Today's reader recommendation comes from fellow burger blogger Peter Oh of Bangkok Burger Blog. When he's not eating burgers, he's working as an advertising creative/copywriter at an ad agency in Bangkok. Thanks, Peter! If anyone else wants to share some burger intel, here's how to do it. —The Mgmt.
Bangkok Burger Company
Thonlor Soi 10, Bangkok, Thailand 10110 (map); bangkokburgercompany.com
Cooking Method: Griddled (and then sautéed in a pan with curry)
Short Order: The newest contender in the Bangkok burger scene makes a burger with a Thai twist
Want Fries with That? Thick cut skin-on steak fries come standard or opt for curly fries for $1 more
Price: Penang Burger, about $9.80
Bangkok is a city that has no shortage of burgers, from gourmet to those served at the ever-familiar food stalls that line the streets. In the wild west of Southeast Asia, throngs of expats, tourists, and the business-savvy flock to the Land of Smiles to escape the monotony from whence they came, just to find themselves seeking out a simple yet comforting taste of home—a hamburger.
While the cliché of a foreigner seeking out familiar food in a land abundant with incredible, but unfamiliar food of its own holds true, I offer a compromise with the Panang Burger at the newly opened Bangkok Burger Company. It's a hamburger with an unmistakable Thai twist.
Like all of the other burgers on the menu (upwards 20, available in beef or pork), the Panang Burger patty is formed to order from their daily prepared hamburger mix made with 21-day aged Charolais beef. After being covered and cooked on a griddle to about medium/medium well, the patty is transferred to a skillet and simmered in Panang curry, a flavorful combination of baby aubergines, sweet basil, green beans, Thai chillies, coconut milk, and fish sauce. The patty is made English-style—meaning it has some fillers—and is a bit softer than its American all-beef brothers, but it seemed to work well for this particular burger, although my personal preference leans more towards all-beef patties. The flavor of the Panang curry saturated the patty, offering a nice consistent curry flavor throughout.
The burger comes on a sesame seed bun that has been toasted in small blast oven, leaving the top and bottom sides of the bun halves warm and slightly crispy. To finish off the burger, the patty is topped with a serving of Panang curry.
Each burger comes with a side of thick-cut, skin-on steak fries that are lightly salted, along with a small serving of chunky homemade coleslaw. The fries were nice as was the coleslaw (albeit warm).
Is the Panang Burger the best in Bangkok? The answer is no, not if you're looking for the taste of home. However, if you're looking to experience a genuine taste of Thailand in the guise of the familiar, it's a clear winner. It's not for the faint of heart or those short on appetite—it packs a punch thanks to the Thai chillies and a hearty 200-gram (7-ounce) patty—but if you find yourself on this side of the world any time soon, this burger is worth a try. —Peter Oh
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