Paulaner Brauhaus (Kempinski Hotel)
There are a handful of brewery/restaurant combos in Guiyang. Some have great beer and alright food, others have really good food and crappy beer. Paulaner’s brews shine and their food is lovely. It comes at a premium, as both are priced higher than the other options around the city. However, they have a great happy hour special on the beers, so you can buy one and get a second free before 8 PM. This includes all sizes, so if you have a good group together early, you can hit the sizeable patio with two 3-liter beer towers for the price of one. Servers generally speak decent English, though you will probably need to repeat special requests more clearly if you’re asking something that they don’t hear every day.
Paulaner offers live music in the evenings, with an energetic Filipino band. You can expect lots of pop hits, rock classics, and audience involvement if you want to join in singing or dancing. The band has the day off on Monday, though, so if you want to enjoy their sets, make sure to come any other day of the week.
When the weather is nice, they open their very large patio. It’s surrounded by greenery and has plenty of large tables. On your way to the patio, you can also find a foosball table in the hallway and have a game or two.
Paulaner’s food is largely German in origin, with hearty offerings of sausages, sauerkraut, and soft pretzels. Prices, as mentioned above, are commensurate with the quality of the food and atmosphere. All meal orders also entitle you to hit up the salad bar, to grab a single plate of salad as a side. In the past, this salad bar really enhanced the dining experience, but in recent times, some of the best ingredients have gone missing (no real bacon bits, no croutons, and no chickpeas!).
Another major boost to your meal order is the bread tray that comes with it. Three kinds of bread come with butter, schmaltz, and a liverwurst pâté. It’s a hearty side to already delicious food.
The varied menu has many dishes that shine, but its German sausages are truly a mainstay. I’ve recently sampled the veal sausage, which, with added pork fat, comes out as a tender and juicy sausage that encircles a nest of crisp fries. Also pictured above, the pork knuckle is the specialty of the house. Served with mashed potato and sauerkraut, the pork knuckle is a heap of savory pork with a crispy shell of perfectly done fat that melts in your mouth. Note that the size of the dish in this photograph is significantly smaller than the portion you would receive when ordering from the menu.
One place where Paulaner differs greatly from other local establishments is its size. The beer hall is much, much larger than most of the hole-in-the-wall type bars we’ve featured in the past. It gives you a lot more space to enjoy your food and brews, and plenty of leeway to do a little dancing and walk between tables to get to the washroom or salad bar. The size also lends itself to events such as parties or large dinners.
The atmosphere is a welcome change from many of Guiyang’s other establishments, though the live music can get a bit loud for conversation during their sets.
They also host some great parties for holidays. You can expect something for Oktoberfest, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. These events are usually based on ticket purchases, and offer some food and drinks as well as entertainment for the evening.
Paulaner is pretty easy to find. It’s part of the Kempinski Hotel, and its entrance is on the opposite side from the hotel entrance. If you head to Hunter Mall, look across the street from H&M and you’ll see their wooden storefront beside the crosswalk. Head in the door, walk to the end of the hall and look for the elevators to your right. They only stop at the ground floor and the beer hall. Hop in, hit the button for the 6th floor and head up.
TAXI (to Hunter Mall): 亨特购物中心
Contact Tony Xiao, Food & Beverage Manager (185-8699-9939) to enquire about specials available for parties of 30 or more guests.