Thursday, August 5, 2010

Burger Wellington: St Johns Bar

We've been having some stunning weather in Wellington (interspersed with the odd really lousy day, but the sunshine seems to have the majority). It's quite envigorating seeing the sunshine and I am lucky enough that my 'commute' now consists of a 15 minute walk around the waterfront, which I like even on a bad day - something about being next to the water rather than surrounded by buildings - but on a good day... Wow.

A friend and I had arranged to have lunch this week, and I suggested St Johns Bar - and as it happened, Tuesday was so stunning that sitting outside was not just tolerable but fabulous.

As part of Wellington on a Plate lots of restaurants around our fair city are offering up their best burgers for Burger Wellington. St Johns Bar's offering is up already, and sounded pretty irresistable: wild venison, bacon, mushroom, feijoa and beetroot relish, served with crispy onion rings.

So, you ask, how was it? Spectacular! The bun was fresh, the fillings were very complementary - pretty much my perfect burger, with a good balance of saucyness so it wasn't too dry, enough vegetable matter that it wasn't too meaty - and packed with flavour.

The onion rings were great - crunchy and hot - but the fries (if you could call them that) were incredible. If I had my way all fries would be like this (though then it would be harder to share a bowl with friends as you'd have trouble eating these with your fingers). They were huge batons of potato - there were only three or four, and that was plenty (in fact the meal was really too much for me) - fried to perfection, crisp and salty and delicious.

My friend had the arancini with a side of fries - I have to say, the menu looked great for it's vegetarian options, with both the arancini and the haloumi dishes coming high on my list, only just being elbowed out by the burger. All the food looked great but though I was offered fries I was too busy enjoying my giant ones to partake so I can't really comment on its taste!

I was very impressed with the food - and if it's a nice day it's an amazingly good spot to have your lunch (it's actually also very cool inside, so don't let the weather stop you - it's the old ambulance building, dating back to the 1930's). Obviously I haven't tried any other contenders for the Burger Wellington competition but I definitely recommend this one - just make sure you go with an empty belly!

St Johns Bar is located at 5 Cable Street, Wellington, ph 04 801 8017,


  1. Oh no! The Jenga stacks of fat chips have hit Wellington.

  2. Is the Aro St Fish & Chip shop still around? Those guys were making fat chips way back in the day.

  3. There is a fish and chip shop up there but I haven't had their wares yet - but knowing they had fat chips (and may still) does move them slightly up my list! :-)


Theme Design by Quentin de Manson Web Design