By : JOHN GRANVILLE
20 September 2019
About: When the Londoner moved out to Suan Luang, many of its old customers doubted the place could survive in its new location. The pub had operated very successfully for about 15 years at Sukhumvit Soi 33, and had only closed because the British owners, the Stamp family, had been unable to renew the lease. The family also owns a Thailand-based group of technical service and supply companies and were erecting new offices on the corner of Pattanakarn Road Soi 30. This is very much an emerging, prosperous residential district. So they built a new Londoner to the forefront of the site, adapting the concept to meet the change of clientele.
Decor: A brickwork cube on the exterior, the warm brick decor has been carried through to the interior walls and pillars, and gleaming brass work and sturdy beer pumps line the bar on the ground floor. Sports screens are placed around the room, and giant screens are lowered into place for special live events. On the floor above is a cosy bistro, with an open kitchen and indoor and outdoor seating. On the roof space is an al fresco lounge, with a rollback roof and sofa seating. In a sealed room next to the pub, its huge tanks and complex piping visible through an exterior glass wall, is the equipment brewing the Londoner’s own beers: a pilsner, low-carb pilsner, and an IPA. Two other beers are brewed in collaboration, namely a pale ale and a Belgian-style wit, or wheat, beer. The Londoner is Bangkok’s oldest microbrewery.
Menu: Chef Yao is in charge of the food, and although the menu has good pub grub at its core, the choice is very broad and includes a Kids’ Menu, a list of Thai favourites, and vegetarian and vegan dishes. The ingredients are of quality: lamb is from New Zealand and Australia, beef is from Australia and the US, and the fish is from the volcanic Lake Toba, in Sumatra. The batter for the fish ‘n’ chips (390 baht) is made from the pub’s own beer, the signature lamb shank (550 baht) is slow-cooked for six hours, and the beef for the burgers is ground in-house. We ordered up a 500ml pint of IPA at 190 baht (all three of the Londoner own-brand beers are the same price). One of us had an appetiser of Lake Toba fish goujons (210 baht), moist cuts of this premium fish lightly breaded, while the other had mini scotch eggs (180 baht) served with hot English mustard. We shared a plate of jalapeno munchers (190 baht), potato nuggets filled with cheese and jalapeno peppers served with a curry mayonnaise. For our mains, we had slow-cooked pork ribs glazed with Jack Daniels (380 baht for a half-rack, 695 for a whole), and a good old-fashioned bangers and mash, with fat Cumberland pork sausages and onion gravy (350 baht).
Evaluation: Probably better than it was before, and doing great business amongst both locals and farang. The prices are good value indeed, especially given the quality of both ingredients and preparation. Pattanakarn Road really is not so far from central, and the Londoner is well worth the trip.