Hanrahan’s Sukhumvit Soi 4 – Water Ripoff – Update

| August 15, 2011 | 63 Comments | 35,097 views


I like Hanrahan’s. I like it so much I have been eating there on a regular basis over the past couple of months for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The food is great, good hamburger, excellent fish pie, succulent pork ribs, good breakfast special before noon, the view out the window is good entertainment, and a couple of the waitresses are very pretty.

I just don’t like the water scam they run – 50 baht for a bottle of privately bottled faucet water and when you ask for “water” with your meal they bring the bottle over, open it, and pour it before you can object.

So when I don’t want to drink coke, I have been asking for “tap water” or free water. Translated to English, I ask for a glass of water with ice not bottled water.

I have done this 3 or 4 times in the last month. The first couple of times there was no problem but today there was a big problem.

I ordered lunch with a friend and asked for “tap water” and the 300 baht Big Breakfast.

A bottled water was brought and being familiar with the water scam, I stopped the waitress from opening it and explained that I wanted “tap water” or “free water”.

She left with the unopened water and returned after a long delay with a glass of water.

At one point I wanted a refill, so when the waitress was near the table I asked her for another in polite Thai by pointing at my glass and saying “aw iik na kha”. The waitress nodded an acknowledgement but never bought the water.

After awhile I called her over to the table and told her again that I wanted her to refill  my water glass.

Another glass of water was brought after a long delay by a different waitress.

Throughout this whole process, voices were never raised, impolite words were not exchanged and most of the time I was smiling.

When our checks were presented, they were presented by the head waitress. When she returned with our change, she delivered the change with a lecture which basically went:

We gave you a break this time but next time no more free water.

The tone of voice and the message reminded of The Soup Nazi from Seinfeld.

I didn’t say anything in response just looked her right in the eye until she became embarrassed and walked away.

My friend and I paid our checks and left chuckling all the way.

I don’t know the moral of this story but I guess the free water policy at Hanrahan’s exists no more.




I don’t know if this should be labelled a scam or just American marketing coming to The Reservation.

It’s happened to me twice at Hanrahans on Soi 4. The first time I wrote it off as an accident. The second time forces the conclusion that it is Hanrahan policy. A policy that is just a ripoff of unsuspecting customers.

What happens is you ask for water with your meal.

At other restaurants, a bottle of water and glass of ice are brought and the charge is typically 15 THB.

At Hanrahans, a “designer” bottle of water is brought and the charge is 50 THB – >3 times the customary charge and not that far from a bottle of cheap beer. Before you can say anything, the waitress has opened the bottle and poured it into the glass. No time for an objection.  Most of the time, the customer is unaware they are being stuck with an unrequested bottled water that costs 400% more than normal.

What you get is not really a designer water like Perrier or Pelegrino (which you would have to explicitly order) but a bottle of tap water with a label that is produced and sold to restaurants for exactly this purpose. These are the same bottled waters that are provided free to poker players at Los Angeles casinos that say “Commerce Casino” on the label but are just tap water placed in a bottle. In the U.S. they cost about 10 cents in bulk.

Chains and upscale restaurants in L.A. run the same sort of scam with water and ice tea. Order ice tea which usually costs $1-$2, comes in a refillable glass with ice and the waitress will ask you if you want regular, passion fruit, or herbal. If you answer anything but regular, a privately branded bottled ice tea is brought that costs $4-$5. Frequently its brought to the table with the cap unscrewed and pre-poured making an objection difficult.

Same cheesy trick being played by Hanrahans on Soi 4.

In the marketing literature this is referred to as an upsell but when you are upsold without giving consent it borders on a scam.

I don’t want to give the impression, I’m trashing Hanrahan’s because I’m not.

Besides the water scam, Hanrahan’s is one of the superior English Pub’s on the reservation and has a great location, atmosphere, and sexy service staff. It’s the best eats on Soi 4 and its subsoi’s and also the best ambiance.

Foods good and the window seats have an excellent view of the Hilary club girls.

Their English Breakfast, pictured below, is top notch. Not up to the Dubliner but damn close.

For 300 baht with coffee, it’s a good deal.

Everything else I’ve ever ordered at Hanrahan’s has been good too.


Comments (63)

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  1. Hungry Man says:

    The economy is hurting everyone.  What I’d like to know is just where do you eat and get water for only 15 Baht?  Sidewalk stands?

  2. freewheeler says:

    50bt + 12.5% service charge + 7%VAt
    Your water cost you 60bt.
    Two and a half hours work for a Bangkok Pizza Hut delivery driver.
    Bargain if you ask me
    And Hungry Man, if you eat at the food stalls on the street they charge you 30bt for your food and the water and ice is free.
    Hanrahans will be shut within the next year.

  3. Ronru says:

    Howzat for a rip-off. Sam 2000 on Soi Cowboy and I was charged 180Baht + service charge + VAT for a shitty can of Coke!

    And looking at Hanrahan’s breakfast for 300Baht, I’d much rather stuff myself on the buffet table at my hotel. 

  4. Uhhhh Huh says:

    Hmmm… who was it that once wrote the following?

    My maths is based on there being NO customers in the Mango bar, thus, no one walking into the bar won’t be noticed, as it won’t be shaking anyone up from their reverie… Justin – “Just curious, how come the Mango Bar lost you as a customer? Seems like an interesting story is not yet told by you.” I have explained my reasons several times over these threads — hmmm, maybe it is hard to track them, with all the garbage being allowed to litter the place…?

    Basically, I am loyal to establishments, organizations, and people I respect — with the kind of garbage flowing over to here from Mango, and it being clearly condoned by Mango management, I see no reason to support that kind of behavior with my wallet — not to mention that the food isn’t even that good (or quick) to warrant trekking over to the new location.

    Like I said, I find Hanrahan’s to be closer, faster, and better quality.

  5. freewheeler says:

    You are so so bitter dafne
    LMFAO – you GOAT!

  6. SBDOTKU says:

    I dislike the Big Mango, dull generic bar, dull unattractive girls, bland food and way too cliquey.    

  7. Raider says:

    It’s not hard to figure out why no one wants to bother taking a motorcycle taxi all the way down Soi 4 to drink cheap beer, get sick eating the greasy burgers, and sit around all evening listening to boring semi-fictional self glorifying pontificating from nasty bitter haters who invested and lost their life savings bankrolling The Big Mango.

  8. Raider says:

    I’ve got to agree with Hungry Man that there aren’t many western pubs or restaurants where you’re gonna get water for 15 baht.  I’d say 30 to 50 baht is a pretty standard price.  You can get 15 baht bottles of water in non-air conditioned restaurants serving Thai food, but that’s not what we’re talking about with Hanrahan’s “English” Pub, is it?
    By the way, Bacarra charges 100 baht for a small bottle of water (maybe 200 ml?).  Most of the other go go bars on Cowboy and in Nana plaza charge the same price as a bottle of beer for a ‘standard’ sized bottle of water — typically 130 to 150 baht.
    If you want to order water in Rainbow 4, forget it.  They don’t serve water there, and if you don’t order something to drink, the security guys will escort you out.
    All in all, I don’t feel very outraged at your ‘rip off’ story.

  9. END OF STORY says:

    Since when is Hanrihan’s an ENGLISH Pub? Last time I was there it was an IRISH Pub. Let me check the website…..yea, says they’re an Irish Pub.

    Do you get ANYTHING right? Apparently not.

    Maybe you can call their customer service the same way you called AIS’ customer service and use that reference to save face.


  10. Dazed and Confused says:

    Its incredible what strong emotions Kenny arouses.
    We are talking about the price of a bottle of water in a restaurant?
    Same goes for the Smartphone article.
    Who cares if the Iphone is not so great?
    Am I missing something?

  11. Prince of Persia says:

    End of Story,
    You must remember that Kenny is an American. To most American’s Ireland and England are the same. Call an Irishman and Englishman and you are asking to brawl but to Americans they are the same. Same as Mexicans, Nicaraguans, Hondurans, and Guatemalans. Among themselves they are distinct but to xenophobes like Kenny they are the same. English Pub. Irish Pub. No difference.

  12. Sockpuppet #5 says:

    Kenny is a ROCKSTAR.
    Either you love him or hate him.

  13. Jimmy Smithers says:

    I hate him because I am fucking and rubber doll in Georgia and Kenny’s dick is probably worn down to a #2 pencil from too much vagina. Why he needs penis enlargement. No mystery.

  14. END OF STORY says:

    Thank you Prince of Persia. That makes perfect sense. I was beginning to think his stupidity was genetic, but come to think of it, being raised in the wrong environment can be just as damaging.

    Kenny AKA Dazed and Confused. Don’t you have enough balls to comment under your own name? To feign ignorance and indifference is weak. Really weak. Fitting nick though.


  15. English Professor says:

    Word of the day: Irony
    Used in a sentence:
    Ironic that End of Story says Kenny is “weak” for posting under an alias but he is posting under the alias End of Story.

  16. anal digger says:

    You fucking dork.
    It said 50 baht in the fucking menu, so why the fuck are you complaining or calling it a scam?
    If someone wants to sell a product at an inflated price but advertise it as such why complain?  JUST DON’T FUCKING BUY IT!
    Commie bastard.
    BTW, as a purpose built pub,  Hanrahans sucks.  Shocking design and hardly any customers.  It only hasnt gone bankrupt because it’s owned by the same people as Robin Hood, which is financially the most successful pub Bangers.

  17. Kelvinator says:

    Yea, when i first read BBK last year i thought Kenny was a dork. I’m just sure to see that nothin has changed and he still be writin crap. Fitting that he failing in most things he writes about here and got no class with all the bullshit he lets go.

  18. Dr Love says:

    After talking to Daffy Duck recently I can say with confidence he is still a piece of Euro-trash. A nasty IT geeky dickhead you might say

    Hey don’t get me wrong, I like the guy, he’s just as arrogant as me. Speaking of which when are all you losers going to get a real job & stop being loser teachers earning a crappy 1000 baht a month!

  19. Dr Love says:


    I might be arrogant but I’m never wrong. I meant to say $1000 a month. Who would work for 1000 baht a month unless you’re Daffys live in ladyboy lover?

  20. NotDaffy says:

    Daffy lives in southern California and claims to be an IT consultant so he doesn’t qualify as “Euro-Trash.”
    The only thing we know about this cyber-stalker is that he is into an “alternative lifestyle”, whatever the hell that means, and the bull shit he has told people to build up his brand name.
    If he is like most lower Sukhumvit Expats, 90% of what he says about himself is fictional and most likely he is just another low life lose without a job or life back in the U.S.

  21. Dr Love says:

    Daffy Ducks ‘Alternative Lifestyle’ means playing in the nude with other men and having them put their man-sausage up his poopenheimer

    And this nonsense “the real Dr Love wouldn’t be seen dead on this site” is just more delusional thinking from Daffy. There’s alot you don’t know about me Harry Zink

    Daffy means well for a man with Aspergers Syndrome – his form of Autism leading to his unhealthy interests such as stalking and mens bottoms

    Your staight-up talker
    Dr Love 

  22. rob says:

    50 baht is a “deal” compared with Bully’s 80 baht for the same plastic bottle of water in 7/11 at 10 baht.
    The burgers at Bullys were quite good til recently when I noticed multiple tough fiber like strings in it.  On occasion I entered with an oishi black lemon teas already drinking cause its hot in BKK. The server said I could not continue to drink it so I said ok, cancel my food order. She then changed her mind and said ok. Water almost half the price of the burger platter???? Bullys has many customers so its not like they need to rip off people. The inebriated owner of Bullys had also interjected some foul language towards me.
    Theres a multitude of upscale restaurants that charge 15 baht for that bottled water. EG; Fuji Japanese, MK, Yum Saep, and many many upscale places at emporium and siam paragon, etc etc.even Gullivers, a pub/reataurant has reasonably priced water.
    Perhaps appealing to some, that english breakfast does not look like a bargain at 300 baht. Theres buffet places even at hotels that cost less and get more.

  23. crickets says:


    chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp!!


  24. crickets says:

    gloo, gloo, gloo…. chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiiiiiirp, chiiiiiiirp!

  25. crickets says:

    water always wins … chiiiiirp, chiiiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiiiiirp, chiiiiirp, chiiiiiiiirp!!
    chiiiiirp, chiiiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiiiiirp, chiiiiirp, chiiiiiiiirp!!
    chiiiiirp, chiiiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiiiiirp, chiiiiirp, chiiiiiiiirp, chiiiiirp, chiiiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiiiiirp, chiiiiirp, chiiiiiiiirp!! 

  26. crickets says:

    It’s over PRUFROCK, order some water, you’re irrelevant!

  27. Cheap Ass Econ Professor says:

    I’m as cheap as bangkok buddy.

    However I can afford a computer with a spell checker.

  28. crickets says:

    cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap!

  29. crickets says:

    Buddy, buddy, buddy, buddy… cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap,  cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap

  30. Cheap Charlie's Revenge says:

    Welcome to our club Kenny.  We’ll get you on the newsletter so you know where the cheap all you can eat buffets, happy hours and freebies are at in Bangkok. 

  31. bitch and moan says:

    You wrote an article complaining about the price of water.

    There’s dumb, then there’s this.

  32. Capt. Charles says:

    Agreed, this is dumb. Who gets their panties in a twist about water and then writes a blog story about it.

  33. Shit on a Shingle says:

    Kenny keeps going back so long as the shit sandwiches are good. Visit http://www.ratemydoodie.com to see what kenny is made of

  34. To Fix Or Not To Fix says:

    Such a travesty!  Thanks for bringing this outlandish practice to everyone’s attention!

  35. THIS IS NEWS! says:


  36. uhhhh-huh says:

    do you like the tap water because it has feces floating in it?

  37. Inside Story says:

    To access the super secret Bigbabykenny.com site and see what is on kenny’s mind click on bigbabykenny.com\xxxxx

  38. Hmmmmmm says:

    A 50 baht scam!!!! Stop the press!

  39. Yuckles says:

    This is a real snoozer of a story.

  40. Temple Pedo says:

    still crying about your water episode Mr. Kenny?

  41. Angry Crickets says:

    chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp!

  42. Ohm says:

    A story about ordering water in a restaurant. Are you kidding me?

  43. watermelon says:

    Editor’s Note – Content Deleted


  44. Purple Avenger says:

    Purple water!  

  45. Bwahahaha says:

    Hmmmm…. “editor” (ie Kenny) deletes more content he considers “offensive”, yet this same “editor” (i.e. Kenny) also deliberately replaces numerous links to other websites with “http://www.ratemydoodie.com“.

    Odd double-standard for “offensive”, don’t you think? 

  46. Curious says:

    “No Censorship” — right!

  47. Curious says:

    Broken images – again! Hahaha!

  48. Wayback Machine says:

    Did you write this Prof Kenny?

    “In addition, there are a contingent of regular STREET WALKER SUPER MARKET girls who are owned by Thai guys. Either their Thai boyfriend pimps them out for money or they are owned by the Thai/Cambodian mafia. If all you are doing is short time banging these girls are acceptable but they are not good for much else—– and the banging is pretty pedestrian. They have no incentive to foster repeat business and probably aren’t even keeping the cash they generate.
    Using the STREET WALKER SUPER MARKET is easier if you have a car.

    With a car, you can drive up, get in line, crawl along the line of girls, talk to the ones you are interested in and easily transport the chosen ones back to your condo/house/hotel.”

  49. Update.... says:

    Images still broken, just like Kenny.

  50. Purple Avenger says:

    Editor’s Note – Content Deleted

  51. Purple Avenger says:

    Purple water majesty!

  52. Stupid Customer says:

    I think it’s just a stupid Asian-American customer who cant read

  53. Crickets says:

    Chirp Chirp Chirp……

    Awww shit, Graham I’m sick of doing this crickets thing. Can I just come to your bar, suck your knob, & upgrade your iOS?

    Harry Zink 

  54. SWSM is Kenny Speak For Street Walker Super Market Whores Hookers Prostitutes for Sex Tourists says:



  55. SWSM is Kenny Speak For Street Walker Super Market Whores Hookers Prostitutes for Sex Tourists says:

    We need more about Kenny v1.0 negotiating and paying less for sex.

  56. SWSM is Kenny Speak For Street Walker Super Market Whores Hookers Prostitutes for Sex Tourists says:

    How many brothels do you visit on each trip to Thailand?

  57. SWSM is Kenny Speak For Street Walker Super Market Whores Hookers Prostitutes for Sex Tourists says:

    What does kenny think is the most important message on BigBabyKenny version 1.0? Looks like is was this

    “All to serve the higher purpose of getting laid better, cheaper, and more efficiently.”

  58. SWSM is Kenny Speak For Street Walker Super Market Whores Hookers Prostitutes for Sex Tourists says:

    Kenny, was your higher purpose in life negotiating sex with hookers?

  59. Tommy says:

    Hello.we are interested to boinkog this room in varin on pattaya beach for 2adult and two children(13 &15 years old..we come to lipe 15january and move on 19januari=4nights .We stayed in varin febr 12 6days and we like it very well .please contact us if you have free room this period and prize for usbest regard Michael with family

  60. Graciela says:

    Hello.we are interested to boinkog this room in varin on pattaya beach for 2adult and two children(13 &15 years old..we come to lipe 15january and move on 19januari=4nights .We stayed in varin febr 12 6days and we like it very well .please contact us if you have free room this period and prize for usbest regard Michael with family

  61. Property Management Partners Thailand says:

    You can find me in Singapore. Had to leave Thailand in a hurry…..

    William Gaynor

  62. Graciela's Revenge says:

    Booking or bonking is the same for you I guess since you’ll do it there.

  63. Hi Valerie,I believe that depends on your own email account. We will send you a confirmation once your submission has been logged, so if you don’t receive confirmation from us within several days, feel free to get in touch to inquire about your entry.Thanks! If you have further questions, please direct them here: best,Claire

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