It is certainly a novel idea, but is a trend that is apparently picking up pace in the US, and has been brought to Penang by one of her partners.
“We believe we are the first outlet in Malaysia to cook and pair with beer,” she said. The chic outlet opened its doors in Precinct 10, Tanjung Tokong, at the beginning of this year.
One draw could be the extensive number of beers they serve: their menu lists no fewer than 17 different types, local and imported from Belgium, Germany, Japan, Denmark, and even as far away as Mexico and the US.
It also includes a well-researched table of helpful information like price, alcohol content — usually from 5-8 per cent — and IBU (International Bitterness Unit) Scale, a measure of the bitterness of the beer, which can be anything from 5-100, although it generally falls somewhere between 20-40.
Another unique feature here is their beer cocktails which can only be described as ‘interesting’ — the Blue Ocean Beer is a case in point. It’s a local brew (Carlsberg) laced with blue curacao liqueur. Another is the Chilli Beer, possibly designed to make you order another to chase it so you can cool your tongue: it’s topped with cracked peppercorns and a chilli padi or two; a sip or two confirmed that it is indeed quite spicy, although for masochists who don’t find it hot enough, they will be happy to provide more!
Personally, I prefer my beer neat, but the Cranberry Fever, seasoned with lemon and cranberry puree, was quite refreshing; it’s rather like drinking a carbonated Ribena, albeit with alcoholic content.
Although Yeoh admits that pairing is indeed very subjective and individual preference is key here, they will recommend dishes when asked. As a trained food scientist, she has a good idea what she is talking about.
The food, which they refer to as “beer cuisine”, is a mix of local and Western food, and have been paired with the beers on the advice of a US consultant, and tend to be with grilled food — hence the name.
There are generally two categories: the smoother, grain-based beers are supposed to reduce “heat” and therefore go well with spicy dishes, and malt/hop-based drinks, distinguished by its more bitter aftertaste, which pair well with rich or fatty food.
Their Signature Pork Ribs, marinated in dark beer to a secret recipe, were excellent, smoky and tasty, so tender it literally falls off the bone, and went very well indeed with the dunkel (dark) beer that they recommend.
Teetotallers and non-beer imbibers need not worry; not everything is cooked with beer. Classics are available; there are steaks and pastas, salads and that old favourite that no self-respecting Chinese drinker will eschew: roast pork, in this case home-made and a great accompaniment to the beers, as they contract the greasiness well.
As a final touch to a beer-heavy meal, how about trying their gooey Stout Chocolate Cake which is served with a … yes, you’ve guessed it — a chocolate stout sauce.
It’s really not a bad place to head to, especially if you don’t want to do battle with town traffic, and with music, wifi, and LCD TVs for the latest sports available, well worth popping in for a drink especially during Happy Hours (11am – 9pm) when you’ll get 250ml free with every 500ml you order, even if you don’t stay for the food — but then, I would.
Office workers out for a quick meal may want to consider their Set Lunches with free-flow coffee or tea, from just RM9.90++, and at weekends a semi-buffet is available.
Jalan Tanjung Tokong
Tel: +604 890 5157
Opening Hours (Daily):
11am – 11pm (midnight on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays) Closed from 3-6pm daily.