It seems like lately I’ve been bombarded by blogs about burgers in Bangkok. While Thailand does have the two big American hamburger chains, there aren’t too many other options. The Thais are not big beef eaters. In fact, at least 20 to 30% of them won’t eat beef at all. Add to that the cheese and other ingredients, and you have a very un-Thai dish. I’ve even been told the biggest seller at McD’s is the fried chicken.
I love Thai food, so I don’t really miss hamburgers that much, but I am still an American descended from a man who fought in the revolutionary war, so appreciation of a good burger must be in my genes. With that in mind, I decided to give one of the newest entries onto the Bangkok burger scene a try: Duke’s Express.
Duke’s is a well known name among expats in Chiang Mai, and now they’ve opened a small branch in the Emporium shopping mall, within the large food hall near the supermarket on the top floor. The restaurant is small, and a bit noisy, but if a burger is what you’re after, you’re probably not looking for refined ambiance anyway.
Duke’s Special Burger, with Fries
The menu consists of burgers, of course, as well as pizzas, pasta and sandwiches. The place was busy while I was there, so I saw people sampling a lot of the menu except the pizzas. I opted for the Duke’s Special burger, with cheese, grilled onions and mushrooms. You get a choice of French fries, onion rings or a salad with your burger. The burgers run around 250 to just under 300 Baht each, as does most of the menu, so this isn’t a cheap place, by Thai standards.
The burger, as you can see in the photo, is large and well presented. The beef tasted like it was very high quality – much better that you get from the big chains. It was also very juicy, making this a very messy burger to eat with your hands. Normally that wouldn’t be much of a negative, but about halfway through I suffered a complete patty meltdown and had to finish my now broken burger with a knife and fork.
The burger was definitely good, and I’d certainly consider sampling more of Duke’s menu the next time I’m at the Emporium and feeling hungry, but I don’t think it would be worth making a special trip to eat there.