” I would say that the best f_ckin burger I ever had was at a bowling alley, ’cause they surprise you there, some of them alleys hire some of the best cooks, and they ain’t a restaurant but that doesn’t mean that the cook ain’t gonna put some f_ckin pride in their burgers”. Terry Cahill - FUBAR
Firehouse is a welcome recent addition to Sukhumvit’s Soi 11 dining scene and has gained a large following amongst expats, tourists and Thai’s due to their extremely tasty burgers. Decked out with authentic helmets and gear from fire departments around the world, this place has a fun theme that serves as an homage to the hardworking and brave men keeping us safe. What makes this story even better is the fact that some of the recipes in use were crafted and perfected by firefighters right in their own firehouses and rumor has it that they are getting close to adding a few more authentic award winning dishes created by America’s bravest that should hit the menus within the next month or two.
Earlier this month Firehouse hosted a great bachelor party dinner for the man, myth, and legend known simply as Greg and a special shout-out to Scott from Smiling Albino for bringing it all together. Last week’s visit was my third and this time we kicked things off with a Baja fish taco (THB 120+(7%) / $4+) followed by a grilled steak taco (THB 150+ / $5+). Both were served open-face atop a flour tortilla, a blanket of melted cheddar and piled high with lettuce and Pico de Gallo . Their unique version (well to me at least) of a taco reminded me of a Mexican pizza and let me tell you, that’s a very good thing!
Gooey cheese, flat top grilled tortillas, easy to cook and comforting as a hug, quesadillas are the grilled cheese sandwiches of Mexico. The Firehouse version (THB 220+ / $7+) came loaded with grilled chicken, cheddar cheese and Pico de Gallo sandwiched between two crispy flour tortillas. Like the absence of pockets on a uniform at a nudist camp the quesadilla felt naked and missing something without a side of salsa. It doesn’t have to be much but an ounce or two of a smokey and spicy sauce would perk things up nicely. All in all a solid dish just waiting for a wedge of lime and a serving of salsa.
Following a tried and tested recipe, there is now a new contender for the best fish and chips in Bangkok. An order consists of hearty piece of beer battered dory the size of your face, a generous portion of crinkle cut fries (or hand cut wedges) and a skewer of homemade pickles (THB 250+ / $8+). The batter is crisp and not overly greasy and the crinkle cut fries and malt vinegar form a perfect duet. Firehouse just gave us another reason to not have to head back to the UK.
Daily hand grinding of Thai-French rib-eye and forming each patty by hand only after the order is received is how they roll here. Like J-Lo and Kim Kardashian the buns are not an afterthought but rather the happy result of an artisan Austrian bread baker getting his bake-on and making fresh deliveries. They have a deluxe Black Angus Burger (THB 380+ / $13+) which I enjoyed at the stag party but the real star of the show is their Premium Burger (THB 195+ / $6.50+). Passing over the cheddar and mozzarella we felt adventurous and nervously tried the Gorgonzola (THB 80+ / $2.75+) and similar to a burly ladyboy, the cheese was strong but actually complimented the meat well. The tomato, red onion and crisp iceberg lettuce were right on the money and the flavorful burger hit our table cooked to a perfect medium.
We were presented at the end of the meal with a nicely baked chunky homemade brownie that was topped by a VSOP cognac reduction. Though we are personally not fans of alcohol based sauces (would be perfect in a shot glass on the side) this dessert brought a nice happy ending to the meal.
Last and definitely not least, if you are tired of paying more for a mixed drink in Bangkok than you would in Europe or North America, Firehouse has you covered with THB 140+ / $4.75+ standard cocktails (THB 160+ / $5.25 for top shelf premium) and THB 90+ / $3 bottles of beer all day long. Come between 4:30 and 8:30 and draft Heineken and standard mixed drinks are buy 1 and get 1 free. There’s only expensive drinks on Soi 11? Fuhgeddaboudit!
When most people think of a firehouse they think of a place that firemen wash and park their shiny red trucks. If you looked a little bit closer you would see that most firehouses are 24/7 operations where procedures, traditions and rituals rule. Saving lives would officially rank #1 on the top 10 list of what is most important but if you asked what’s #2 the majority of firemen would probably reply ‘good food’. Unlike their police brethren who get most of their meals on the go, firemen almost always prepare their own food and are legendary for producing some of the best comfort meals you can find. There are no paying customer’s where they cook but that doesn’t stop them from cooking with pride. Just like Firehouse Pub & Restaurant.
Firehouse Pub & Restaurant
33/26 Sukhumvit 11 (across from Q-Bar)
Monday – Closed
Tuesday – Saturday: 11:00AM – 3:00AM
Sunday: 11:00AM – 12:00AM