Malt Crystal in Banqiao

Address: Nanya South Road, Sec. 1, No.8, Banqiao (新北市板橋區南雅南路一段8號) (map)

Tel: (02) 2272-7007

MRT: Fu Zhong (Exit 1)

Hours: 12:00 ~ 24:00 (Friday and Saturday until 02:00)

Accepts: Cash, Visa, Mastercard

Service Fee: 10%

Price: $$

Let the Good Times Flow

Working late and living in Banqiao generally means a lack of good restaurant choices after 9pm. For night owls like myself, the only choices upon returning home are McDonald’s, Yoshinoya, and 7-11. So you can imagine how happy I was to find another viable late night option in Banqiao. Malt Crystal (website) offers “real Bavarian beer” and other German fare. Nestled between a Holiday KTV and a 7-11, bus 99 drops you of literally right in front of the restaurant.

A shot from the outside

The inside is not super fancy, but adequate. TV screens play various international music videos from Channel V, while the staff is dressed in what seems to be “maid costumes.” It doesn’t match the theme 100%, but it’s not too big a deal. Overall the atmosphere is warm and inviting, and is a great place to hang out after a long week of work.

Inside Malt Crystal

One of the best things about Malt Crystal is its beer. Here’s a shot of the bar:

The beer bar is open!

They actually brew their own beer (at an off-site brewery) and claim to use real Bavarian recipes. I am not a beer expert by any stretch of the imagination, so I brought along my German buddy to give it a try.

The Malt Crystal menu

They have two types of beer on the menu. One is a pilsner, while the other is a darker caramel beer. 500cc of pilsner is priced at only $100NT, and the equivalent size of caramel is $120NT. The other option is to go for the 2500cc size, which only goes for $430NT. Being big fans of value (and alchohol), we of course went for the 2500cc option.

2500cc's of good times!

The beer itself was smooth and refreshing. My German friend commented that it tasted like a mixture of white beer and pilsner, but he still enjoyed it quite a lot.

Up next was the food. Their menu consists of burgers, salads, pasta, pizza, fried food, and some “German-themed” mains. We started with the Mixed Platter ($300). You can choose any three items from a variety of fried delicacies. We decided to go for the fried mozzarella, lemon chicken strips, and chicken wings.

Fried food platter

All of the items were quite good, with the fried mozzarella being the standout. I wish they did give you real marinara sauce rather than straight up ketchup, but it was still enjoyable.

For our main courses, my friend went for their Cheese Beef Burger ($250):

Cheese Beef Burger

The burger tasted nice, albeit a bit lacking in toppings. I remember the bun tasting like one of the buns you get from a Taiwanese breakfast place, which was a bit strange. At least they do give you a salad and some crispy fries to go with it. The fries are especially fresh and tasty.

For my main, I opted for the Prime Ribeye Steak ($380):

Ribeye

The steak was surprisingly good and cooked very nicely. I ordered medium and got exactly that. It was juicy and tasty, sprinkled with a bit of steak seasoning to give it a little bit of kick. There’s even a small side of steamed vegetables, seasoned potatoes, and gravy. For $380, I don’t know if you can ask for much more.

So did you like it or what?

All in all, I did enjoy my time at Malt Crystal. The beer was great, and even though the food is not the best (or even all that German for that matter), it is a pretty good value. The ribeye was especially impressive. I’m going to give this one 3.5 Yums – so better than good. If you want a relaxing place to hang out with your buddies and not break the bank doing it, Malt Crystal is a safe bet! – TY

3.5 Yums

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