With so much good food available along Arab Street, The Hangar is an honest, casual and welcoming spot that prides itself on unapologetically “serving coffee, sandwiches, salads… and sh*t like that”, according to its owner, Pav Khialani. The food is Asian-inspired, while the bar is well-versed in both booze as well as a hot cup of java.
With chill soundtracks to match the vibe of the place (we are huge fans of their playlist!), we managed to appease our grumbling bellies with a varied presentation of their top picks, complemented with a unique craft beer selection. When we asked Pav about the reception of The Hangar’s craft beer offerings, he confidently replied that many diners are open to trying them and actually move fairly quickly off the shelves.
With the positive sign of having to constantly re-stock, the buzz and hip factor of the area could also lend as a reason as to why the tastes and preferences of diners are a perfect fit for an establishment such as this.
Roasted Cider Lamb + Sheppy’s Cider (Raspberry)
Regarded as the chef’s specialty, this lamb isn’t like any other; it’s slathered with tangy glaze cider and served with a side of mashed cauliflower and gravy. With a low-carb option as your main meal, you can definitely afford to lend your calories to a pint of Sheppy’s cider, with its mid-sweet taste and crisp finish.
When enjoyed with the lamb, it manages to transform the glaze to taste almost like a honey caramel profile. The tanginess of the raspberry can be found in the lamb, even through the sweetness, which makes the dish an utter pleasure to eat – all without being too rich.
Assorted Tacos + Steinlager Pure
We had the honour of tasting three of their four taco selections – the Short Rib Beef taco, the Brazilian Spiced Chicken taco and the Beer-battered Seabass taco. Right off the bat, we were already looking forward to the fish taco because we’ve had so many wonderful similar ones elsewhere, and were expecting the same level of awesomeness from this one. First, let’s talk about the beer recommended to us for this match – the Steinlager Pure.
New Zealand isn’t known as beer country, but as the name suggests, it’s made from selection of the country’s finest hops, including a new variety called Pacific Jade specially commissioned by Steinlager. Pacific Jade delivers a smooth, refreshing flavour designed to appeal to a new generation of premium beer drinkers. On their official site, they recommend the beer to go with seafood, as well as palate cleanser for hotter dishes.
One bite of the Short Rib Beef taco, and we’re instantly reminded of the traditional rendang, a popular rich meat dish originally from Indonesia. Although it is not as rich as rendang, the texture feels familiar and is indeed very savoury. Needless to say, the Steinlager Pure is the perfect cleanser for this taco, and refreshes the mouth effortlessly without washing out the rich flavours of the taco.
The Brazilian Spiced Chicken was a let-down because its primary premise of being spiced was barely noticeable. Regardless, this allowed the Steinlager Pure to really get to work, with its hoppy notes coming through. When we finally got to the Beer-battered Seabass taco, we were just a tad concerned that the batter would clash with the recommended beer pairing.
So, we were delighted to find out it didn’t at all, and in fact, enjoyed every last crunch of the deep-fried seabass – especially that delicious chipotle mayo! Just like Steinlager Pure promised, it did go very well with this particular taco, and manages to cut through the grease, finishing off smoothly. Not the best fish taco we’ve had, but it definitely makes it into our top five!
Chilli Padi Gambas + St Peter’s Cream Stout
Another chef’s specialty, the dish is a no-fuss shrimp recipe that’s bathed in roasted garlic and chilli padi, served with a side of toasted bread. At first look, it looks just like another Asian dish we’re familiar with – the sambal balado – which is an Indonesian chilli sambal. No disrespect to this dish at all, we thoroughly enjoyed it, right down to wiping the plate clean with the toast! It was sweet and sour and only mildly fiery.
After tasting the dish on its own, we knew instantly that the stout would make an ideal complement, given its chocolate profile. It’s smooth and velvety in texture, and carries with it very little bitterness, which we’re avid fans of. When we put the two together, it allowed the spices to really coat our palate and made the flavours more pronounced.
Wani’s writing has always spoken on her behalf far more than the spoken word. Her emotional relationship with food is almost as intense as her crazy love for HIIT workouts. Having written all things lifestyle, Wani now embarks on her freelance journey, journalling her epicurean trails and sweaty gym sessions with relentless fervor.