GAB puts a Spin on Food and Beer Pairing at Oktoberfest

GAB puts a spin on food and Beer Pairing, at Oktoberfest, at Tai Zi Heen, Prince Hotel Kuala Lumpur..

Malaysians have been drinking beer with everything, since the dawn of time. But few might have drunk beer as part of Chinese fine dining, or at a deliberate beer food pairing event.

The mix of food and beer goes beyond the bar paraphernalia, as I discovered last week, when I sat down to the menu, at Tai Zi Heen at Prince Hotel KL. It listed instead, a smorgasbord of chinese style, fine dining dishes, paired with Guinness Anchor Berhad (GAB) beers. I was really looking forward to how well each flavorful dish would be matched to an equally flavorful beer. This whole concept of going beyond bar food, e.g. burgers and steaks and to pair nontraditional food with beer, is rather creative and exciting, I think. After all, wine, I feel, should not rule the dinner table.


Using beer as a culinary tool was the name of the game, and perfectly coinciding with Oktoberfest, GAB and Tai Zi Heen came up with a 3 course beer pairing promotion to celebrate “For The Love of Beer”. This promo will actually be on for the entire month of October, so if you are a beer lover, you are strongly encouraged to check it out.


Since we were invited to the beer pairing event by GAB, we actually got to try all six dishes that were paired with the beers Tiger, Guinness, Strongbow and Paulaner. In this 6-course special dishes prepared by Chef Michael Wong, Ta Zi Heen’s Chinese Head Chef, each dish was designed to be paired with a particular beer to bring out the unique taste profile of the different GAB beers as well as enhancing the taste of the food.


First up.. the dark horse of beers..


Would this dark and mysterious beer triumph.. or fall flat when paired with the first course.. we would soon find out..


Wok seared five spice salt dusted foie gras; Beijing smoked duck wraps drizzled with passion fruit vinaigrette, paired with Guinness

The deep, dark and mysterious Guinness that evokes a sweet bitter aftertaste was the ideal companion for the rich and decadant foie gras and smoked duck. The Guinness also added balanced to the complex five spices and the fruity zing and sweetness of the passion fruit. On its own, both the foie gras as well as the Beijing smoked duck might have been too much of a mouthful, but Guinness’ alchemic magic scaled back the decadence. So very clever!


According to Keith Nair, the GAB Beer Ambassador, “Tiger, Guinness, Strongbow and Paulaner are uniquely different taste profiles being a lager, stout, cider and wheat beer respectively. While drinkers can already tell the differences when they savour the beers, the unique flavours of the beers truly come alive when they are paired with the right type of dish…this beer pairing menu with Tai Zi Heen is a great opportunity for diners and beer enthusiasts to sample GAB’s unique range of beers with decadent dishes.”


Suanie, inhaling a good nose of the Strongbow, before tasting her soup with it..


Hot and sour seafood soup with unagi-parmesan stick Paired with Strongbow

Crisp, sparkling Strongbow evokes campfires in aroma and taste, an ideal companion for the hot and sour seafood soup that was served next. A crunchy stick of unagi-parmesan provided a perfect contrast, tempered the sharp tasting seafood broth and was further accentuated by the beer’s gentle, sweet essence. It’s like the beer was brewed for this dish. I take another long pull on the Strongbow, before finishing off my soup. Another great match.. so far we are rolling along nicely with this food beer pairing session.


the lovely Oktoberfest ladies, serving the beers..


a nice head on the Paulaner


Honey soy glazed oysters on asparagus and toasted sesame seeds paired with Paulaner

When I took my first bite of this course, I found the honey soy glazed oysters too sweet for my liking. As I paired it with the Paulaner, the sweetness of the glaze and the heaviness of the oyster were somewhat alleviated, making the dish more bearable. Not my favourite, but at least not as sickly sweet as before.


Baked cod fish with garlic crust Paired with Paulaner

Next up, the cod. I normally like my cod fish cooked with as little fuss as possible. Salt baked is best but this garlic crusted Cod Fish was pretty good too. The natural sweetness of the cod and the aromas of the crusty skin were deepened by the mild Paulaner.


Next up, the Tiger..


Kong Poh style chicken with dried chilies and cashew nuts in yam ring Paired with Tiger

And last but not least, the surprise for the night. If you think about what quenches your thirst best on a hot day, it would be a icy cold glass of beer, for sure. And nothing quenches better, the hot and spicy Kong Poh chicken, than a glass of Tiger. This light lager definitely picks up on the ambient smoky ‘wok-hei’ flavor of the Kong Poh and the crispy Yam Ring. It also enhances the characteristic flavours of the Kong Poh seasoning, making this my favourite dish of the night!


Purple sweet potato garnish with mango ice cream accompanied with lotus paste Chinese pancake Paired with Strongbow

I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, preferring a warming, post-dinner scotch (ahem!) but this “smoking” dessert was just too tempting to pass up. The dessert of purple sweet potato, mango ice cream and lotus paste Chinese pancake really melted into the beer. Strongbow’s candy sweetness is a perfect match for the lotus paste in the crispy pancakes.


Tai Zi Heen’s “For The Love of Beer” 3-course beer menu is available throughout GAB’s Oktoberfest Celebrations from October the 1st till the 31st, at RM150++ per person. Each dish will be paired with Tiger, Guinness, Strongbow and Paulaner and each diner can take home a special limited edition GAB’s Oktoberfest 1L ceramic mug.

Apart from the special promotion at Tai Zi Heen, this year, GAB has planned a range of promotions and celebrations to make the world’s largest beer festival one to remember. Apart from its stellar iconic offerings of Tiger, Guinness, Heineken, Anchor, Strongbow, Kilkenny and Paulaner, GAB is also going to complete beer lovers’ Oktoberfest experience by bringing Paulaner Oktoberfest Bier, the Original Munich Oktoberfest beer to Malaysia.


To further make beer lovers’ happy hours happier, GAB has planned an extensive beer promotions campaign at all consumers’ touch points including pubs and bars, coffee shops, restaurants and retail outlets. No Oktoberfest is complete without the iconic beer stein or mug and this year, GAB’s Oktoberfest will feature a limited-edition 1L Ceramic Mug – a piece that beer lovers will be able to take home with every purchase of 1L of Tiger Beer.

With so much love in the air, GAB is pulling all stops to ensure that their fans’ affections will be well reciprocated for sure..

At selected Bars and Clubs:
Take home a limited edition GAB’s Oktoberfest 1L Ceramic Mug with each 1L Tiger beer purchase.
At selected Supermarkets:
Consumers who purchase their beers from retail outlets such as Cold Storage, Mercato, Village Grocer and Jaya Grocer will enjoy store discount.

Refreshment outlets (i.e Coffee shops and Chinese restaurants):
For every purchase of any three big bottle of Tiger, Guinness or Anchor, consumers will get a discount of RM3. Consumers can also enjoy the flexibility to pair any of the three bottles between the three provided selections, to suit each individual’s preference.

To add more excitement, GAB is introducing a Facebook activity called the Biermeister, where beer lovers can hunt for more rewards. Log on to GAB’s Oktoberfest Facebook page to check it out.

[Olympus logo]

Please show our FB page, some LUV! thanks!

Tai Zi Heen,
Level 2 Prince Hotel KL,
4 Jalan Conlay,
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 2170 8888


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *