Oregon’s first Chinese food restaurant and brewery rolled up into one tasty roll is now open to the public. Already named one of the most anticipated local openings we previewed BTU’s unique concept last June. Last weekend we were treated to a soft opening to work out any kinks before the team opened to the public and although they do not have their own in-house beer on tap yet there is more than enough reason to visit because of the food and a great varied guest tap beer list.
The 7bbl brewery is all piped and plumbed, mill room and lager tanks shiny and waiting for use with only a paper from the feds holding up production. Brewer/Co-owner Nate Yovu tells me he is anxious to get a hoppy beer out to please the locals, after the first requisite Pale Ale he already has his sights set on a Fresh Hop beer. I am looking forward to his take on a Pre-Prohibition-style Lager with rice.
I am no Chinese food expert but I do enjoy it quite a bit, from Kung Pao Chicken and Fried Rice takeout on SE 82nd to spicy salty Lucky Strike on Hawthorne I was curious where BTU Brasserie would place on the landscape of asian inspired treats. After sampling eight or so dishes I would say BTU’s approach is clearly amongst the upscale but not upscale priced traditional and more minimalistic approach. The first thing I noticed was the attention to detail like the fact that you were given nor offered no western utensils only chopsticks and they even had their own chopsticks stand for each plate. So then I assume that the lack of any on table condiments is also premeditated (although it could be just due to the not yet fully open thing), there was no Sriracha or sweet chili sauce, not even any Soy Sauce. Another thing I did not notice until I was a handful of dishes into the meal, there was no rice served with anything, I scanned the menu to see it was offered as a side but as far as I can tell all plates were meant to be served as is.
The decor and atmosphere of BTU is mostly standard cafe/asian restaurant tables and chairs with the odd chinese art like a watercolor brush painting of wild horses, a giant golden waving kitty above the bar too cooler aspects like a huge incredibly heavy and old looking doorways and doors that look like they were removed from a castle. I dig the mounted horizontal collection of old butchers knives. Best of all it the beer list that looks like it’s been designed by sixteenth century feudal japan woodworkers who caught a glimpse of a modern day tapboard and tried to mimic it with their tools. It’s decorated each side in detailed ornamental carved dragons painted gold with what looks like wooden oak staves mounted inbetween displaying each beer.
It would be completely unfair to offer any kind of review on a soft opening preview without their own beers but based on the experience of our group we are all excited to return to BTU Brasserie.
BTU is now open starting at 5pm but closed on Mondays.
5846 NE Sandy Blvd