Jamie's Burgers (Samyan)
The reliable, back-to-basics burger joint you want in your neighborhood.
The buzz: Finally, Samyan has a contender for the best burger in town. This is the second branch of Pongsakorn “James” Boonraksa’s beef-centric operation, which started in 2015 as a petite kiosk over in Ari (now run by James’ dad) where it won the hearts of many.
The decor: Inside has all the usual industrial trimmings with lots of untreated wood and blackened steel. A display cabinet in front of the open kitchen shows off Jamie’s secret weapons: six different types of locally-reared beef like Thai Surin-Wagyu (B450/100g), Tajima Super (B520/100g) and Flat Iron (B400/100g) sourced straight from the farms. An outdoor area decked out in faux grass adds a beer garden vibe in keeping with the student crowds in this ‘hood.
The food and drinks: As in Ari, the burger's beef patty is a well-balanced, slightly seasoned mixture of Thai and Japanese wagyu that pairs perfectly with the charred bun, sourced from the town of Sungai Golok (down on the Malaysian border). Prices start from B99 for a regular pork burger and B119 for a beef, but the more adventurous should try the Heart Attack (B444), featuring six layers of beef, each slathered in cheese and tomato sauce, topped off with jalapenos. Have your burger with an order of Rangers fries (a mix of French fries, onion rings, potato wedges, curly fries and hash browns, B120). Aside from the likes of salmon steak (B359), BBQ pork ribs (B690) and roasted rack of lamb (B2,990), you can also pick out a slab of beef from the display cabinet to have cooked up for you. To drink, there are imported beers like Germany's Weihenstephaner (B250) and Okinawa's Orion (B179), plus a selection of Thailand's bigger craft beer labels like Chiang Mai Weizen (B160) and Red Truck IPA (B160). There's a modest range of red wine (starting from B300 for a small bottle of Le Petit Chat), but do note corkage is free.
Why we’d come back: Good burgers are hard to come by in this neck of the woods, but Jamie’s delivers the goods in atmosphere that's loose and easygoing. There’s also a live jazz night every third Thursday of the month. Neon Boonyadhammakul
From a humble kiosk at a futsal complex in residential Ari, Jamie’s Burgers forged a name for reliable, back-to-basics burgers. This second branch, at the base of Naplab, a Samyan co-working space renowned for its sleeping nooks, sticks to the same premise of burgers, steaks and beers at prices that won’t obliterate your wallet.
It’s a butcher-restaurant concept similar to Arno’s, and Jamie’s display cabinet showing off imported and locally-reared slabs of steak certainly recalls that Narathiwat-born beef empire, as does the bustling, beer-garden vibe. Think of this, then, as an even-more-budget Arno’s for Chula kids.
For the price (starting at a dirt-cheap B99 for a pork patty, B119 for beef), we dare you to name a more satisfying burger. Jamie’s menu largely steers clear of hyper-detailed descriptions of ingredients, but we’ve been assured they use the good stuff. Our order of the signature Jamie’s Burger (B159 for beef) came with a nicely crusted, slightly seasoned patty they say is a mixture of Thai and Japanese wagyu squished between a super-soft, charred bun. Throw in some bacon, cheddar cheese, jalapenos, a tangy, tomato-based house sauce and a generous portion of crisp, chunky cut fries (an extra B50), and you’re in business. It’s a simple formula, but why mess with it? A warning: burgers are on the small side, but you can upgrade to a Double Monster (B219) or simply double-order—at these prices you can afford to.
In addition to burgers, they do hot dogs (from B49) and an ever-changing variety of steaks at a range of price points, from Australian wagyu tomahawk to USDA ribeye. Our cheapskate order of a medium-rare Thai-French ribeye came in at B930 for just over 300g, and drew few complaints: juicy, fatty, and served with a jim jaew-mayo hybrid that doesn’t feel forced.
Of course, there’s nothing refined about eating here—see the mayo-smeared iceberg lettuce that passes for salad with your steak—but there’s a place for that sometimes. Service is also haphazard, in relatively inconsequential, even charming ways (fries that arrive once your burger’s gone, multiple waitresses attempting to take your order). Forget about it all with an Asahi “Golden Ball” tower (B750/3 liters) or one of a modest selection of craft beers (Birra Roma, B240). For times when Chef Bar or even Daniel Thaiger are out of your price range, you can do far worse to fill your burger craving than Jamie’s Burgers. No corkage charge.
This review took place in December 2017 and is based on a visit to the restaurant without the restaurant's knowledge. For more on BK's review policy, click here.
|Address:||Jamie's Burgers (Samyan), 1/F, Naplab, Chulalongkorn 6, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Area:||Si Phraya-Sam Yan|
|Price Range:||B - BB|
|Open since:||June, 2017|
|Opening hours:||Sun-Fri 5pm-11am|
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