Taste test: The Jing-A Taproom Brunch

jing-a taproom brunch beijing china.jpg

I checked out the Jing-A brunch with The Village Grouch last Saturday, arriving just ahead of a wave of distraught Manny Paquaio fans. The “soft launch” deal: rmb98 for antipasto, main and dessert.

  • Antipasto: You get a cutting board topped with mushrooms, tortilla, prosciutto and more, plus a bowl of bread. The portion shown above was for two, so I split it with TVG, who you can spot in one of the photos distancing himself from a Belly-Ni beer cocktail. I’d swap out some of those veggies for cheese and olives but maybe that’s just me.
  • Eggs Benedict: The best dish, both in terms of looks and taste. A bit more tang in the Hollandaise would be even better. TVG had something called “Fitness Freak“–that’s pretty much his second nickname. It’s essentially yogurt with granola, honey and fruit. He said it was “good”.
  • Dessert: The saddest ice cream sandwich I have ever seen. Two hard nearly-frozen wafers sandwiching what is stated to be a mix of chocolate, raspberry and vanilla stout. And no ice cream. I felt sorrier for it than I did for Paquaio. The loser course by unanimous decision.
  • Beer: It’s rmb10 off any brew on Sundays. We had a Mandarin Wheat and I also knocked back two glasses of a delicious guest beer — sorry, forgot the name — from Japan.

Overall, a decent brunch–except for dessert–given it was the first full weekend, and one that passes the “Would I come back and try it again?” test. The service was a bit disjointed but I attribute that in good part to the place getting swamped after the Paquaio-Mayweather fight.

The atmosphere was nice, too. The Village Grouch nabbed the four-top outside in the nook where Jing-A’s wall meets its extended entrance. We enjoyed the shade plus the protection it later gave when the wind kicked up. For those who instead want to sunbathe during brunch, Jing-A now has about fifty-plus seats to serve you.

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