Niche (Siam Kempinski)

16 Apr

Niche Bangkok Niche Burger Cut

Siam Kempinski Hotel (Siam), Tel: 02-162-9000, Website: here

I haven’t written about many hotel restaurant burgers … but I suppose they really should be fair game with all the hotels around. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of hotel restaurants in general; I’ve always felt that everything was overpriced and watered down. Now, there are some exceptions and I know that – so, I’m trying to keep an open mind. Enter Niche … this place is located on the Ground Floor of the Siam Kempinski Hotel.

Niche Bangkok Exterior Niche Bangkok Interior Niche Bangkok Deco

First impressions were good; it’s an airy, neatly decorated space with retro toys and figurines placed throughout. I was actually drawn to the place by a photo I saw of it somewhere. I thought to myself “this looks like a place I’d like to try.” So I did. They had a handful of burgers to choose from, including Beef, Chicken and Shrimp … I kept it simple and went with the one named after them, The Niche Burger.

Niche Burger – THB 350.-++ (apx US 11.67.-++)

“120g beef patty topped with cheese and bacon, served with lettuce and tomato on a fresh bun”

Niche Bangkok Burger TopLet’s just jump into the beef of things … overall, I liked this burger. The patty was cooked nicely and had that authentic char-gilled look and taste. I should mention though, one of my wife’s burgers (she ordered the 2 mini burger option – done medium/well) looked at tasted a little burnt. At first I tried to defend it, like that was how it was supposed to taste, but then I tasted it … yeah, a little too much. Anyway, my burger was made with 120g imported Australian beef. The patty seems to be very straight forward; I could only sense a little light seasoning … nothing else = just the way I like it. The bacon and cheese went really well with the burger, both adding that extra savory sensation the burger would have been missing without them.

Niche Bangkok Niche Burger Niche Bangkok Niche Burger Cut Niche Mini Burgers

The bun for me was so so – it tasted fine, but I felt that parts of it got soggy quite quickly. I was hungry, so for luckily for me the bun (burger) didn’t last long. Fries were fine, and they came with three dipping sauces: bacon jam (which basically tasted like maple syrup and bacon), horseradish mayo?, and ketchup. Kitchen was a bit slow (35+ minutes after ordering … we were the first lunch customers), but the service staff were pleasant and attentive. While I still feel that 350++ for a 120g burger is a tad on the expensive side (and if I remember correctly, a soda was also THB 180 baht!!), I was pleasantly surprised with the burger here and wouldn’t mind chowing down one again!

Burger Menu:

Niche Bangkok Burger Menu

Chomp

16 Mar

Chomp Beef Burger Cut Bangkok

Chomp Bangkok LogoSamsen Soi 1 (old town), Tel. 084-098-8633, Website: FB Page

A week ago I found myself with an open afternoon, so I figured I’d wander out of my comfort zone (Thonglor area) and explore a bit. I had received an email from one of the owners of Chomp a while back, introducing their shop and their burgers and I thought that it would be the perfect place to check out. So with a destination in mind, I wandered … I drove my Vespa – winding through endless rows of traffic in the hot Bangkok sun to get there — I now have a sort of Farmer’s fan to prove it. If you want to skip the traffic jams, apparently there are also klong taxi/river taxi stops relatively nearby … which might be a good option given the traffic I encountered.

Chomp Bangkok ExteriorChomp Bangkok InteriorChomp Bangkok Activities

First impressions were good; it’s not a fancy place, but it felt fresh and inviting. The place wasn’t packed, but to their credit they did have a steady flow of customers stopping in, some off the street and others as returning guests. I already knew what I wanted, but I had a look at the menu nonetheless, and there were plenty of interesting things there (homemade baby food, for example). For you veggie lovers/non-beef eaters (or those just in a veggie mood), Chomp offered two veggie burgers – a mushroom and tofu burger and a pumpkin burger. Anyway, I’m predictable, and I went with … you guessed it, a beef burger.

Beef Burger – THB 200.- (Apx. US $6.67.-)

“200g beef patty topped with grilled onions, lettuce, tomato and pickles, served on a homemade bun”

Chomp Beef Burger BangkokI’ve had a week to think about this burger experience … and overall, I would say it was ok. What I liked most about it was that it really tasted homemade to me … and the patty even looked like how probably some of my first burger attempts finished up – a little rough but appetizing. While I don’t mind a bit of char on my burgers (in fact, I quite like it), this burger might have had a tad too much. Eye test said burnt a bit, but taste test said otherwise – it was fine. The taste of the patty was good, but it was heavily seasoned … it actually reminded me more of a meatball taste and texture rather than a burger; I was told after I finished, however, no fillers go into their burgers – so maybe this is a result of the grind size and seasoning method. Onion Alarm!! For those of you who don’t like onions, this burger is probably not for you as there are a lot of them mixed into the the meat. Probably my biggest complaint for this burger as well as credit to the shop is that I found number of large gristle chunks in the patty (see pic) – now, while this wasn’t nice, the reaction of the the owner really led me to believe this would not happen again. I wasn’t planning on saying anything, just go about my tastings alone … but the female owner came up and asked me how everything was. I figured that if I was going to write here, I could tell her about it to her face – it was the very least I could do. We had a conversation about the beef and how they prepare it … and she genuinely seemed to care about my comments and working to resolve the issue at hand.

Chomp Beef Burger Cut BangkokChomp Beef Burger GristleChomp Bangkok Wedges

Their shop, like many others are buying the beef, prepping it and the grinding it in house. It seems that the issue I had with the gristle was a matter of their kitchen guys trimming the cuts properly … she saved the bits to show the cook and the other owner. I really appreciated the fact that she did this, it shows to me she cares. Anyway, that’s the beef of the patty. The bun was nice as were the veggies on it. The wedges, on the other hand, were limp. As far as potatoes go, they tasted fine, but I prefer these things crispy! So, the verdict – would I go back? Yes, but probably not for the same thing. I would actually like to try the Pumpkin burger … I also saw wrap that another table ordered that looks pretty good. And, while I know it’s not about burgers, I’m guess there are few breakfast fans out there … and this place had a pretty decent breakfast menu … so, for your viewing pleasure, I posted a shot of that menu (along with the burger menu) below. Enjoy and happy burgering.

Chomp Bangkok Burger MenuChomp Bangkok Menu

Oh! I almost forgot – another cool thing about this place is that they have and support sort of a community space, where they host an number of activities and art exhibitions throughout the week. Including yoga and judo for kids and adults! Two thumbs up for that!

TriBeCa Restrobar

6 Feb

Tribeca Wagyu Burger Cut Bangkok

TriBeCa RestroBar Logo BangkokNihonmura Mall (Ground Floor), Thonglor Soi 13, Tel. 02 712 9209, Website: here

Anyone who frequently cuts across Thonglor Soi 13 has most likely seen this place, or at least the little Japanese mall in which it resides. I pass it many times as I live in the neighborhood, and have been meaning to pop in for some time now. While this wasn’t my first choice for this burger meal, the traffic density pretty much made up my mind for me … gotta go somewhere close to home. So, with that said, here’s my 2 cents on the venue: 1. the booth I sat in was comfortable, 2. the space was airy and clean.

TriBeCa RestroBar Wall BangkokTriBeCa RestroBar Napkin BangkokTriBeCa RestroBar Menu Bangkok

This time around I didn’t get any interior photos; I figured that if you really want to see what it looks like, you can either google it or go to it! Seriously though, there was a table of people in one of the sections, and I didn’t really want to endure the looks they might have given me. So, let’s just move on to the beef of things.

Tribeca’s Wagyu Burger – THB 420.- (Apx. US $14.00.-)

“Housemade Wagyu Patty, Smoked Bacon, Caramelized Onions, Bacon Jam, Tomato (and greens), Brioche Bun, Steak-cut Fries”

Tribeca Wagyu Burger BangkokIf I was judging this burger like I did my high school girlfriends (mostly on looks), I’d give this one pretty high marks.* I thought the presentation was nice, and I actually was looking forward to chomping it down. Unfortunately, this burger was more than meets the eye … or would it be less? Anyway, I was hoping to be blown away, and I was just left wanting. First the things I did like about the burger: 1. Smoked bacon – I know, it’s hard not to like bacon, but I have to give credit where credit is due. 2. Bacon jam – this was smeared on the top bun – I’m not sure really what to say other than it was was nice. This was my first time trying it, and I hope to come across something like it again in the future. 3. The tomato. As for the rest of the burger, no so much. Firstly, the bun was not a brioche bun. I don’t really care about that, but it wasn’t what I had expected as the menu lists it as one. The bun I had looked nice, but I felt that it was much too dense. As for the patty, not my cup of tea. When people throw around the word “Wagyu,” it raises expectations (and also the price tag) … but rarely fits the bill. In this particular instance, I thought the patty was quite bland – it should have had much more flavor – rather than what I would describe as watered down burger taste. Part of this is probably a result of under seasoning. I understand that taste is subjective, but for me, a bit more salt/pepper would have gone a long way. The patty also had a bunch of stringy, fatty bits, which weren’t too appetizing.

Tribeca Wagyu Burger Cut BangkokTriBeCa RestroBar Fries Bangkok

And I found some chunks (red) onion throughout the patty, which I feel didn’t added anything in particular to enhance the burger. The fries were fine, and I liked the homemade (?) ketchup that was served with them. All things considered, if I were ever to return, I’d most likely skip the burger and try the Rueben or pulled pork sandwich … but who knows when that will be.

If you’ve been to this place and tried the burger or any of the other items, feel free to share your thoughts below!

 

*In the off chance any of my old high school girlfriends are reading this, I wasn’t talking about you.