The gourmet burger fad hit Wellington hard last year, when popular EKIM Burgers relocated to Cuba Street - undoubtedly increasing the daily number of classic, mouthwatering burger 'grams in the capital city. Formerly pitched in Lyall Bay, this quirky burger caravan most probably made their smartest business decision packing up their bags, saying sayonara to the seaview and surfers, in exchange for serving poor students and businessmen alike in the centre of town.
Reasonably cheap, quick, hearty, and served with a smile: EKIM ticks all the boxes of a loveable Wellington eatery and a successful burger joint (with exception to one - a sheltered dining space for a rainy day burger craving, a rather regretting feature in windy, wet Wellington). This red caravan on upper Cuba Street serves up a solid lunch, a cheeky afternoon craving, or a filling dinner; or, quite simply, a different burger for every day of your week. With some rad renovations done over the summer, it’s back with a bigger caravan and an expanded seating area: a groovy DJ pumping some tunes on the odd night, too.
Don’t be weirded out when you hear someone say, “Yeah, I smashed John,” or ,“Monique went down a treat.” Although, with their burgers named after people, there are some juicy boys and chicks on menu.
I’m usually a bit apprehensive about the first bite into a burger. Sometimes, it’s just bread without sauce, and the bun to filling ratio ain’t right. You don’t usually get to the tasty, substantial bit until the second or third bite, and even then, it’s too greasy, there’s not enough sauce, or it’s just a cheap off-cut patty. I’m glad to report that to the contrary, EKIM bestows an outright spiritual moment for the diner from the first bite.
Definitely try the Honest Rob: filled with blue cheese, salsa, jalapenos, and one freakin’ delicious homemade beef patty, it will undoubtedly stimulate your taste buds harmoniously with spiciness, cheesiness, sweetness and sourness, all in one mouthful. (Also great with extra beetroot relish, mhmmm.) The Stemps is another popular, loaded with a hashbrown, a beef patty, bacon, and some beetroot relish.
Burgers like the McFilla and Mike, seemingly appealing to some hungry lads with double the meat, double the cheese, is a little less flavoursome with not much sauce or garnishing. But provides for a great feed if you’re ready for some serious burger chomping business. (They don’t call it a McFilla for nothing!)
It’s not the end of the world if you’re a vegetarian. You have three options (thanks Courtney, Dale and Mum) of either tofu or falafel as your patty. Not to mention their killer milkshakes, and crispy, chunky potato chips, served with some tasty, devine, tomato relish. [Ed: definitely the best vegetarian offering on a menu I've yet located in the entire country, and they're all beautiful.]
So, next time you’re indecisively wandering down Cuba St, head down to EKIM. Their burgers would even have the Pulp Fiction iteration of Samuel L. Jackson saying, “This is a tasty burger!”