Riga – KwakInn

KwakInn is a small Russian chain of Belgian beer restaurants, with the first one having opened in St. Petersburg in 2009.

An Asterix style menu, colourful and fun.

“Life’s too short to drink bad beer”.

The interior design is colourful and vibrant, it all seemed well thought through. There’s table service offered for those not sitting at the bar, and the staff were efficient and pro-active. It’s a friendly environment, and there seemed to be both tourists and locals in the bar when I visited.

One page from the beer menu, which had around ninety options to choose from. That’s also a decent selection of dark beers.

This beer was a special, allegedly made by monks using holy water. Whether or not that’s entirely true, it had a rich and pleasant taste.

Gulden Draak, a popular drink in Belgium, which had a caramel and coffee taste to it. There are meant to be tones of chocolate, but my palate clearly isn’t sophisticated enough to detect them.

The warm chicken salad, which was well above average. The salad was reasonably well presented, with the dried orange slice being an interesting addition. The chicken was excellent, tender and having a depth of flavour, with the onion and croutons adding texture. The bacon was succulent and the hot elements had been separated from the lettuce to avoid it becoming limp.

The chain looks like they’re interested in franchising out the brand, and I can imagine this going down well across many eastern European cities. The branding is clean and bright, and there’s a fun feel to the whole operation.