In our house, Thursday is burger night. We love making homemade burgers and each of us has a secret recipe. While we can appreciate the simple burger, we also seek perfection, ie. The Burger Holy Grail. When we heard about The Wolfpack in Parkhurst we had high hopes.
We stopped by one Thursday night in January, only to be told that they were fully booked… for two weeks. So we made a reservation to find out what the fuss was about.
We arrived to a nearly full restaurant. A friendly waiter presented us with menus for a variety of burgers, craft beers and wine. The crowd was a mix of young and old, small groups and intimate tables. The upstairs area* is popular for parties and a few tables outside for those who love people watching.
The burger selection is extensive and includes an ostrich, a lamb, chicken and a few vegetarian options.
We tried the Harissa Lamb Burger (R93.00) and the Good Ol’ Cheese burger (R72.00). Along with each burger you can choose “Fresh or Fried” sides. As tempted as I was by the healthy sounding Asian salad or the tomato, red onion and oregano salad, I decided on the shoe lace fries with garlic aioli. My burger partner ordered the sweet potato chips with hummus, although the crispy wasabi onion rings were a close second.
Feeling like a MasterChef judge, I cut my burger in half and found it to be perfectly medium – just as I’d ordered. The toppings were generous and the combinations were great. The fries were crunchy, the garlic not too overwhelming. Knives and forks down, we joined the rest of the crowd and ate with our hands – the only way to enjoy a juicy burger. There was enough crunch, enough sauce and more than enough flavour.
The lamb burger was slightly spicy but softened by the minty pesto, black peppered tomatoes and baby spinach. And the good ol’ cheese? Exactly what you expected from a classic burger – melted cheddar cheese, tomato, lettuce and gherkins. You don’t need to change a classic, you just need to do it well.
The dessert menu is limited to weird and wonderful homemade ice-creams. Not ideal for my burger partner, Mr. Lactose Intolerant. I tried the olive oil and smoked sea salt flavour – it was the perfect way to end the meal.
The Wolfpack offers a relaxed setting with good, honest burgers. The staff are friendly and the chefs know what they’re doing. Whether it is the best burger joint in Joburg, well, we have a few places still to try, but it’s definitely a major contender.
* Upstairs can be hired as a private venue and has no hire fee but requires a minimum spend of R15 000 ex gratuities and accommodates 50 people seated.
Directions to Wolfpack
21 4th Ave, Parkhurst, 2196, Johannesburg
Tel: 011 447 7705
Open Tuesday to Saturday 14:00 – late (kitchen closes at 22:00)