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Slow beer


Ordering a beer at the two-storey Asia Brewery at 3 Le Van Huu Street in District 1 should come with a three minute warning. The order's taken, bar man pours a glass of dark 'Munich' beer and here's the catch. It sits at the bar warming for three minutes while all six waitresses preen themselves and gawk at passing motorbikes. Some people can run a mile or more in the time it took my beer to cover the 30 feet of space between ale pump and table. On a chokka night, such behaviour could almost (almost) be forgiven. However, on this visit there are more waitresses than customers. Oh well... How's the beer?


It's a smooth contender for sure, maybe too smooth. Plenty of burnt, dark, barley bite with a chilled European nose - am I coming over all Jilly Goolden-like? It's no wooden bra though. If anything, it's a little too soft for my taste, but a gentle touch does cope far better with the tropics than a hop fuelled beast from Blighty. I stumped up 12,000VD for this glass. The 'almost obligatory' pistachios - nice touch, never seen those nuts on a Saigon bar table before - and a wet towel added a further 7,000VD to the bill. Like the Pacific bia tuoi I blogged up yesterday, the food has potential. There are twelve tanks filled with seafood including prawns, crabs, turtle, river and Moray eels. However, if the beer service is anything to go by, don't expect your food to arrive hot. The waitresses battled with the bill for five minutes and still managed to balls it up. Adding up one beer, nuts and towel is clearly harder than you might think. Service aside, this is a decent enough pint just don't nip in for a quick one on the way home as you won't find no brisk beer 'ere. View the business card.


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Over here in Germany it is customary to let certain kinds of beer sit on the counter for something like 3 minutes, before they are brought to the customer. It has something to do with letting the flavour settle down or maybe the bitter part of the beer is heavier and thus can settle down.

I am not quite sure why this custom exists, but the "Asia Brewery" probably just wants to be authentic.

In good beer pubs in Britain a similar thing happens when ordering a 'real' bitter beer. The process of pouring takes a fair while and the beer need to settle for a minute or so before imbibing. You can watch it settle up the glass. However, as you mention this is for certain kinds of beer. The beer at Asia Brewery doesn't need to settle at all, but I'll be back to check if this was a one off.

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