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Cheap Quality Food in Bangkok – Jeffer Steak

Jeffer

Bangkok is well known for its culinary delights, but over the years the average price for a meal is slowly moving on par with restaurant prices in many Western countries.  Even many of the chain restaurants like Pizza Company are now at (or even exceeding) the prices of similar pizza places in the West.

However, this week I will review a little gem that I first stumbled across almost a decade ago.  At the time, I was searching for a place where I could buy a steak meal (including drink) for under B100.  I was in the Mall, Bangkapi, and stumbled across a new place called Jeffer Steak.  They just happened to have a B99 lunch promotion that included a steak, vegetables, salad, mash potato and my choice of soft drink.  The steak was pork, and not that big, but when added with all the sides, it proved quite filling.

Since that day, almost a decade ago, prices have obviously moved upwards.  However, wandering into my local Jeffer Steak branch today (Terminal 21), I discovered that Jeffer is still one of the cheaper spots for a steak.  Today I decided to go with one of their “Super Bowl” promotions.  This consisted of a main meal (eg a steak, chicken, fish, with salad, chips and vegetables), an entree and a side.  I went with the Boston BBQ pork Steak whilst my partner in crime went with the grilled chicken.  Mine came with a large Caesar salad (complete with bacon, croutons and a yummy caesar dressing) and mushroom soup.  The Chicken came with six large onion rings (filled to overload with deep fried batter goodness) and a macaroni cheese and spinach side dish.  Pricing was a lot more than what I paid all those years ago, but I thought for the amount of food (it was a lot more food than what I received before for B99) it was a great deal.  The pork steak cost B229 and the chicken was B219.  In addition, I did find steak meal promotions for as cheap as B119.

Food

Why did I think it was worth writing about?  Because our meals were substantial enough that I couldn’t even quite finish every thing.  By the end of the meal, I was stuffed.  Normally when I grab a cheap meal in Bangkok (eg at a food hall) I am still hungry and will be searching for more food not long after.  However, this time around, I was stuffed, and ready for a nap.  I have been to some restaurants (that will remain nameless for the time being) where prices were high and the food quantity was so small that I thought they were giving me a tasting plate before serving the main course.  In Jeffer’s case, I was both happy with the food, and the price.  Even nicer is none of the ++ nonsense with the listed prices.  The prices in the menu are all inclusive.  VAT and service charge (if there is one) is already in the price.

Promotions

However, Jeffer Steak may not be for everyone.  Steaks are cheap because they typically use locally sourced ingredients (unless they specifically advertise something is imported).  For me, this is a non-issue as I like Thai pork and don’t mind Thai beef.  Of course, it is no competition for a decent US imported steak, but then again the price difference is B1,000 versus B200.  Also, some of the sides have a Thai slant on things and the menu may be a bit of Western steak fused with Thai food (or may come with a spicy sauce).  I quite like this, and for those looking to get into Thai food, this is probably a good way to start.  For example, some dishes come with a Thai somtam (spicy papaya) salad.  The Jeffer version is quite Westernised and easier on the Western palate compared to the street version.

Doing a bit of research on the internet (eg who owns Jeffer etc), I stumbled across some reviews where people were critical of food/service/cleanliness at Jeffer.  Being a franchise, this is always going to be a risk and quality will vary from franchise to franchise (and even from year to year or month to month between franchises).  What I can say is that I have eaten at Jeffer in Terminal 21 a handful of times in the last couple of years and my meals were consistently good.  I obviously can’t comment on other branches elsewhere, and one of the biggest benchmarks that I always use when deciding on trying a restaurant is whether or not people seem to be avoiding it.  This is to me the universal rule when looking for food.  If you don’t see many locals eating there, then there is probably a reason, especially if it isn’t pricey.

If you want to try it out yourself, Jeffer franchises have been springing up in most major shopping centres.  Previously I only saw them away from central Bangkok, but these days they are popping up in more central shopping centres as well.  That being said, they haven’t yet made an appearance at the high end stores along the Ploenchit golden mile (not even at MBK?).  However, look in the mid range centres instead (eg there is a Jeffer Steak in Siam Square).  You can search for locations via www.jeffersteak.com, or just type Jeffer Steak into Google Maps (I won’t bother listing them because new locations pop up all the time, so the listing will quickly go out of date).  Similarly, you will also find Jeffer Steak in most other tourist destinations such as Phuket, Pattaya, Chiang Mai and other major cities such as Korat.

 






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