Situated in a grungy shop-house out in the Rama 9 badlands, Fatty’s Bar & Diner is the kind of place that pulls a steady and devoted following (mostly expats) while flying completely under the radar for most. That hasn’t stopped word seeping out about the quality of its hotdogs, burgers and various other hot sandwiches, though.
It’s certainly not a place for the fainthearted; the jocular bro talk at the bar can severely slow service while the PA blasts squalling classic and college rock (The Kinks to the Violent Femmes) at near-obscene levels. There’s a real sense of community that’s refreshing, though, and Fatty’s is also one of Bangkok’s few genuinely interesting live music venues. The kitchen has a real way with all-American junk food, too.
The burgers are some of the most underrated around, particularly when they stick to basics. Put it down to personal taste, or a family history of heart disease, but we’re not entirely down with some of the more outrageous offerings that grace the diner’s specials board, like poutine (B200). Another special, the Curdburglar (B250) burger—a mess of fried cheese curd and sauteed peppers—doesn’t really live up to its amazing name and is surprisingly lacking in flavor despite a slathering of Sriracha sauce. We’d rather the relatively tame, though no less artery-clogging, BBQ Burger (B195) with its throat-searing sauce, crisp bacon and a well-done Thai-French beef patty. Our only gripe (other than a touch of heartburn) is the sesame seed bun, which is serviceable but tends to be a little overtoasted and crumbly for our taste.
For the wiener-inclined, the Brat Dawg (B160) is superb. Though little more than a bratwurst and sauerkraut on a super-soft bun, with a pickle spear on the side, it’s about as rewarding as a hotdog gets. The beerbattered shrimp and onion rings (both B120) are also no-frills success stories: crunchy and not particularly greasy. The former comes with nice, plump shrimp, too. Perhaps more surprisingly, the salads aren’t a complete after-thought, particularly the Uper Salad (B160), which is a nicely balanced mix of greens, dried cherries, walnuts and thick, flavorful blue cheese—it doesn’t need the overdone grilled chicken which we chose to add for an extra B50.
Thanks to reasonable prices, a rocking playlist and a great selection of imported beers, we’re fine with Fatty’s eccentricities.
This review took place in May 2015 and is based on a visit to the restaurant without the restaurant's knowledge. For more on BK's review policy, click here.