My trip to Flaming Onion has been a long time coming truth be told. It was some months ago when proprietor Adam Weinstein emailed me out of the blue proposing I check out their wares. I promptly jumped to it and drove on out – arriving to find the store shut. Should have checked the opening hours. Second attempt, same thing – really need to learn to read.
Undeterred, I made my way out for a third attempt. By this point the hype was really going, they’d been ranked best burgers in Auckland by the New Zealand Herald and fellow burger aficionado Bill Rundle had given them a whirl and promised me good things. There was a lot of expectation in the car ride there.
Alistair Bingle (ex The Engine Room and Euro) and Adam had launched the Flaming Onion as a local takeaway but with a lean towards exceptionally high-quality food. There is no hiding my love of burgers, given The Ten Best Burger Joints in Auckland article, so really this establishment was being put to the test.
In a style reminiscent of Big J’s Takeaways, they feature a Burger of the Week. This week’s special was "Middle Eastern Beef", including “Angus Beef, Feta Cheese, Tahini Yoghurt with Sesame Seeds, Homemade Baba Ganoush, Lettuce and Red Onion on our Toasted Focaccia Bap!” Hell, this was going to be good.
Initial thoughts are that the beef was excellent, along with the bun. Unfortunately my burger was a little short – having grown accustomed to towering giant of burgers, something that could barely fit in my hands, I was a little sad. There would be no food comas for me this trip. Overall the burger was very tasty, very gourmet, but didn’t blow me out of the water – it was reminiscent of Handmade Burgers in terms of taste, but with an upgrade of all key ingredients.
Their menu selection was good, particularly around the add-ons. I chose Curly Fries (because they’re awesome) and didn’t regret it – the portion was enormous. Potato rosti would probably be a great second choice and I’m slightly regretting not indulging in them.
Overall I found the burger and experience to be a solid 7/10. To be honest I believe another trial run is required, perhaps of a Chicken Burger, because while the burger was good I felt there was room for improvement. Could have just been that specific burger, or perhaps I’ve been spoilt for too long. I’ll be sure to reassess ASAP and update. Certainly a strong contender in Auckland’s burger scene but could do with a bit more flair.