Many people have been anticipating with great excitement the opening of Brewery Bhavana because of the high reputation its sister restaurant, Bida Manda has. Then, when the idea was released that Brewery Bhavana was going to be a brewery, flower shop, book store and restaurant many became thrilled for the doors to open! I mean how perfect does that combo sound? I highly recommend that you check out their website to see how this restaurant came about.
Walking into Brewery Bhavana was like going into an intimate village where everything seemed whimsical, crisp and elegant. The beauty of this restaurant is outstanding and is perfect for that romantic date out or a fun girl’s night. The table placement was so roomy, which I appreciated a lot. They could fit more tables to accommodate more people, but they respect the space that is necessary for this restaurant to be superior.
When we were greeted by our friendly waiter, Logan (I highly suggest you ask for him) he immediately asked if we have been there before and was ready to inform us on what we needed to know while dining there. Throughout the whole night our water was always full, Logan made sure that he checked on us regularly and our food came out so quickly. Overall, the service was above par and made the experience of eating there even more enjoyable. Thank you Logan!
The first order of business was to go over their beer menu of course. They own a brewery about a mile from the restaurant and use barrels that were used for wine storage for some of their beers, which impressed me. One of the beer choices was the White IPA, which I believe would be a go-to for warm weather beer drinkers. It was not hop forward and was mellowed by the chardonnay barrels in which it was aged. It is similar to a Blue Moon, except just a bit hoppier. The next choice of beer was the Foeder-Aged Imperial Stout. This beer is a double stout that was aged in an American white oak foeder for four months. The beer is dark, but very elegant. It is deceivingly light on the pallet but the flavor complexity is there. It has hints of dark chocolate and oak.
So, I do have to say that I might have never tried so much food before as I did at this restaurant. The menu was filled with so many great options and I wanted to experience everything. Luckily, my husband and I went with a foodie couple that did not mind sharing everything with us, because I am pretty sure I would have brought home leftovers for 3 days. The first items we ordered were the Seafood Dumplings (recommended by Logan) and the Duck Egg Roll. When the food came out our waiter also kindly brought along the Scallion Pancakes because he said that we HAD to try it. So, that was my first bite of the night and I have to say that I did not know how anything else would stand out. The scallion pancakes were served along oxtail in bone marrow topped with coconut-soy jam. I honestly did not know that it was oxtail until writing this sentence right now (haha) but I have to say, it is something you will have to order when you go. Mixing the oxtail and scallion pancakes brought comfort to my taste buds, it was slightly rich with a touch of heat and I felt like I was eating home cooking. Then, moving to the Seafood Dumplings, which were simply angelic. A quote from one of our friends was that it was “top of the game” and it was like a chef “took the best part of several different fish and made it into a sausage.” Not a heavy sausage at all either. It was very light and satisfying. We then had the Duck Egg Rolls that were good, but pretty standard compared to the other two items thus far.
This may sound funny, but I am a huge fan of buns! When I saw that they had pan-fried buns and steamed buns, I knew I wanted to order them. Our next course consisted of the Pork Bao, Char Siu Bao and the Pork and Snow Pea Tips Shumai. Flashback to the beginning of our food adventure, the waiter brought us out their house sauce which is a mixture of soy, ginger and red pepper. This sauce goes on everything. It is great with dumplings and the buns. The Pork Bao was one of my favorite dishes and something I would have to order again. The bun was soft, not too chewy and had a subtle sweetness. The filling was braised pork and black mushrooms, which was cooked perfectly. The Char Siu Bao was steamed buns stuffed with Cantonese barbeque pork, which was incredible. I thoroughly enjoyed the barbeque and I always have been a fan of any food item that had “barbeque” in the description. The Pork and Snow Pea Tips Shumai was one of the most popular dishes at our table. It was delicate, but for me I found it a little too salty, thanks to the caviar.
The last things we had to try was the General Tso Chicken and the Nasi Goring Crab Fried Rice. When I order from any Chinese restaurant, General Tso Chicken is one of my go-tos so I was thrilled to try it at Brewery Bhavana. It was quite delicious and the portion was a really nice size. The chicken could not have been cooked any better. I wish the breading was a little more crispy, but I really enjoyed it. It came out with a side of white rice, which is always nice as well. The Nasi Goring Crab Fried Rice was a pretty big portion as well and was Malaysian-Chinese fried rice with crab and covered with an egg crepe. The egg crepe was so different but made this dish so much fun and interesting to look at. I cannot tell you enough how loaded with crab this rice was. I felt like it was equal parts crab to rice and it was not oily at all. The rice could have not been any better.
Well, after all those good eats you would think that we would be done by now and we thought we were going to be too. Our awesome waiter, Logan, came out with two slices of cake from the local bakery, Common Kin to complete our phenomenal restaurant experience. They have a rotating menu from this bakery and on the night we went, we received the toasted coconut and vanilla bean cake and the bittersweet chocolate flecked sour cream cake. All of us were stuffed to the brim but we could not resist these two beautiful appetizing large pieces of cake. They were quite delicious.
This restaurant brought a whole other level of dining to the Raleigh eating scene. I have never experienced an atmosphere quite like it and the service was impeccable. Not mentioning the beers they offer and the food that literally takes you on an adventure. You can see, taste and feel the detail that went into creating this restaurant. This is a must try for any foodie out there.
Kristel works for an awesome marketing firm in Chapel Hill and studied at Liberty University where she received her Bachelor’s in Business Communications. She is passionate about eating real food and creating homemade meals that she can serve around the table for friends and family. Things that bring her much enjoyment are: being outside, eating at local restaurants, popcorn and watching TV shows with her hubby. On Saturday morning, you can catch her strolling through a farmers market with a latte in hand. Follow her on Instagram @kristel_kazda and check out her blog at athistableblog.com.