Red-Light Breakkie Battle Royale

Happy Sunday, reader. While we wait for a full reopening of the Red-Lights and make the best of the current tiny morsels of entertainment so generously doled out by the Thai govt, let us take a moment to praise those eateries near the RLDs that provide us with the strength we need to power through the day—and night. Who’s breakkie is the best? Here’s a breakdown of the best breakfasts near our fave gogo stomping grounds…

Soi Cowboy—The Oasis vs Scruffy Murphy’s

A couple years back, Cowboy got its own farang-friendly restaurant: The Oasis. I swung in there one Saturday before the plandemic for their full English (235b) and a bloody mary. And I have to say, I loved every bite. Maybe it was the atmosphere—I dined alone on the balcony as the sun showered the soi with radiant warmth while day laborers rinsed the stank off Cowboy with hoses. I never felt such peace and satisfaction on a visit to that RLD. Also, the chow was terrific.

Normally, I’m not a fan of black pudding or back bacon or beans for breakfast. Y’know, because I’m from California. But for some reason, all of the above hit the spot on my Oasis visit. The highlight of the plate were the sausages. I dipped my bites in a bit of egg yoke and mustard. ‘Twas heavenly.

Scruffy Murphy’s all-day breakfast lets you choose 7 items from a long list for 270b. I was well impressed with my plate. First, Scruff piled mushrooms on the plate, and they weren’t your run-of-the-mill shrooms, either. They’d been stir-fried with onions and other spices (some black pepper, I think) that gave ‘em a real zing. The white pudding was delightful, streaky bacon that was closer to what I’m used to, and a single pork sausage link that also reminded me of American-style breakfast fare. And speaking of reminding, the tomatoes for some reason made me flashback to breakfast on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. The only thing missing was my Essex girlfriend.

For this round, I think Oasis barely edges out Scruffy’s, though both joints did certain things really well. If I could, I’d combine Scruffy’s mushrooms and bacon with Oasis’ white pudding and sausage. Complements to both places.

 

 

 

 

 

Nana-Adjacent—Fitzgerald’s vs The Game

I kind of fucked up on this one due to an odd menu choice from the get-go. One Sunday when I was in The Game, I felt like trying something new, so I opted for their omelet, mainly because it included country-fried potatoes. Imagine my surprise when the whole thing turned up in a skillet, looking more like a frittata than an omelet. To this day, I’m not sure whether it was a mistake—but the ingredients matched the description in the menu so I just went for it. And it was AMAZING. All the ingredients (potatoes, bacon, sausage, onions) were baked under a bed of melted cheese, with salsa and sour cream on the side. I absolutely loved every bite of this meal and would eat it every day if I could.

And so, when I sauntered into Fitzgerald’s one day, I remembered my Game omelet and thought it would only be fair to order the Fitz omelet, as a kind of head-to-head omelet comparison. Fitz includes 3 choices for fillings, and cheese is one of ‘em, so I opted to pay extra for a 4th ingredient. In the end, it was cheese, bacon, spinach, and mushrooms. The plate arrived with a perfectly-fluffy and folded omelet, and what looked like stewed tomatoes on the side. I wasn’t sure what to do with that, so I left it alone. Fitz’s omelet was great. It was exactly what an omelet should be. I was a bit let down by the bacon, but that’s my own fault. I stupidly expected it to be American style bacon, and ‘twasn’t. It was back bacon once again—the bane of my Bangkok breakfast experiences. But overall, I’d give Fitz’s omelet a hearty thumbs up. And yet in my book, nothing can beat the amazing skillet-omelet-frittata at The Game. That thing was the tits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patpong—Shenanigan’s vs O’Malley’s

This is going to come off biased, because I eat at Shenanigan’s around 5 times per week. It’s my go-to gastro gas station and I fuel up there all the friggin’ time. And I love their breakfast. But I’ll try to be objective. Shagz also has a “choose 7 items” offering for 199b. I always get the same thing: kai dao, sausage, ‘streaky’ bacon (aka a distant cousin of American bacon), hash browns, mushrooms, tomato, and white pudding. I usually avoid black pudding because my Yankee sensibilities can’t handle it. But I really like white pudding. And Shagz always turns out a plate that both delights and satisfies. Of all the bkk breakkie venues, it’s the place where I feel most at home and happy—especially when I’m shoveling bacon and sausage into my face hole.

Except in a situation where I’m comparing breakfasts, I wouldn’t even darken the door of O’Malley’s. It’s off Patpong, and usually very quiet on weekends. But it happens to be my friend Lucky’s favorite place, so I went out of my way to visit last week for their Full Irish (300b) and a bloody mary (199 happy hour price). The plate came with a bunch of stuff I wouldn’t have ordered, given the choice—specifically beans, back bacon, and black pudding. I had one bite of beans. They were…beans. I can’t speak to their quality because, as I said, my American brain can’t accept the idea of beans for breakfast. The back bacon more closely resembled ham, and tasted like neither bacon nor ham. The black pudding was a pleasant surprise. Warm, gooey, sticky, meaty. I loved it. The white pudding was also great, and the ‘potato cake’ was scrumptious. The absence of hash browns (and condiments) bummed me out. The bloody mary was fantastic.

So I think I can say, without fear of bias, that Shenanigan’s beats O’Malley’s overall, though the latter’s puddings and potatoes were truly awesome. And that’s it for this week’s Weekly. I hope it inspires you to try one or more of the breakfast at these great restaurants in the near future. Tune in next week for a rundown of some of BKK’s hotel holiday buffets, and between now and then keep your balls warm, you belly full, and cheers to another week above ground in the greatest country on Earth—Thailand.

PS: I also want to include a quick honorable mention for The Stumble Inn on Soi Nana. A few years back, I grabbed breakfast there and was so impressed with the overall quality and sense of satisfaction from the meal that I find myself gravitating to Stumble multiple times per year, both for their burger and their breakfast (see the cover photo above).  Nicely done, Stumble.

And if you’re in the mood for more but don’t want to stare at words on your screen, check out the latest Sunday Rap podcast from bangkoknites: https://youtu.be/VX2xo6QFwRo