HOBS Away – Bangkok

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.


Lamb BUrger

The lamb burger with cheese and bacon at HOBS Away

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.

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Posted in Restaurants
7 comments on “HOBS Away – Bangkok
  1. David says:

    Do you knbow if the HOBs carry Belgian fruit beers?

  2. michael says:

    I didn’t look closely at the list, but it is a huge selection of beers, most of which are from Belgium. If any place in Bangkok has them, it would be here.

  3. Garrett says:

    Our first visit to Hobs Away Ari on April 12 2012 was great, the friendly waitress made us feel welcome and we stayed on for a few extra rounds. Unfortunately, our second visit, this time with another friend in tow, was terrible. The three of us walked in well after lunch rush and sat down at the bar directly across from a thin, spiky haired young man organizing silverware. He did not look up at us or greet us. We waited politely to order for about five minutes until I gently asked his attention. The look he gave us could only be described as ‘Why are you bothering me?” Rather non-plussed, I ordered anyway, although we should have walked out then. He did not look at or speak to us while he poured our beers (rather badly) and served them. Meanwhile another customer came in, sat down at the bar and received the same cold shoulder treatment, so it wasn’t just us! We left after one round, when we had planned to stay there an hour or two. Needless to say the unfriendly staffer missed out on some generous tipping. We frequent the area and since then we have walked by twice to see this unpleasant fellow glaring out the windows. Notably the place was dead, even tough it was the tail end of lunch and the neighboring cafe was bustling. I guarantee that this rude young man is driving away business, we will not go in if we see him. I would like to contact the management, but they post no email. What a shame, it just takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch.

  4. Garrett says:

    Sorry, an error in my above post- the day we had the bad service was April 12 2012. Cheers.

  5. michael says:

    Sad to say, I’ve had a similar experience on a return visit to try the beef hamburger. I sat down and waited. I could see someone behind the bar. I’m not sure if it was the same person, but he never looked up. Even though another employee or delivery person walked out from the back, saw me and said something to the waiter, he still didn’t give me any attention. So, after waiting 10 to 15 minutes I gave up and left.

    Sadly, I get this ‘invisible’ customer treatment a lot in Bangkok. Sometimes it’s even more blatant, and it’s usually a case where local staff don’t want to deal with a foreigner. A Thai customer often gets entirely different treatment.

  6. HOBS says:

    Dear Michael,

    Sorry for bad experienced on the day that you visited to our restaurant. We now received you comment and will improved our service.
    Sorry for any inconvenience

    P.S. Our burger are back and all of them are more tasty.

    Nutkasem

  7. Garrett says:

    I have had several decent experiences at this pub, but the two very bad ones outweigh them all. One bad apple spoils the bunch. Today has set my teeth on edge! There is a certain young male bartender who is rude, unfriendly, and irresponsible, he has ruined two trips to Hobs Away for us. A year ago this person didn’t greet us when we came in and ignored us while he folded napkins, even though we were seated just across the bar from him. My Thai wife had to wave and call for his attention to be served! His manner was surly, it was obvious he didn’t want to be bothered. We drank one round and then left, even though we had originally planned to order lunch and several more rounds of drinks- let me make it clear, Hobs Away lost good money that day! Since this pub is located in a shopping center we frequent, we have been back since several times and had female bartenders treat us quite well. The food and drink were of modestly good quality. Whenever we see this rude bartender’s scowling face behind the bar we don’t stop in. Today we saw him but really wanted to eat and drink there, so I decided to give him one last chance. This was in the morning at 11:03 Saturday, 18th of May. We went to the ATM and when we returned 3 minutes later, he was gone. My wife and I sat down and were informed by the cook that he was unable to serve us drinks. We asked where the bartender was and were informed that the bartender had gone out for lunch- this is 6 minutes after they have opened on a Saturday morning! I decided to give the guy one last chance and waited. 10 minutes later the cook went to look for him, but couldn’t find him- the bartender had not told the cook where he was going, or when he would be back. That was when I became irritated. I asked the cook for the manager’s name and he replied that he didn’t know- an obvious lie. We waited another 7 minutes and then left, having a busy day ahead of us and no time for such shoddy service. I can’t believe this sour-faced young man is still employed, obviously the management does not care, since they did not respond to my first complaint two years ago, and he is still there. Another question begs answering, how hard is it to train a cook to serve a beer? Shame on Hobs Away! No more chances, we are done with that place, and will spend our money where we can get friendly service in a timely manner. Hobs Away = FAIL!

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