbq bourbon glaze, Asian lime and coriander, Japanese chilli oil, pickles and a side of crackling.


Grill Meats Beer

It looks like 2pm of an afternoon is the quietest time to actually get a space at Grill Meats Beer to sample the offerings (open at noon 7 days).

GMB teeThis is the ‘accessible’ sister to Logan Brown (a’la’Whitehouse and Charley Noble), although more bar-focused than CN.

The food is tasty and interesting and accompanied by good service (with entertaining tee’s worn by the staff), and a reasonably efficient turnaround time once seated.  The menu is mostly meaty (as you’d expect), with a selection of burgers, a delicious sounding ‘pulled pork banh mi’ (slow spicy roasted pork with pickled carrot, cucumber, coriander etc), and a number of small and tasting plates (an interesting side of kim chi spicy pickled cabbage spotted).

GMB fish popcornThe fish popcorn with orange aioli, and barley, feta and capsicum salad both hit the mark on this side of the table, while the chicken burger on a brioche bun was noted as tasty with real chicken thigh and an interesting deep fried onion rosti cake but maybe a smidge overpriced at $20 without any kind of side (a theme across the board, especially for drinks).

The decor is simple, the music lively, and an overall noisy buzzy atmosphere prevails.  The coffee is ‘soft brew’ only (ergo filter), and there are only a couple of desserts and non-meaty mains to satisfy the carbophiles, so be prepared for a protein fix.

GMB dishesDefinitely worth a visit in Upper Cuba Street, but pick your time.  No bookings for tables at any time, limited capacity to handle groups (be early and see if you can get at the single bigger table that could hold 8-10) and possibly long waits (1.5 hours+ last Wednesday evening) so be warned.  It may however settle a little after the initial excitement passes.

GMB logo227 Cuba Street.










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