Those who love a meaty barbecue done right now head straight to Beard Brothers’ BBQ.
A FEW years ago, Nazri Jameson was at a loose end. The culinary arts graduate had worked in a couple of restaurants but wasn’t sure what to do next. His brotherin-law suggested he look into pulled meats. Nazri turned to the Internet and quickly became fascinated by what he saw. Soon, he had developed a full-blown obsession with churning out perfectly barbecued briskets.
Brisket is a notoriously tough piece of meat to work with, as it has to be cooked right in order to yield tender, gelatinous meat. Nazri took this task to heart, spending close to five months honing his barbecued brisket and using up nearly 120kg of meat in an attempt to achieve his vision of perfection.
“Those were very dark times. But again, it was an obsession, so I worked and worked on it day and night and tried to perfect it, and it took about five to six months before I could say, ‘Okay, I think we can sell this’,” he says.
So with his brother-in-law and a German friend, they started Beard Brothers’ BBQ, working out of his wife’s grandmother’s house and taking orders from interested customers.
Fast forward four years, and Beard Brothers’ has moved to a proper commercial lot in Tropicana Avenue in Petaling Jaya. Nazri also has new partners (all have beards, in case you’re wondering) in the form of another brother-in-law, Sayf Taufik, and good friend Afif Ter.
Business at Beard Brothers’ has been pretty brisk. On an average day, the guys sell about 95 to 100kg of meat, and this volume increases to about 130kg over the weekends. Queues are fairly common and often, they sell out by 8pm!
Part of this success can be attributed to the level of dedication Nazri and his team have devoted to getting the barbecued meat to the point that it is at now.
To begin with, he invested in a custom-made 1.2 tonne smoker. His meats are cooked using the smoker and wood – in this case, local rubber and mangrove wood.
“There was a time when we were using hickory and maple wood. And I thought to myself, ‘Malaysia is a land full of trees – why are we not using local wood?’ So we tested out 10 to 12 kinds of wood, and the end result was quite good actually,” he says.
Then there is the labour involved in cooking the meat (sourced from Australia) and it takes a whopping 20 hours from start to finish. The meat has to be first thawed, then trimmed. Then a dry rub made up of a secret concoction of spices is massaged into the meat and left for three to four hours.
The meat goes into the smoker at 8pm, which is when Nazri’s graveyard shift team comes in (Nazri is so particular about the quality of the meat that he stays overnight too!). From then on, it’s all about tending to the meat – checking it constantly to ensure the temperature is right.
At 8am the next morning, the meat is taken out of the smoker and left to rest for a good three to four hours before the eatery opens at noon.
“When people start streaming in, all we have to do is cut the meat – so it looks simple, but there’s hours and hours of work behind it. People still don’t know that. They think it’s just slapping meat on a barbecue,” says Nazri.
To begin your carnivorous adventure at Beard Brothers’, you’ll have to first decide how much meat you want to eat. The three meat options on the table are all sold in 100g portions – pulled lamb (RM22 per 100g), beef brisket (RM19 per 100g) and beef short ribs (RM24 per 100g for grass-fed and RM30 per 100g for grain-fed).
Nazri recommends 100g portions for singletons and more if there are more than two people eating. The beef short ribs, however, generally weigh in at about 300g per piece, so you’ll probably have to order that much to get a single portion.
You can also get an entire set meal for an extra RM7, which bags you mashed potatoes, coleslaw, baked beans, potato bun and a drink from local outfit Pop, My Soda.
If you’re feeling particularly ravenous, you can order the Triple Threat Platter (RM125) which encompasses 100g brisket, 100g pulled lamb, a beef short rib as well as four side dishes.
So does the meat live up to all the hard work that goes into it? It most certainly does! The pulled lamb is a thing of beauty – tender and totally devoid of fibrous, chewy strands. It is also extremely juicy from the house-made appleheavy sauce that is drizzled over it before serving.
Then there are the beef short ribs (the guys highly recommend the grain-fed variant as it has a higher fat content, so is likely to be juicier). This is probably what you’ll keep coming back to Beard Brothers’ for. The awe-mazing hunk of meat has a delightful fatmeat balance that means you’ll be biting into alternate bits of meat and fat that are just fall-off-the-
Nazri and his team tend to the meat in the smoker from 8pm to 8am, checking it constantly to make sure the temperature is right.
The pulled lamb is juicy and tender. With the set meal, you can get a couple of side dishes to boot, the star of which is the soft, buttery mashed potatoes and slightly fruity baked beans with peaches.
The newly-launched (and very delicious) Brimmie Sammich is made up of pulled lamb, coleslaw, pickled cucumber and onion in a soft croissant.