Last Updated: November 13, 2019
As the year comes to an end, my newfound motto is: “Treat yourself.”
That’s why when I was told to pair food dishes with Sapporo Premium Beer, I went all out and picked five of my favourite hawker and local dishes for the ultimate lunch with my colleagues.
Why Sapporo Beer, you might ask? There’s a reason why it’s the oldest beer in Japan (it’s been around since 1876) and why it’s one of the top-selling beers in Asia and Japan—it’s absolutely delicious.
It’s smooth and tasty, with a floral and citrus touch, which makes it great for pairing with rich dishes like mala, laksa, and so many more.
Here are 5 un-beer-lievable local food pairings with Sapporo Beer for a hoppin’ good time.
I love mala xiang guo. I absolutely love it. There’s just something about the numbing spice, full-bodied saltiness, and mouth-watering pepperiness that makes it an utterly satisfying meal.
Ask anybody in my office and they’ll tell you my typical lunch order—mala with pork belly, cabbage, and instant noodles. In fact, let me tell you my all-time favourite mala stall: Big Mouth Ma La Xiang Guo 大嘴巴麻辣香锅, located within Toa Payoh HDB Hub’s basement food court.
Their mala spice is unlike anything I’ve ever had—its salty spiciness comes from its seasoning, so it’s never overly oily, and it’s always fragrant and accompanied with a good amount of wok hei. Plus, I suspect they add black beans into its sauce, which makes it even more aromatic and piquant.
Pairing it with Sapporo beer was such a luxury. The light and floral beer not only whet my palate, but also helped to ease the numbing spiciness and oil. I loved how crisp and clean the Sapporo beer was, and it went super well with all my favourite mala ingredients, such as salty lap cheong, crunchy lotus root pieces, and even the tender pork belly slices.
Big Mouth Ma La Xiang Guo 大嘴巴麻辣香锅: 480 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh, HDB Hub, Gourmet Paradise, #B1-01, Singapore 310480 | Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Daily)
I swear by char kway teow. This popular hawker dish is my go-to when I’m craving something smoky, salty, and fragrant.
To be frank, the dish itself is actually quite simple—it’s just stir-fried flat rice noodles with light and dark soy sauce, beansprouts, fish cake, pork lard, cockles, Chinese sausage, and chilli—but there’s just something about it that makes it so addictive.
I’ve been buying my char kway teow from Joo Chiat Place Fried Kway Teow for years. It’s a quaint little stall that shares its space with a Teochew porridge place, and has been dishing out fragrant char kway teow since the 1950’s. The lady behind the stove fries the kway teow with a practised familiarity and flips the wok with ease, which speaks volumes about her experience and skill.
Her Char Kway Teow (S$4/S$5) is spicy, smoky, and meaty, and filled with a ton of wok hei. I loved it that it had just the right amount of gravy to ensure that it wasn’t swimming in sauce, nor was it dry and starchy, and I easily downed a couple mouthfuls of char kway teow before stopping for a well-needed drink.
This was where the Sapporo beer came in handy. Fresh out from the fridge, the Sapporo beer was icy and refreshing, and it was so smooth that I had no problem diving right back into my plate of char kway teow. The light sweetness balanced out the smoky pepperiness from the char kway teow too, and by the time I knew it, I polished off my entire plate whilst downing my last sip of Sapporo at the same time.
Joo Chiat Place Fried Kway Teow: 59 Joo Chiat Place, Dong Cheng Eatery, Singapore 427783 | Opening Hours: 11am – 8pm (Thu – Tue), Closed on Wed | Website
Babi pongteh is a much-loved Peranakan dish and is usually served during festive seasons (*coughs* Christmas is coming soon). Braised or stewed pork belly is immersed in a luscious dark and thick sauce with fermented black beans, and served with a bowl of fluffy white rice.
I loved how rich and flavourful Guan Hoe Soon‘s Babi Pongteh (S$12.80/S$18.80/S$25.80) was. It was packed with garlicky, savoury, and meaty flavours, and I could taste a hint of vinegar and chilli, which added a tangy sourness to the dish.
Sapporo’s lager beer was crisp and dry, and it really helped to cleanse my mouth of the babi pongteh‘s richness. Without the beer, I’d probably have had half a bowl of braised pork and gravy-soaked rice before I called it quits for being too jelak or thick.
Plus, tender and juicy pork belly with cold beer—what could be better?
Now, it’d be a sin if I didn’t pair Sapporo beer with a sushi platter.
During my time in Japan, I remember fondly ordering plates of fresh sashimi or sushi and pairing it with a hot bowl of miso soup or a mug of refreshing beer.
There’s a reason why this food-beer pairing is so popular—the light hoppy flavours from the beer bring out the sweetness from the Japanese rice and fish, as well as simultaneously elevating the salty earthiness from the soy sauce and wasabi.
I got my sushi from the food court right next to my office, as I knew it sold affordable and fresh sushi platters. A handful of assorted maki sushi (rice and filling wrapped in seaweed) only cost me S$2.70, and a tray of uramaki (filling wrapped with seaweed, and then rice) only cost me S$4.20.
I loved how the Sapporo beer was light enough such that I could still taste the natural sweetness from the sushi toppings, but its carbonated and crisp texture helped to whisk away any fishiness that might have come from the sashimi. Its mildly floral, fruity, and citrusy taste was incredibly refreshing.
Gourmet Paradise: 480 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh, #B1-01 HDB Hub, Singapore 310480 | Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Daily)
Beer and satay is always such a timeless classic. I envision myself sitting at hawker centres with a group of friends and ordering plates of sambal stingray, oyster omelettes, and heaps of satay sticks, and downing it all with glasses of cold beer.
I’d like to think that beer and satay is our local version of beer and peanuts or potato chips—it’s so addictive and you can’t just stop at one stick of satay.
Because it was in the middle of the day (most satay stalls only open in the evening), I got my satay from Oopen Pasta & Grill, a casual and budget-friendly restaurant located in Novena that serves up pizza, pasta, Asian fare, and local favourites.
A pack of 10 Chicken Satays (S$15.90) came with roughly chopped up ketupats, cucumbers, onions, and a bowl of thick peanut sauce. Not only did the Sapporo beer cut through the oiliness from the sauce and the fatty greasiness from the satay meat, its fizzy citrus notes also complemented the nutty richness from the peanut sauce.
Oopen Pasta & Grill: 6 Irrawaddy Rd, Singapore 329543 | Tel: +65 6808 9815 | Opening Hours: 12pm – 10pm (Daily)
Despite being a lager beer, Sapporo Premium Beer is so versatile and can go well with anything. Its light hoppy flavour is great for going together with spicy dishes; its citrusy floral taste complements fish or sushi dishes; and its carbonated fizziness makes it an ideal drink when pairing together with rich, thick, and jelak dishes.
Head down to any major supermarket, convenience store, mini-marts or e-commence to enjoy your Sapporo Premium Beer.
Want to win S$500 worth of Takashimaya vouchers? Purchase any Sapporo Premium Beer and SMS the following to +65 9455 6673: <SETH> <Name> <Email> <HP> <Receipt Number> Terms & conditions apply.
*This post is brought to you in partnership with Sapporo Premium Beer.