A Hidden Bavarian Beer Heaven (Guangzhou Restaurant Week Part Two)

The day after my “date with India,” I had early dinner reservations  at Paulaner Bräuhaus, a hidden gem known in Guangzhou for its (somewhat pricey) traditional Bavarian fare and fantastic house brews.  Despite its massive size  (it can easily accomodate 400 some people at one time), this bierhaus is tucked carefully away on the third floor of Taikoo Hui (太古汇), the ritziest shopping complex in Guangzhou and home to high end brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Dior, etc. I was still feeling the residual depression/crankiness from having my iPhone stolen the day before, but there’s nothing a little window shopping, some pretzel toting maidens and an oversized stein of chilled house hefe-weissbier (wheat beer) can’t fix!

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More after the jump!

With mpressive wooden benches, super high ceiling, generous portions and beer overflowing from massive steins, Paulaner Bräuhaus definitely does it big. You’d never suspect that it’s perched on the third floor of one the swankiest malls in all of Guangzhou.  From the exterior, you’d think you’re about to walk into a modern museum, with its glass panels and steel supports.  Once you step inside, however, you’re surrounded by pretzel toting beer maidens and solid wood.  Wooden benches, wooden tables, wooden barstools and counters, a perfect balance of new and old.  Minimalistic decorations and antique looking brewing tanks, flat screen TV’s playing European football and iron-cast lighting fixtures.  Huge fan!

Ordering was super easy — the Restaurant Week tasting menu was a fixed set, carefully handpicked by the chef.  Oh my goodness, I’m drooling just thinking about it!

CHEF’S SPECIAL TASTING MENU (178 RMB)

0.3l Paulaner Draught Bier – “Weißbier

This beer was a hit for me.  Not only did it have a beautiful golden color that was slightly opaque, but it was light, tangy, slightly sweet and super fizzy.  It was tastefully balanced but in a way that successfully highlighted the hero ingredient, wheat. This beer was as much of a joy to look at as it was to drink.

Münchner Kartoffelcremesuppn mit Wiener 

The soup was a munich potato-cream soup with sliced wiener sausages.  It was thick and creamy with a slightly grainy consistency.  The carrots were soft, but not mushy, almost buttery in texture.  The sausage added a smokey taste with an Asian flair that actually worked quite well along side the the flavors of potato and cream.  The soup overall was good, not amazing, but not bad.  I wish that it could have been a little warmer.

Paulaner’s Gourmet Teller

Paulaner’s Gourmet Teller consisted of a piece of crackling roasted pork knuckle, roasted Nürnberger sausages, homemade minced mixed meat patties on potato cucumber salad, sauerkraut, and mashed potatoes.  The pork was cooked to perfection.  The skin was golden and crispy while the meat was tender and loose, textured almost like pulled pork.  I could easily pull apart the meat without the use of  knife.  Simply amazing.  The two types of potatoes really brought another level to this dish–one traditional creamy mashed potato that was topped with a medium-well burger patty and other one a tangy potato salad with pickled cucumbers.  Don’t let the humble presentation fool you, the flavors of this dish were super complex, as were the textures.  I absolutely loved the contrast: the crispy with the soft, the creamy with the sour, etc. It was a very fun, multi-dimensional dish.

Warmer Apfelstrudel mit Vanillesauce und Sahne

For desert, I was served a warm apple strudel with vanilla sauce and whipped cream.  The pastry was soft and buttery and the apples were sweet yet slightly crisp, despite being fully cooked.  The raisins added yet another level of richness and tartness that worked well with the nutty flavors that were hidden in the apple filling.  I loved the melted sugar web and homemade whipped cream.

Service

I really can’t praise Paulaner enough for the amazing service I received.  Maybe it was because I was dining solo, spoke Chinese with a slight American accent, had my DSLR and was scribbling in my notebook, but I personally felt like I was being treated like (food critic) royalty!

I originally had dinner reservations for 6:00PM just in time for the start of the Restaurant Week dinner menu service, but ended up getting hungry around 3:00PM, completely worn out from exploring Taikoo Hui.  Not only was I seated right away, but Paulaner Executive Chef Stefan Poguntke actually made an exception and offered to prepare my Restaurant Week tasting menu three hours early.  During the short wait for my meal, my waiter was extremely attentive, offering me reading material and letting me know about future events at the restaurant.  When I received my food, he returned during each course to check on how I felt about the meal.  I really appreciated the care that the staff of Paulaner showed for its patrons

Great food, excellent beer, amazing service.  I will definitely return again!

Paulaner Bräuhaus
Address: 3rd Floor of TaiKoo Hui Shopping Centre L307, 383 Tianhelu, Tianhe District, 510620 Guangzhou, China
+8620-2808 6333
Opening hours: 11:30am – 1am

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