Pho Flavoured Beer

Pho Flavoured Beer

Category : Food

I know, it sounds diabolical, but there it was on the menu and I could not resist.

Pho is of course the noodle soup which is possibly the signature dish of Vietnam, and according to the label, this craft beer, made in Hanoi by Furbrew, uses light roasted malts to get the umami flavour of broth before adding the five big spices together with an infusion of red chilli.

To be honest, I wasn’t really expecting to enjoy this, but was pleasantly surprised. Not that I was completely convinced that it tasted of pho, which I’d already had for breakfast that day, so the flavour was fresh in my mind.

I was at a small place run by someone who’d got his big break on the Vietnamese version of MasterChef, and was eating a very interesting deconstructed banh mi. This beer, with its tagline:  ‘Untraditional. Unconventional. Unexpected.’, matched the concept behind the food very well. Although at 110,000 Vietnamese dong it cost twice the price of regular Hanoi beer, the chilli kick was great and it really complimented the herbs and pickles in the banh mi. One was enough, but I would definitely consider ordering it again.

Seasonal Sakura

Christmas can start as early as September in the UK, with decorations going up and seasonal specials on sale. Cadbury’s crème eggs have even been spotted in October, many months before Easter…

It’s not quite as bad in Japan, but still – despite the February snow – the spring time cherry blossom is hotly anticipated with posters, decorations and products submerging Tokyo in pink.

There are even seasonal brews from the big beer companies, with the limited edition cans adorned with shiny flowers.

Starbucks coffee shops also prove to be no exception, with these delightful if very creamy sakura flavoured specials on sale already. Daughter #1 was persuaded to sample the latte, which came with festive pink sprinkles, but not the sakura chiffon cake complete with blossom bud.

Her verdict: who can tell what cherry blossom really tastes like? The best drink by far was a regular hot chocolate topped with pink blossom shaped marshmallows.

Beer Ice Cream

Category : Food

beer ice 4 beer ice 2 beer ice 3

This sounded so bizarre I had to try it. Milk and beer? Not the sort of thing you would immediately consider to be a happy combination, although it is possible someone imagined this might be an interesting variation on the American classic root beer float.

Although it was advertised with a standing banner on Nathan Road in Hong Kong, the Little Corner ice cream shop where this is sold was down a side street and completely empty despite the crowds mere yards away.

I was surprised to see that they don’t just have plain beer ice cream, but a different flavour every day, and luckily I was there on a day when it came with a plain milk base rather than one mixed with green tea. (Beer with milk AND green tea?… I might not have been able to face that!)

At HK$42 it was a bit pricey, but not too expensive for such an unusual item. And to be honest, I quite liked it at first, although that may be because it was made with a slightly sweet ‘rosé’ beer that tasted almost fruity. Pretty soon, however, the harsh under taste of the beer came through and I came nowhere near finishing my cone.

An amusing experience, though.