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CITYBiiru: The Cool and Funky Downtown Japanese Bistro
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Biiru: The Cool and Funky Downtown Japanese Bistro

Nov 13, 2018
Biiru: The Cool and Funky Downtown Japanese Bistro

Hidden in the shadow of the St-James Church you find Biiru. Although this Japanese brewery is in the heart of downtown, the small street on which it is located gives the impression that the restaurant is in a more intimate and remote corner of the city. You will immediately be charmed by the funky and trendy atmosphere of the place. It is possible to seat fifty people throughout the dining room, where several large tables are placed.

Huge windows make up the facade of the restaurant, allowing us to see the lights on the street, creating a different atmosphere when the sun goes down. The decor blends industrial elements with warmer ones reminiscent of a classic, friendly and unpretentious Japanese pub. Different lighting moods are created through several kind of lights, including Chinese lanterns. Beautiful posters featuring Japanese-looking characters give even more character to the place.

The Biiru is a fairly noisy restaurant if you go at night, but you will certainly have fun with your friends for a happy hour or a birthday dinner for example. Also open at lunch time, it is definitely suitable for a tasty and pleasant business dinner. During the summer, a magnificent terrace, hidden from the street, can accommodate forty people.

Asian inspired are used in most of their cocktails in order to fit well with the food. We tried the Abocado, made with cachaça, fresh avocado and yuzu, a small Asian lime-like citrus. We also tried the Hotei, consisting of Pisco, plum wine, grapefruit, grapes and soda. Asian beers are also available, as well as a small selection of sake to help you discover this little-known rice alcohol.

The menu at Biiru is thought to be easy to share, a variety of small dishes are offered, allowing you to taste almost every item on the menu if you go with several people.

There were four of us, so we decided to share everything and it was great! 

We first started the meal with the karaage chicken, served with a yuzu mayonnaise that brought an acidity that balanced the greasy taste (in a good way) of the chicken. The Karaage chicken, a Japanese fried chicken, is really a classic that we often find on Japanese pub menus. It was so delicious that we asked for a second plate.

At the same time as the chicken, we ordered the pork gyozas, tasty little ravioli that were carefully pan-fried to provide a crispy exterior and a moist and juicy interior.

Subsequently, Moshi yakitori, Takoyaki and Gyūniku tataki were served. The dish of Moshi yakitori was presented in the form of small skewers of moshi coated with bacon, accompanied by a spicy red sauce. For those who are unfamiliar with the moshi, they are small rice cakes with a texture similar to melting cheese.

The Takoyaki, more precisely octopus balls, were tender and tasty. They were accompanied by a tarragon mayonnaise a takoyaki sauce (sweet and sour sauce resembling teriyaki sauce) and covered with bonito, these small flakes of smoked and fermented fish that look like they are moving when placed on a hot dish.

Gyūniku tataki, or beef tataki, was made with enoki mushrooms, pickled daikon and carrots, shiso and a sesame vinaigrette. There was an interesting blend of flavours from each of the ingredients: the vinegary side of the pickled vegetables, the peppery side of the shiso (a very popular herb in Japan with a very unique flavour), as well as the delicate taste of the enoki mushrooms. 

The meal that followed was a pleasant surprise and probably one of our favourite dishes of the evening. A watermelon salad with mujol caviar, jalapeño, mint and shiso. A perfect blend of flavours quite refreshing and surprising. The melon was soaked in the delicious chili and maple vinaigrette which created an explosion of flavour in every bite.

We finished the meal with a cold ramen salad, salmon tartare and beef ribs.

The ramen salad was garnished with a ginger vinaigrette and ground cherries, cucumber, shiso, coriander and Sriracha peas.

The salmon tartare was very simple, but appetizing and just spicy enough, accompanied by tempura, rice and avocado. Nori sheets were placed in the bowl, you can use them as utensils to make the perfect bite and taste all the ingredients together.

Finally, the pieces of beef ribs totally delighted us. The meat was tender and the sauce was perfectly sweet and spicy. These last three dishes were just as delicious as all the others that we previously received, and concluded the meal perfectly. 

Biiru is the ideal place for a lively evening, to enjoy a variety of Asian dishes and to drink tasty cocktails, all in a festive atmosphere!


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