The last few years we’ve all grown accustomed to queuing for our favourite no-reservations restaurant on a Thursday to Saturday night, imagine how you’d feel if the restaurant was like that all day, every day. That’s exactly what a Fergburger customer would experience, surprising for a place that is open 21 hours a day!
My History with Fergburger…
Fergburger started off in 2001, truly as a hidden gem, it was based out of a garage in an obscure location. it eventually moved to a new site on Shotover Street in a central location. I first heard about Fergburger in 2008 during my backpacking trip. Everyone we met along the way on my travels in NZ/Aus the second you mentioned that Queenstown was on the agenda, they all mentioned ‘The Ferg.’
On arriving in Queenstown, stepping onto the balcony of my dorm room the view directly looking at Fergburger. It was a sign that I had to experience it. After a few cocktails from teapots at World Bar a few hours later, it was time for a late-night feast and there was only one place on the agenda, back in 2008 I was still a vegetarian, but surprisingly they catered for me with 3 burgers. There was the Bun-Laden; a falafel burger, the Holier than thou which was a tofu burger and the third for the life of me I can’t remember what it was. During my 10 days in Queenstown I probably visited Ferg 6 or 7 times.
Back to the present…
In 2018 I had the opportunity to visit Queenstown again, and of course Fergburger was very much on the agenda. Since my 2008 visit they have branched out, next door to the main site is Fergbaker, and two doors away is Mrs Ferg Gelateria. No prizes for what they specialise in!!
I actually resisted Fergburger on my first night in Queenstown, after a morning flight from Brisbane, I opted for a few beers at the newly located and somewhat upmarket World Bar followed by Taco’s from Taco Medic. These are superb. Trust me.
Sorry as usual I digress…. Back to the Ferg, ahead of a long day at Milford Sounds I visited the Ferg Bakery at 6.30am devouring a pie for breakfast and an americano to match. Later that evening after immediately after arriving back from Milford Sound I went to FergBurger, queued up for 30 minutes, and immediately knew what I wanted to order; The Big Al and a portion of fries.
The Big Al at NZ$18.50 (£10) consists of a double serving of prime New Zealand beef* (3/4lb), lashings of bacon, a whole lotta cheese, 2 eggs, beetroot, lettuce, tomato, red onion, relish & a big wad of aioli.
*I Opted for a Hindu Friendly version of the Big Al, swapping out the Beef for Lamb
The burger took approximately 15 minutes to arrive from ordering, I didn’t manage to get a seat whilst waiting so opted to take my meal back to my Air B&B and enjoyed it there. The burger for starters is huge, I could barely hold it in my hand. The first bite was everything I was expecting and much, much more; however I knew I was in trouble from bite one for two reasons it was the best burger I’ve ever had, therefore ruining all burgers and the second being it was going to be a challenge to finish it.
Was it worth the 10
–year wait to try the full Fergburger experience?
One-word answer? Yes. Probably one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. Given the fact they have the bakery just next door the bun was fresh, apparently, they are only a few hours old at most. The meat is all locally sourced from the same butcher, patties are made fresh every day. I enjoyed every last bite and ended up in the foetal position at the foot of my bed. A self-induced food coma.
Over the years Ferg Burger have had domestic and international offers to expand the brand but they have all been rejected, independence and using the local quality products they have a control over matters more. A local I met in Queenstown shared a little gossip about Fergburger with me, local rumours suggest that due to the congestion on the pavement directly outside the store they had paid the council to extend the footpaths. I;m not sure if it’s a local rumour or the truth, but if it’s the latter, it doesn’t surprise me given the footfall. 10 years ago, it was a backpackers paradise, in the present day it’s one of Queenstown’s top local attractions.
The following day after my bungy, I went back into Fergburger. The queue was only 15 minutes as it was mid-day. I went for the Bombay Chicken; grilled chicken tenderloins marinated in chilli, ginger & coriander yoghurt, cucumber raita, lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, aioli and mango chutney…. It was in the same gigantic bun as the Big-Al and packed with the gorgeous grilled chicken. The flavour was great, but the lack of heat from the burger did take a few marks off for this little Indian.
I did follow this up with a visit to Mrs Ferg, enjoying a gorgeous Pistachio ice-cream, during a walk around town.
Would I Go Back?
No, simply as it’d take 26-30 hours to get there, as much as I love the burger I wouldn’t do it. If I was on the shores of Australia once again, I’d consider a short-hop over to NZ for a burger and another cheeky little bungy!
AJ HACKETT BUNGY: http://thetworoads.com/aj-hackett-bungy-and-swing/
FERGBUGER WEBSITE: http://WWW.FERGBURGER.COM