Wahlburgers (Auckland CBD, New Zealand)
If you are looking for a taste of all-American burgers and fries in New Zealand, Wahlburgers is definitely worth checking out. Located on Princes Wharf, this burger joint is the first of its kind in the country, bringing with it all the hype and excitement that comes with the Mark Wahlberg brand.
During my first visit to Wahlburgers, which was only its second day since opening, I was immediately struck by the long queue outside. As my group and I waited to be seated, we were informed that the wait time for orders was 45 minutes. Unfortunately, since it was a workday lunch visit, we decided to opt-out as we didn’t have enough time to return to the office. However, we returned on a weekend which was much better in terms of queue times.
When we were finally seated, we were told that the wait time was still 45 minutes, but thankfully, it wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be and our food was delivered in less than 30 minutes. Upon stepping inside, I was struck by the bustling atmosphere of the place – the walls were painted in a vibrant green colour, with lots of TV’s tuned in to different sports channel and the interior was spacious enough that we never felt cramped even with all the people.
After being seated, I was excited to dive into the menu. I tried the Super Melt (NZ$21.00), which was more like a toastie than a burger, but it was packed with flavour.
The two beef patties were thick and juicy, the American cheese was melted to perfection, and the bacon, onions, pickles, and mustard sauce all blended together seamlessly. The bread was also perfectly toasted, with a nice crunch on the outside and a soft texture on the inside.
Next up were the Truffle Burgers (NZ$19.00) m, which were made with a beef patty, tasty cheese, truffle aioli, pickled onions, and rocket. While there were no shaved truffles, the truffle aioli had a good truffle essence that made it taste truffly enough. The buns were also nice and soft, but for me, the Super Melt was still the standout dish.
For sides, I had to try the Thin Crispy Onions Rings (NZ$6.50), and they did not disappoint. Made with red onions instead of the usual white onions, they were very thin and perfectly cooked. The texture was a mix of crispy and soft, with the crispy parts packing a nice salty punch and the soft bits having a pleasant sweet onion taste. These were easily the best onion rings I’ve ever had.
I also ordered the Spicy Cheese and bacon Loaded Fries (NZ$15.50), which were good but not as impressive as the onion rings. While the cheese sauce had a nice zing to it, there wasn’t enough of it, and the fries on the bottom were left unseasoned.
We also had the Chicken wings (NZ$14.00) , which were served in BBQ sauce and ranch dressing. These were good, but nothing to rave about. They were just well-made chicken wings, nothing more, nothing less.
To wash it all down, we had some soda and the Cookies and Cream Thick Shake, which was delicious but definitely not for the health-conscious. Each sip felt like a big guilt trip, but it was worth it. It tasted like drinking melted ice cream. They also have alcoholic drinks and adult shakes on the menu, so if you are looking for a boozy burger experience, this is the place to be.
Overall, the dishes at Wahlburgers are plated and presented like American diner fare, which makes it feel more like a restaurant than a fast-food joint. The patties were good and thick, and although they were shaped unevenly, it gave an indication that they were freshly made and not manufactured. The meat was tender, despite being well-done, which was impressive. The place was also clean, as you would expect from a new establishment, and the service was great.
The only downside to Wahlburgers is the price, which is higher than what you’d pay at other burger places. But given its prime location, plated dishes, and the overall experience, it’s worth checking out at least once. If you’re after a cheap and quick burger meal, there are definitely better options out there. But if you’re after an experience, then Wahlburgers should definitely be on your dining list.
Address: Apt 23, Shed 22/147 Quay Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand