The Steakhouse, Patpong: a red-light review

The great Electric Blue a-gogo has been converted into a steakhouse, by the name of The Steakhouse. As blue as I am to see the end of an electric era, I have to say….the food’s damn good. So let’s review it:

Having been a long-time patron of the aforementioned a-gogo, I was able to wrangle an invite to one of their test dinners in May. Jim, one of the owners and previously a manager of EB, asked if I’d have a meal, give them some honest feedback, and also write a review for Bangkok Nights. Free food—all I had to pay for was booze. So I did, and here it is.

It took me about 20 minutes to get past the fact that I was sitting in what used to be the best gogo in Bangkok. I kept looking at the walls, having short flashbacks to some of the best times of my life. I could almost hear an echo of the pumping bass and the high-pitched laughter of 20 gorgeous, scantily clad girls. I think I even got a small lump in my throat—I think it was in my throat… But that quickly vanished when I got a look at the beer selection. It seemed to go on forever. Even better was their wine list—get this: they light up. The wine lists. When you open them, they’re back-lit so you can actually read them without turning on your phone’s flashlight. Awesome. It was the same with the check-bin. And the wine list is spectacular. Kudos to whoever chose them. I was lucky enough to be sat with a couple—a fine Dutchman and his lovely Thai wife—who ordered a bottle of Barolo, which was served in a decanter, and which they insisted I share with them (I couldn’t have afforded it otherwise).  It married perfectly with the steak, which I’ll get to momentarily.

First came the starters: a Caesar’s salad—one of the best I’ve ever had, thanks to fresh anchovies, and a charcuterie plate, which goes by “mixed cold cuts” on the menu. There was a selection of cured meats, cheeses, olives, almonds, cranberries, and fresh figs. My table mate got the shrimp cocktail, which I didn’t try but he said was delicious. There was some coleslaw in the bottom, and he even inhaled that. I’ll take his word for it.

Then came the mains. The staff walked around with a giant tray of knives and we had to choose which one we wanted for our steaksperience. I got the biggest, most serrated one, of course. When the food arrived, it was on trays—not plates—made of slate that was hot enough to keep the food warm while dining. What a great idea. The lady in our party ordered Wagyu rib eye, her husband the Argentinian strip loin. I got the aged Australian tenderloin. Hers and mine were absolutely magnificent. Each a perfectly cooked, melt-in-your-mouth divine experience. The Dutchman wasn’t as happy with his, but to be fair it came out late (turns out they were short-handed in the kitchen and everyone had ordered at the same time, creating some mild chaos—management has since fixed the problem). He did try his wife’s and mine, and raved about them.

Sides were grilled asparagus, perfectly cooked and tasty, and “saute+onion” potatoes. The best way I can describe it is, the onions were caramelized over the potatoes creating sort of a candied glaze—both sweet and savory. I wanted to put some in my pocket to take home, but before I knew it I’d gobbled down the entire plate. The final touch was the type of sauce—there were 10 to choose from. I got red wine mushroom, and it was heavenly.


Finally, dessert. Dutch got the lemon tart. His wife, the crème brulee—both out of this world. I got the apple crumble. It came with a comically huge cup of vanilla bean sauce and I wasn’t sure how to make use of it until I tried my first bite—appley and only a little bit sweet, but very dry. That is, until I drowned it in the vanilla. I don’t often call food “fun” but that dessert was fun. Andy, the owner, then sidled up to our table and favored us all with a digestif that was an excellent complement to the apple crumble. It was salty caramel vodka. Magnificent.

All in all, it was a terrific experience. The décor is comforting, the staff are warm and friendly, and most importantly, the food is outstanding. Since that night I’ve been back twice, not to eat but to gulp down several pints of the Zoller Organic Wheat beer they have on tap. If the makers of crack cocaine brewed a beer, I imagine it would be something like Zoller Wheat. I’ll have to save up some money before I can expect to eat there again, so meagre is my salary, but my mouth is already watering with anticipation. Going to go for the Australian lamb next time, with garlic confit and coriander pesto. Also the garlic mushrooms. Maybe the onion rings. Holy cow, I’m hungry.

Until next time, follow me on Twitter for nightly photos from the red-light @BangkokSeven


A new gogo in Patpong?

I agree….simply stunning

Oh Yes Nana

Letter D this week