Jolly - brewery and restaurant

By Claire Tyrrell Translated by Ann Lee

(02) 2632-2229
423, JinHu Rd, NeiHu District
(02) 8712-9098
29, ChingCheng St, SongShan District
Hours: lunch Mon-Sun
11:30 am-2:30 pm; dinner Sun-Thu 5:30 pm-12 am; Fri-Sat 5:30 pm-2 am
MRT: NanJing E Rd
Credit cards accepted. 10% service charge.
Smoking section allowed. Menu: Chinese/English

A true brewery and restaurant is somewhat of a rarity in Taiwan, but Jolly manager Lawrence Lin believes it is about time that island consumers had the opportunity to explore and appreciate the multitude of beers that Europe has enjoyed for so long. By providing a relaxed restaurant setting, Jolly encourages patrons away from the tradition of the swift "gan bei" (bottoms up) and towards slowly savouring the taste of a quality beer.

In warm months, patrons can sit on a pleasant outside patio and peruse the beer list, which includes Pilsner, the popular pale ale, Stout and Weizen. Lawrence was keen to recommend the Scotch Ale (7.2% alcohol). The special grain used to produce the ale gives it a distinct flavour, he tells me, the same way it flavours Scotch Whiskey. New on the menu is the Vienna-style lager, which uses Vienna malt during brewing for an intriguing medium bodied bevy that goes down nice and smooth (250ml-750ml, NT$90-NT$230). If you want to discover what suits your palate, you are welcome to have a quick taster or enjoy the beer set—choose four 100ml beers for NT$130. Beer cocktails, soft drinks and teas/coffees are also available.

At Jolly, they believe that the spice and tang of Thai-inspired food jibes perfectly with good beer, so Lawrence introduced some of the faves among the seafood and meat dishes. The Shrimp Cakes (NT$240), which sell particularly well, are deep fried and served with a tasty plum sauce. The traditional Lettuce Wrapped Bundles (NT$200), another top seller, are cabbage-wrapped dried shrimp, jackfruit, coconut and peanuts, flavoured with chilies, ginger and lemon, and topped with a house-made shrimp paste sauce to taste. The meals, designed to share, offer many more mouth-watering selections.

With a larger location in Neihu that has been open more than four years, Jolly is receiving a thumbs up, not only from the locals, but also from Westerners, which suggests that the beers truly do offer a taste of home.

Alcoholic driks are strictly prohibited for those under 18.