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Scallion Pancakes & Braised Oxtail Bone Marrow
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Brewery Bhavana
Raleigh, NC

scouting report S. Be
09/01/17 Brewery Bhavana is not like any other brewery out there today. This "brewery" serves as more of a gathering or lounge in the middle of bustling downtown Raleigh. I have the great fortune to know the owners, brother and sister duo, Van and Vanvisa. And during this visit we were given the grand tour. The space is amazing with high ceilings and newly installed skylights (perfect for food pictures) and old world mixed with modern decor. As you walk into the brewery, you are greeted by a library and flower shop in the middle with the main bar to the left and main dining to the right and center. The decor and ambience is incredible and designed almost entirely by one of the owners, Van. The main focus of the brewery is the wide selection of craft beers, but their food options are not to miss. The food focus is driven mainly on dim sum/Chinese dishes, but integrates other various Asian flavors as well. Although we tried many dishes, the Scallion Pancakes with braised oxtail on bone marrow was the star. Just look at it, its an entire shin bone with oxtail!!! The scallion pancakes are light and flaky and have a mild onion taste that is balanced out with a coconut-soy jam/spread as a dipping sauce. The jam is salty but has a full nutty taste and aroma from the addition of coconut. The pancake by itself might lack attention but when paired with the jam, it makes a perfect duo. But that's not all.... accompanying the pancakes and jam is a Bone Marrow with Brasied Oxtail on top. This bone marrow is my replacement for butter any day. It is soft, silky, fatty and is perfect for spreading over a piece of scallion pancake. It maintains the beefy taste and almost crosses the border into foie gras territory. The brasied Oxtail is cooked in a soy & hoisin bath that breaks the meat down beautifully. It is not overly sweet or salty in flavor, with hints of garlic and has a thick sauce texture reminiscent of BBQ sauce but without the tang and spice. It too goes perfectly well with the pancake as its' vehicle to your stomach. This dish is approx. $10 and is Bigtime for sure. Highly recommend to get a reservation because Brewery Bhavana was recently named Top 10 in Bon Appétit's best new restaurants for 2017. Also, if you have enough room, grab a beer (I like the Wilt-Cherrywood Smoked Quad) or run next door to Van and Vanvisa's flagship restaurant, Bida Manda for great/authentic Laotian food (I recommend the papaya salad, Laos style with sea bass). Until the next BTB ✌🏽