Bangkok Burger Company created quite the stir when it opened in August 2011.
We heard people rave about it and heard some foodie friends of ours note that the concept in itself is brilliant (a restaurant dedicated to various and unique types of burgers) but the execution of the ingredients a bit lackluster (primarily the beef). We heard people hating it. We wanted to see for ourselves.
“I barely care what farang think of our burgers” was one of the first (strikingly honest) comments coming from the boisterous Jim, the manager of Bangkok Burger Company.
“We are targeting Thais with our menu, catering to Thai tastes and focusing on our core customer base – Thais.” Brilliant, we say.
Bangkok Burger Company has put a ton of preliminary research and thought into their menu and food items listening to customer feedback, research and at times wild experimentation (ie. Penang Curry Burger). Its paid off. Not only is Bangkok Burger Company receiving tremendous buzz, it has the customer numbers to back it up. And much to their delight, the customers are primarily Thai.
Bangkok Burger Company is also aided by a killer location next to Muse on Thong Lor Soi 10. Its peripheral emphasis on marketing is also helping – from the way the menu has been developed, the design of the logo, seating arrangement and coupon flyers that are hard to be missed if you live in or around Thong Lor, you can see that the small stuff has been sweated.
On to the burgers.
The top three sellers are the Triple Cheese, which unbelievably includes cream cheese as one of the selections, the Gastro, which involves stilton, onion rings on the burger and a mushroom red wine sauce, and the Yankee, which has bacon, cheddar cheese, onion rings and BBQ sauce. Most burgers are around 300 baht (+7% VAT but not tip) for a large, though it is running a lunch special offering a medium burger and a soft drink for 199 baht.
The medium is 100 grams and the large 170 g, and the restaurant cooks all its burgers medium well. Jim said this is because sometimes people try to order their burger like they would a steak, medium rare perhaps, and then complain because juice and blood is dripping down their sleeve and the meat is not cooked. KohSpot prefers a medium burger, but Bangkok Burger is so drilled on customer service they will probably give you what you want so long as it won’t be a culinary disaster.
The burgers kept their consistency and were filling. Pork and lamb are other burger choices if you don’t dig on cows. Bangkok Burger uses Charolais beef aged 21 days, a relatively new vintage from Thailand, which has also caused some of the secondary farang customers to complain. Australian beef is twice the price, has to be frozen and in taste tests Thais could not tell the difference between the two, noted Jim. Thais also don’t like the char-grill technique Burger King touts in its ads around the world because they believe it makes the meat carcinogenic, so Jim chose a conventional short-order range.
The Thai member of KohSpot’s crew was impressed with the presentation of the burger and the lattice house of fries.
Again, Bangkok Burger Company nails the little details: the cut and creaminess of the cole slaw, the calibration of how much ketchup to add to the plate, the hand-pattied burgers, the whole procedure down to 12 expected minutes from when you order to receiving your burger. An incredible amount of thought has been put into this place that we can already smell its success.
There are already plans to expand in Phuket as well as Bangkok, it just joined ChefsXP delivery service, and the DJ booth is going to get some play in the future to take advantage of all the walk-in traffic for Funky Villa and Demo.
“Bangkok has enough pubs and themed restaurants,” said Jim. “I want to do just burgers, Thai-style.”
Bangkok Burger Company
Location: Unit 103 GF Opus Building, Thong Lor Soi 10, adjacent to Muse
Mass transit: BTS Thong Lor
Hours: 11-11 daily