Sometimes the desire for a greasy afternoon has to be met. And great burgers and shakes are never wrong in that respect. Just as great burgers boosts your satisfaction level, mediocracy in the same field is devastating. Escapade Burgers & Shakes is never in danger of serving mediocre burgers, or shakes for that matter. Rather the opposite, they might not be number one in town, yet, but they are for sure a contender to the best in town stamp. Also, I have never tasted a better shake in Bangkok. And they have an award winning mixologist, making some ausome cocktails.
It’s a small sign outside stating Escapade Burgers & Shakes, but you can easily pass it without even noticing that there is a restuarant behind the entrance door. Size wise it’s more like a hole in the wall, with most of the squaremeters occupied by a long counter seat. There is one table inside, close to the entrance door, but they also have a patio out in the back with a few more tables.
The people behind Escapade burgers & shakes have for sure spent some thinking in designing the narrow and rather long room, with the creation of both a tastefull decoration and a good vibe. The art, the lamps and even the American flag is carefully selected to create an atmosphere that is welcoming, cozy and takes the focus away from the small size of the room. Personally I liked it as soon as I entered the room. But of course, the food and drinks are my main interest.
Escapade uses high quality meat, black angus, and you’ll notice it as soon as you set your teeth in the patty. I would presume they use 20+ % fat to make the burgers as juicy and tastesful as they are. The burger was red inside, just as I like it. The owner seems to be a bit of a character with a vision and some criterias to follow. One of them refusing to give the customers ordinary ketchup, but they make their own, a black version. I didn’t ask, but I’m pretty sure he’ll refuse to destroy the good Angus meat with making a well done burger version as well, if you dare to ask. Just even thinking about doing it would probably break the heart to the tattooed man. But if that’s your preference, Escapade is probably not the place for you – there’s a McDonalds not to far away for those who can survive on that. On the other hand, if you value a cook with focus on quality, someone who tries to use the meat in the best possible way to deliver a good product, you’re in the right room. As said, he’s a character, but he also knows what he’s doing. In other words, the attitude is my way or no way, so if that provokes you, you should most likely go somewhere else. Personally, I’ve never had problem with people putting quality first as long as they know what they’re doing.
When it comes to the add ons, the Cheddar cheese was great and so was the truffle infused majonese. If you have any preference towards lettuce, tomatoes and mustard as a standard feature with burgers you better forget about it as soon as possible, you should definitively walk on. Personally I didn’t miss it at all, and I’m the kind of guy who consider myself to be adicted to tomatoes. It’s mostly about ingredients boosting your cholesterol and triggering your neurochemistry by increasing your dopamine level. They also have a lamb burger, that people speaks highly about, but that will be for my next visit. I took onion rings as a side dish, and they where good. Nothing to rave about, but absolutely good as an add-on to the burger.
They have a standard bun for the burgers, but I had to go for the black chocolate version when I first made it to Escapade. It’s a hip thing to do, but as red meat also have an element of sweetness, I see the logic of doing it. Definitively intersting, but it doesn’t add to much to the total expereince as the patty, the cheese and the truffel majo steels the show. In other words, just as it should be. Next time I will go for the ordinary bun. The price for the burger was close to 400 bath. It’s expensive, but it doesn’t get any loud complains from me. When the food is that well made, even if it tripples an ordinary joint, I pay the price when it comes to my main meal of the day.
They also have chicken and some other alternatives on the menu and the beef burgers comes with some alternatives, also when it comes to sizes. And they have a menu of the day.
I had a vanilla shake with my burger, and honestly, it’s the best shake I’ve ever had in Bangkok. Absolutely adicitve. It was close to empty when my burger showed up, and that wasn’t because it took long time to get it.
The cheapest beer is Spanish and is priced at 200 Bath a bottle. A cheaper alternative, like a good local beer would have been beneficial to both the customers and the business. I sometimes buy one of the more expensive choises when out, but I don’t like to not have an alternative, so I stayed with the shake. Also the cocktails are completely over priced. They are extremely well made and tasty, but starting at around 350 is just too expensive in Bangkok. Not sure I will buy another one, even if it probably is one of the best cocktail spots in town. It’s a principle. Anyway, for the thirsty and rich, they don’t have a standard cocktail or drinking menu. You pick your base spirit (gin, vodka etc), choose your alcohol level (1,2,3, extreme), and state your mixing method, if you have any, or the mixologist will choose for you. Then something sublime will be put in front of you. If you haven’t figured it out by now, let me spell it out; as soon as you enter the room, you are in the hands of the two guys running the spot. Control is given away, like it or not, and if you don’ like it, you leave. It’s a simple as that.
Quality wise when it comes to burgers and shakes, they are great. It’s high quality all the way. Escapade, a true hole-in-the wall bar and eatery tucked into Phra Athit Road, may not look like much from appearances, but a seat at the bar soon reveals one of Bangkok’s best kept secrets. They are definitively different, in good and bad. Personally I’m grateful to any spot that do something that separates them from the boring crowd of eateries and bars with a character as exciting as drying paint. Chalermpon Rohitratana on food and Karn Liangsrisuk on drinks speaks loud as a duo, but they certainly get away with it. The music is good, the food is good and so are the drinks, at least the shakes. A good receipt to get people coming back. You order and you get served. I definitively will go back for the burgers and shakes, but to order another cocktail or even a beer, they will have to review their pricing policy.
One last comment: I have noticed that a lot of people has gives them bad feedback on Facebook and other sites. It’s obviously a campaign going, and it doesn’t have anything to do with reality. Taste the burgers, have s shake or a cocktail and you’ll understand what I mean. The environment is rough with an alternative feel, but come on guys, if you can’t leave with some kind of a character in the kitchen when eating a burger, please move on to your white linen.
And be aware that during lunch time (Tuesday – Saturday) you have a really good stall, Kun Chiang, just outside the Escapade, serving delicious Thai Tapas. A must if in the area.
Name: Escapade Burgers & Shakes
Food: Burgers, chicken wings, oninon rings, fries, hash browns etc.
Drinks: Shakes and Cocktails plus some foreign beers.
Open: 4-10.30pm Mon-Sat
Address: 112 Th Phra Athit
How to get there: Escapade Burgers & Shakes is situated on the northeast end of Phra Athit Road, right across the street from Santichaiprakan Park and Phra Sumen Fort. From the Phra Arthit express boat pier, head straight out of the pier, cross Phra Athit Road, take a left, and the restaurant is a short way down on the right. From Khao San, walk all the way northwest on Soi Rambutri until you hit Phra Athit Road, then take a right, and the restaurant will be a short walk away on the right. Taxi is your best option if coming from down town.