Who serves the best burger in Bangkok? That question is much discussed here in the Thai capital. It is debated on blogs and in Web forums, and news of beloved purveyors shutting down or new ones opening up spreads quickly among foreigners and Thais alike.
Earlier this month, Bangkok resident Peter Oh even launched BangkokBurgerBlog.com, where he posts detailed reviews, photos and rankings. Mr. Oh, who grew up in Minnesota and Wisconsin, says that while he loves Thai cuisine, burgers are his ultimate comfort food. They remind him of home and have a “very primal aspect,” he says, since they’re “grilled meat you eat with your hands.”
Guided by Mr. Oh’s tips, word-of-mouth suggestions and copious Web research, Scene visited several restaurants in search of the city’s best burger. Here are three standouts:
Duke’s nailed the “classic” burger. Its quarter-pound cheeseburger consists of a juicy beef patty — from New Zealand, says a waitress — served on a sesame-seed bun with onions, tomatoes and American cheese. It’s nothing fancy: Just an old fashioned burger, done right.
The 2008 winner of a local magazine’s “best burger in Bangkok” award, Larry’s serves the kind of gut-busting burger that will please even the most ravenously hungry. The patty on the jalapeño burger is a massive 180 grams, or 6.4 ounces. It comes with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, thick strips of bacon and, of course, jalapeño peppers. The beef is sourced from Australia and New Zealand, the chef says.
Hyde and Seek
Some purists are skeptical of so-called gourmet-style burgers, which use nontraditional ingredients. But Hyde and Seek’s six-ounce Wagyu beef “Yankee Burger” proves that even a classic sandwich can occasionally benefit from some well-selected embellishments. The patty, served medium rare, is perfectly tender, and the caramelized shallots and Roquefort cheese provide a touch of sharpness. The burger is served on Parmesan bread that, rather than being distractingly pillowy, perfectly cushions a burger of this quality.