By : KEN BARRETT
29 February 2020
About: Arnaud Carre is owner, butcher, and head chef of what is becoming a beef empire in Thailand (and shortly, Vietnam). He is from a five-generation linage of butchers, is from Brittany, in France, and spent fifteen years in New York before moving to Thailand. Arno’s Butcher and Eatery on Naradhiwat Soi 20 opened a few years ago, and with its dry-aged beef cut and dressed in the French style, and cooked over an open flame, or sautéed or braised, the restaurant immediately became a reservations-only destination for beef lovers. Arno's next opened the first Arno’s Burgers, not far away, on the other side of the road at Naradhiwat Soi 15, a few metres away from the Arkhan Songkhro BRT stop. Since then, he has expanded to key locations elsewhere in Bangkok, and to Pattaya and Chiang Mai. Our review is of the Naradhiwat 15 branch, but the menus are standardised across the burger outlets.
Decor: A single-rise burger shack, with redbrick walls outside and in, square windows almost at pavement level, and plenty of car parking space, Arno’s is the kind of simple diner that would pass without notice in the United States, but at the high-rise end of Naradhiwat stands out as a homely little beacon. To the left inside the door is the tiny open kitchen with its big grill, and a few cuts of beef are on sale here in a glass cabinet. There are seats in this section, but the main dining room is through the archway, and with a few outside the total seating is for 95 people. There is absolutely nothing fussy about the decor; it is basic and functional, and rather cosy.
Menu: The bulk of the menu is of course burgers, using dry-aged beef, but there is a surprisingly large range of other dishes. There are several cuts of Charolais beef, a French breed of cattle, aged for 45 days and 75 days, and with prices starting from 390 baht for 200 grams. Pork and lamb are available, there are mussels, Hokkaido scallops and Canadian lobster (the latter a whole piece at 935 baht), five types of salad, and a handful of pasta dishes. The burgers are California style (180 baht, 320 baht for the Double), and New York style (220 baht, 390 baht Double). Plus there are chicken teriyaki, spicy pork, and vegetarian options. We ordered a New York Traditional (220 baht), and The Arno’s (360 baht), a 200-gram premium burger with dry-aged beef and a topping of foie gras, along with the standard tomatoes, caramelised onion, and lettuce. The waitress asks how you would like your burger cooked, and our medium-rares arrived exactly medium rare. These are burgers how burgers should be: the beef properly ground, rather than finely minced, and slightly crumbly because they are pure beef. There is a choice of side dishes, and we opted for fries and curly fries. Beers, wines and soft drinks are available.
Evaluation: Quality at a low price, and we don’t think you will find a better Bangkok burger. Service is bright and efficient. We have tried this place so far only for lunch, for which it was ideal, but it would also appear to be a good evening venue, especially if you are watching the pennies.