Bites & Brews is one of those neighbourhood places where you can pop in for a quick healthy lunch on the weekdays or hang around on Friday night to catch up with friends over a good beer. The décor inside has a bit of a Bohemian vibe to it, with wooden table and desks, lanterns hanging down from the lights and corners where you can snuggle up against with some pillows and quilts. They also have a large panelled window on the upper floor that’s great for street-side watching. A large portion of their customer base are expats, although it’s also popular with the Chinese, so all the waiters have a pretty good command of English.
I came in for food for the first time and found that their menu options were quite affordable with most items ranging from 40 to 50 rmb. I ordered a chicken quesadilla, a chocolate banana smoothie, and a salad bowl to share with a friend. The chicken quesadilla was great, and more than filling for a lunchtime meal, but the salad bowl was quite tasteless. With such limited dressing and the broccoli being so raw, the salad was a bit hard to swallow, but then again, maybe I just don’t have an appetite for ultra-healthy food. I did enjoy the food displays though, as all the bowls and platter were also made of wood, it made you feel like you were eating straight from nature. The chocolate banana smoothie also had a rather cute display and was rich in flavour and not too sweet.
Overall I enjoyed my meal, though the atmosphere definitely gave it huge points. I also liked that the place was pet friendly, as that always adds to the lightness of the vibe. I’m glad to discover that this place has more to offer than just being a pub hang-out, which I guess is exactly what its name, "Bites&Brews" suggests it is.
It was a lazy Sunday when I tried my best to fill up my belly within walking distance from my apartment, and Bites & Brews is perfect for that. The restaurant offers food that are simple but solid, affordable yet very delicious!
Grilled Cheese Bites (RMB 28)
Cheddar and mozzarella melting on top of the smoked ham with crispy and dense sourdough bread, it’s straight-up classic panini with total delight. Best of all, you can be very satisfied with just 28 RMB.
Rosemary Chicken Avocado Panini (RMB 38)
Filled with melty cheese, chicken and avocado pressed with pesto sauce, the flavor is smoky and layered. The bread is crispy with all ingredients blend perfectly together. It’s a simple dish that will make your heart swoon.
French Fries (RMB 38)
Get the fries! Crispy, salty, dense and fresh, it’s what you ask for in a good French fires. And like all food here, it comes with big portion, so be ready to share… or not.
Hot Chocolate (RMB 30)
This is how cozy I got. It’s sweet and warming, and I’m glad I stick with hot coco when everyone else was drinking beer.
The ambience is cozy with food serving up with wooden tray, and open space with out-door seats to enjoy. Keeping it casual can be hard in Jing’an with so many fancy restaurants around, but Bites & Brews certainly makes easy bites perfect for anytime. Cannot wait to go back again!
The Yanping / Wuding area in Jing’an is packed with bars and restaurants, most of which cater to the growing expat population in the area. There are myriad options from different cultures here: juicy American burgers, refined Nordic cuisine, fresh sushi. Considering these options, I struggle to understand why Bites X Brews on Fire is always so rammed.
Look – it’s not bad. The service is probably the best thing about the place; one of the servers in particular has a great rapport with the customers. Apart from her friendly banter, though, there’s very little that stands out here. It also really depends on when you visit – the last time I went, we struggled to get served at all.
I’ve visited a couple of times: once for a light salad and drinks, and once for brunch. Both times, I was underwhelmed by the food. This weekend, for example, I had a veggie panini: brie, courgette, pea shoots, green goddess dressing. My friend ordered the pulled pork bagel. They were both served together in an awkward little wooden truckle, with only one set of cutlery. When I ordered a salad last time, it arrived ensconced in a hollowed tree stump. Call the @wewantplates police.
The food was distinctly okay. The panini and salad both lacked punch, although the bagel was pretty good. Drinks are also fine: very normal lattes, a nicely sharp homemade lemonade, and a nearly-authentic hot toddy. They also have some good happy hour deals.
It’s all just a bit messy, though. The menus are falling apart. The tables are badly organised and crowded. The deals aren’t clearly advertised.
I think that its success perhaps lies in the fact that it covers a lot of bases. Whether you’re looking for lunch or dinner, heavy or light, coffee or booze, you’re covered. It’s a real jack-of-all-trades… which leads to an obvious criticism about mastery, and a very average three-star review.
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