Jing A Brewery Co. is always packed. No matter what time you go, it’s packed to the rafters with people relaxing after work and enjoying the chilled out, welcoming vibe at Jing A. When we went, it was filled to the brim on a Thursday night, it is highly recommended you make a reservation. The menu is small and concise, covering pub food favourites.
The fish and chips (70 RMB) come served in a giant newspaper cone, with crispy potato wedges nestled into the cone and two battered balls of fish perched at the front. Cut into, the crunchy gold batter fell open two reveal mounds of delicate, flaky white fish. Served with a bottle of vinegar, Jing A nails the quintessential British fish and chips.
The grilled cheese (40 RMB) is made with peppered gouda and spread with a dry-fried kale pesto. Don’t be fooled by the inclusion of kale though – the grilled cheese is incredibly sinful and each mouthful is filled with melted cheese. The pinnacle of this meal is the bowl of homemade tomato soup served with it – dip the grilled cheese in the soup and revel in the glories of simple pleasures. It also comes served with Traitor Zhou’s bacon for an additional 10 RMB.
The tomato salad, one of the healthiest items on the menu, is served on a wooden chopping board. Ruby red halves of cherry tomatoes are spread over the board, peppered with whole, briny kalamata olives, ribbons of sharp red onion and drizzled with olive oil.
There are two kinds of fries on offer, and for the purposes of this review, we ordered both. You can upgrade any of the fries to a liter stein for an extra 15 RMB – which means the fries come served in a giant beer mug. The potato wedges (25 RMB), although good, were put to shame by the rosemary-parmesan coated sweet potato fries (25 RMB), which were thinly sliced and crisp.
The buffalo wings (8 for 60 RMB, 12 for 75 RMB) were smothered in a tangy buffalo sauce, with nice, tender meat. The meat could have been slightly juicier, but the blue cheese sauce that accompanied it solved that problem. It was served with crunchy sticks of carrots and celery which cut through the grease of the chicken.
The charcuterie board (120 RMB) pays homage to China with its addition of Yunnan cheese and spicy air-dried salami from Sichuan. The board is rounded off with wonderfully creamy cheddar from Ireland and Italian Parma ham. Accompanied by dried fruits and nuts and mini slices of grain bread, it’s perfect with a pint of beer – come during happy hour (17-19 all weekdays) for 10 RMB off all beers. Obviously Jing A is known for the beers and has a beer for every person. They also cater to the gluten-intolerant, and serves a zingy, fresh cider with a mild sweetness.
Despite how packed the venue is, service is polite and surprisingly sweet. Jing A is the perfect spot for casual after work drinks and meal with friends, all accompanied by perfect pub grub.
Location: 1949 The Hidden City, Courtyard 4, Gongti Bei Lu, Chaoyang district