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Saturday, March 23, 2013

AMP Burger Bar Review - Aree, Bangkok

A.M.P Burger - Burger Joint and Bar at Phahonyothin soi 5, Aree, Bangkok

Overall Score  7.5/10
Taste   3/5
Ambiance  3/5
Service  4/5
Value   4/5

AMP Burger & Bar - Burger Joint on BumRes.com (For more pictures and menu)

If we were to consider the popularity of international food in Thailand, there is no other types of food that could compete with the Japanese food in Thailand.  The next big thing in the food trend would be the Hamburger.  We are seeing more and more new burger joints.  There are places where you can customize your burger as well as places with fancy style burgers like wagyu burger, black burger, and so on.  This review is on a new Burger joint in the Aree area.  The name is A.M.P. Burger and they have their own style of Burger.  Its location may not be in the prime zone like Thonglor or early part of Sukhumvit road but this burger restaurant is right on the Phaholyothin, near Soi Ratchakru (Phaholyothin 5).  Coming here by BTS, the Sanampao is the one.  If driving, there is parking in the apartment behind the restaurant.  The parking fee is 40 Baht for all day.  So, commuting to this place isn't that hard.   

The A.M.P. Burger is a Burger & Bar style shop.  The decoration is unique with the random collection of stuffs from the American lifestyle in the 80's.  Small size but somehow it felt quite comfortable and easygoing.  In the front, there is a stack of hay as a bench seat for smokers.  Inside, there are bar stools as seating facing out the window.  There are a couple of small size booths, American diner style.  Also regular table.  The alcohol bar is set back at the wall and there is a secret door to enter the kitchen.  If you didn't try to look, I would wonder where your burgers come from.  For the overall setting, this Burger joint is got all it needs in such a tiny space.    

The food focus is the Burger, not too many to choose from, in A.M.P.'s own style.  There are also a few more choices of American style food, just enough choices in the menu for a restaurant of this size.  The price is quite a deal or pretty cheap, I would say.  Cost about 150 Baht, reasonable for size of the burger, the setting, and the location.  Nowadays, we are seeing 300 baht burgers and sometimes up to 500 for a burger in nicer restaurants.  In Thailand, when we start to see burgers in restaurants (exclude McDonald's) it usually cost about 200 Baht and the price has been going up and up.    

Burger and beer are a pair.  We had the Carlsberg in bottle, a large one for 100 Baht.  Again, emphasize on the knock out price.  It was served super chilled, a wonderful drink for relaxing after work.   

For food, first item was the Homemade Potato Wedges (Fried homemade country style potato wedges - 60 Baht).  This type of Fried potatoes is rarely found in this country.  I loved the potato skin.  Made fresh to order so it was hot and crispy.  The mayo dipping sauce coming aside was a nice touch.  We wanted to have it with the burger but it all disappeared too fast.  Too good to stop, I suppose.  

For Burgers, we had three choices.  The first was the Pork Cheese Burger for 130 Baht (America's Favorite burger, Melted cheese with mustard, romaine and tomato).  Not a common choice in Burger Joints in the U.S. but since there are many Thai people not eating beef.  This dish is a must have in the menu.

Beef AMP Signature Burger for 175 Baht (House's signature with choice of meats, fried battered prawn, bacon and cheese with homemade BBQ sauce, romaine and tomato).  The prawn was a nice add on.  BBQ sauce was homemade, being mixed with the beef patty and the bacon, it turned out to be quite a tasty Burger.  

Beef Surf & Turf Burger (The classic choice of meats with fried battered prawn, cheese, romaine and tomato.  For only 165 Baht, it was all good.  With the bacon, it would be the signature dish, I guess.  

These three burgers are similar, good size.  The buns are simple but so amazing, rich and tasty.  There was no sesame seed or spread but it was naturally sweet.  I was told that the buns are from a friend's bakery.  Each burger came with a piece of fresh Romaine lettuce.  All ingredients were good quality; the bun, the patty, the cheese, and the bacon.  To be honest, seeing the setting and the price, it was quite surprising to find a simply good burger like these ones.  The owner told me that the Bangkok burger blog came without his notice and gave him 8/10, so this place has many expats coming as regular customers. 

The last dish was the Fish & Wedges (Fried battered fish fillet serves with fried potato wedges and tartar sauce), for 150 Baht.  Its size definitely outran the price.  The wedges fries were great just like earlier but what could I expect from the Dory Fish.  I didn't like the batter neither, so this fish rather failed.  Considering the price, would it be difficult for them to use other fish like Snapper or Sea bass instead.  

All in all, the fairly new Burger joint of the town, the A.M.P Burger did great on the burger.  Thinking of a comparable burger shop, I would say the Escapade at Tha Pra Arthit in the old part of town near Bang Lam Phoo.  These two are the ones that I would recommend for good and cheap burger.  Whichever location suits you more that's up to you.  I am sure you won't be disappointed if you crave for burgers.  

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