HOBS, or House of Beers to give the its full name, is apparently one of those Bangkok ‘institutions’ that I’ve never heard of, until they opened a new small branch in the La Villa center near Soi Ari. The place is best known for its huge selection of Belgian beers, but it does have a food menu where burgers are front-and-center.
You have a number of choices to make if you want to order a burger. First, you need to chose if you want beef, fish, pork, lamb or chicken. Then the bun, and then whether or not you want cheese, and what kind. Finally there are the extras, such as bacon, fancy fries, etc. I went with a beef burger, on an onion bun, with cheddar cheese and bacon.
Unfortunately, the waitress soon returned to tell me that they were out of beef, and pork. Also, they didn’t have onion buns either. Of the choices that were left, I went with lamb. I like a bit of lamb, but it’s unusual to find it in much of Southeast Asia, and I don’t think I’ve ever had a lamb burger. I suspect the shortages were because it was Monday and they hadn’t been resupplied after the weekend yet, although it seemed odd to be out of so many things.
The order seemed to take quite a while to prepare, even though I was the only customer, although the time was not inordinately long. However, when it arrived, I was quite pleased by the look of the burger. It was very appealing, with the fresh vegetables visible and a very large, juicy-looking lamb patty.
The burger is served with three ‘sauces’ – ketchup, mayonnaise and one that looked a bit like chili sauce. I tasted the chili one and decided to spread it on the bun. I’m not sure if was the lamb or the sauce, but the taste of this burger was extremely good. Since it’s not beef, I don’t think you can compare it to other popular hamburgers around town. I may have to return some day to try the beef burger to see how the compare.
The price is comparable to the other fancy burgers available around town, with the base cost of a burger around 295 Baht. The beers, all imported, are very expensive, so if you have one of them you’re probably looking at 600 Baht for a meal. The HOBS at La Villa Ari is open from 11:30 to midnight. They don’t seem to have a web site.