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Know the Best Beer and Food Pairing this Gawai Season

We always hear about what food goes great with wine, but in anticipation of the upcoming Gawai Dayak festival on June 1, KajoMag learnt about which foods to pair with beer thanks to a special pre-Gawai beer and food pairing session courtesy of Heineken Malaysia Berhad (Heineken Malaysia).

Held at LePau Restaurant, a Kayan restaurant in Kuching, we were treated to a variety of local Dayak dishes paired with different alcoholic beverages to match the flavour profiles, textures and aromas.

“This Gawai, we want to celebrate [these profiles] through good food,” said Corporate Communication Manager of Heineken Malaysia, Ng Eng Kiat.

“The accentuating notes and flavours of our portfolio can make good meals great. With this event, we hope to share a whole new way of experiencing traditional flavours on a plate.”

1.   Lager

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Pale lagers like Heineken, Tiger and Anchor are known for their peppery bitterness, clean and crisp flavours, making them easy to pair  with a diverse range of foods, from sweet to savoury.

As such, they go well with these subtle yet distinctive dishes like manok pansuh, stir fried rubbed tapioca leaves with tepus and what LePau Restaurant served up in its Orang Ulu BBQ platter which featured grilled meats like beef, chicken and fish.

For KajoMag, Heineken tasted exceptionally good with the BBQ platter especially when it was fresh off the grill.

Apart from barbequed meat, lager is also best paired with seafood, noodles and light cheese.

2.  Stout

Try some Guiness Bright, especially tailored for the Malaysian market.

An all-time KajoMag favourite alcoholic beverage, we were informed that stout goes well with earthy and tangy flavours like chocolate, beef, chicken, seafood and dried fruit.

We were also introduced to one of Heineken’s latest brews – Guinness Bright – which was launched in 2017.

Created especially for the Malaysian market, the brew is infused with coffee, ginger and lemongrass extracts.

And to pair this Guinness right, we were served the Dayak sour eggplant with smoked beef.

3.    Cider

Dinuh, topped with vanilla ice-cream is best served with apple cider such as Strongbow or Apple fox

For those who do not like the bitter taste of beer or stout, cider is the best choice.

Made primarily of apple juice, cider is an alternative that goes well with something tangy, crispy, dry and refreshing.

For our third brew of the beer and food pairing, we were served dinuh – Kayan traditional glutinous rice fritters together with Strongbow and Apple Fox Ciders.

Made from glutinous rice and palm sugar, the combination of the sweetness from the palm sugar with the fruity flavours of the ciders really complemented each other.

It also helps that the sweet light taste of the ciders added a lightness to the heavy meals that we enjoyed beforehand.  

Apart from sweet dishes, cider also goes well with chicken and pasta.

What will your choice be?

A selection of the traditional pale lagers -Heineken, Anchor and Tiger.

Now that you know what to pair your favourite alcoholic beverage with, tell us at KajoMag which one is your favourite food and beer pairing.

Do remember to drink responsibly during this festive season!

Through its Drink Sensibly campaign, Heineken has been advocating responsible drinking through a 5-point system:

1. Hydrate with plenty of water between drinks;

2. Eat well so your body is ready to handle the drinks;

3. Move and dance the alcohol out of your system;

4. Pace yourself through the night;

5. Taxi home to keep yourself and others safe.

To know the latest updates on Heineken Malaysia, check out their website: or their Facebook page at

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Terong Dayak
My mother loves to remind me that I used to hate eating vegetables growing up every dinner time. Please follow KajoMag on facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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