Australian favorites in a casual diner setting.
This shophouse is so tiny the ice box for drinks has been parked out front for over six years. It’s just a few wooden tables and 15 seats, on a wildly crowded Asoke soi. But Roland Graham counts four decades as a chef, and he knows exactly what he’s doing. The beef is Australian and ground in-house—try the signature Robbins Island wagyu burger with roasted wild mushrooms, truffle creme fraiche and cheese, topped with sauces and seasonings all made from scratch (including the ketchup). Rinse it down with wine or craft beer.
Tucked away in the perpetually jammed Asoke Soi 2, Chef Bar takes up a tiny shophouse barely big enough for a few white wooden tables and some 15 seats (the ice box for drinks is parked out front).
The kitchen is headed by a veteran chef of 40 years, Roland Graham, so while the menu is short and straightforward, it has a very firm grasp on the hearty Anglo-influenced classics from Down Under, namely burgers (from B300), pies (from B260), and specials headed by limited cuts of imported steak.
Entering through the glass sliding doors, you’ll be greeted by the sizzle and smell of sautéed onions. Grab a seat at the counter to witness the chef’s cramped juggling act, as he goes about blow-torching some cheese or pan-grilling meat. Not only is the patty in Chef Bar’s burgers made from scratch but so are most of the sauces, while the buns come from artisanal bakers Maison Jean-Philippe. The pasture-fed beef is sourced from The Accidental Butcher which imports its meat from Australia so you can be assured it's good stuff.
We’re particularly fond of the Robbins Island pasture-fed wagyu burger (B430), topped with wild mushroom ragout and torched goat’s cheese. It’s a little pricier than your average burger, but then this is much more than your average burger: the rissole-shaped patty moist and juicy, the bun soft but firm, the cheese adding a delicious, creamy texture. The sides add new dimensions of flavor, too, from the perfectly seasoned hand-cut chips to the slice of beetroot, pickle and homemade tomato sauce. It’s one of the best in town.
The pies similarly deliver the goods, like the navarin of lamb pie (B290), flavorful chunks of braised lamb shoulder with onions, carrots and other veggies in a crisp pastry, served up with mash potatoes—very homey, very delicious. Even the baby greens salad (B200), often a throwaway, demonstrate these artisanal touches. Served with almond-crusted goat’s cheese, pickled grape and oven-roasted tomato with a subtle balsamic dressing, it’s a nice light accompaniment to the heavier fare.
Thankfully, with all the red meat, they offer a selection of Australian and New Zealand wines (from B170 a glass), as well as Beerlao (B100) and a regularly rotating selection of New Zealand craft beers. With its focus on good ingredients and attention to detail, a visit to this hole-in-the-wall is likely to leave a lasting impression, and not just from the lingering smell in your hair and clothes.
|Address:||Chef Bar, Across Prasarnmitr Plaza, Sukhumvit Soi 21/2, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Cuisine:||Australian, Burgers, International, Western|
|Price Range:||B - BB|
|Open since:||February, 2013|
|Opening hours:||Thu-Sun 4-8pm; Mon 4-8pm; Tue 4-8pm|
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