Monday, June 30, 2014

Witbier Cafe - Pairing Beer With Comfort Food

I used to frequent Kandahar Street to buy home the wonderful swiss rolls from Rich and Good Bakery. In the last few years, along that same stretch, a number of chill out bars have popped up to provide a nice after hours place to relax and unwind.

Witbier Cafe was among the first to headline that area, and among the owners of this establishment is a beer importer with a passion for good food.

It is no surprise then that you will find delicious craft beers here, and in the pursuit of giving their customers a good beer pairing experience, Witbier has also put in some thought in their food menu.

The cafe bar is spread across two different shophouses, and the place has just been recently renovated. The new look is decidedly relaxed, simple and cosy. It looks like the ideal chill out area for office folks to have a good pint and food to go along.

Relaxing Surrondings

Their beers include all forms of European imports, from ales to pilsner beers, and then some. There should be a beer for every pint lover here. The owners have also crafted their food items with an eye to match the appropriate beer for the food that you will be having. In all, there are about 30 types of craft beer on offer here.

Belgian/German Pilsner

We started off with a pint of what I thought was either Belgian or German Pilsner, and though I am not a beer expert, my dining companion reliably informed me that it was good.

Served icy cold like all good beers, it was light and foamy, and was appetizingly refreshing. A great way to start an evening of comfort food.

Grilled Lamb with Mint

The grilled lamb was simple but comforting. Nicely crusted and seasoned, the lamb was medium but retained a moistness within the meat. Garnished with some mint to take away some of the gamey flavors, pairing with the pilsner was a wonderful way to savor this protein.

Fried Chicken Wings

Even better was this plate of fried chicken wings. Unlike some bars, they do not use batter here and I think it is a good decision. They make their own chilli sauce which was fantastic, and the sharpness of the chilli sauce, coupled with the cold beer, really brought out the salty fried flavors of the chicken wings really well.

Otak Bruschetta

The best dish of the evening was this cleverly concocted plate of otak spread on top of a bruschetta that was neatly cut into smaller bites. The otak that they used was a good quality, full of flavors and tasted like the muar otaks you get from across the causeway. Again, a great way to go with the pilsner beer.

Chimay Ale

For our second beer of the night, we had this sweeter tasting Chimay ale. It had a stronger bitter aftertaste as well, and felt less gassy than the pilsner. We were told that this would go better with red meats like beef.

Beef Chilli Nachos

The beef chilli was comforting and hearty, and the right amount of spicy heat that was not overpowering. The nachos were your regular standard salted ones, and the ale went a long way to help alleviate the saltiness.

Striploin Steak

The steak was somewhat thinner than what you would get in a fine dining eatery or bistro, but for the price it was charging, I was not complaining at all. The fries were decent, and the beef was also cooked to a medium to well done state. The exterior had a nice crust from the caramelization and the meat was still moist despite the temperature of the steak. It was well seasoned too.

Grilled Chicken Wings

Apart from fried wings, you can also elect to try their grilled ones as well. Personally, I liked the grilled ones better as the smokiness from the grilling added a new dimension to the wings. Served with the same homemade chilli sauce, this is the perfect beer food that is both comforting and addictive.

The beers are really the exceptional element of Witbier Cafe, and for those who enjoy more than the usual draft beverage, some of the selections here will certainly impress the beer lovers to no end.

As for the food, it is straightforward bar grub that is unpretentious and hearty. Yet, the kitchen takes much care in the preparation and the presentation of their dishes, and the pricing does not hurt either. That alone makes it an ideal dinner choice.

Instead of having a meal elsewhere and popping here for a drink, Witbier Cafe is one of those rare bars that actually provides not just the beverage aspect, but it is a great place to get some decent food too.

That is also why Witbier prefers to be known as a cafe and not a bar. I tend to agree too.

Witbier Cafe
32 Kandahar Street

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