I have spent quite a lot time in Jamaica Blue’s new branch located within the Beijing Riviera Clubhouse. It’s a great space to meet with friends, relax over lunch, or catch up on emails.
Owned and operated by Foodco, one of Australia’s most successful retail companies, Jamaica Blue was built on two simple beliefs: sourcing the very best coffee and using only fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. The latter can be difficult to do in Beijing, so a lot of their ingredients are imported.
The coffee beans are sourced from around the world and roasted in Melbourne. There are two choices: Jamaica Blue House Blend and Blue Mountain Signature Blend. Jamaica Blue now has more than 100 cafes in Australia, New Zealand, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, and China.
The Beijing Riviera branch opened earlier this year with well-trained baristas. However, the Blue Mountain long black or latte will set you back RMB 90; the house blend is a more affordable for a latte, cappuccino or flat white (RMB 30). Hot chocolate, chai latte, English breakfast tea, and green tea are also available.
If it’s cold drinks you’re after, Jamaica Blue serves iced coffees, fruit ice blends, milk shakes, and smoothies. The mango ice blend (RMB 29/33) is a delightful burst of tropical freshness, and the kids love the cafe’s milkshakes. More milk than ice cream, they come in banana, vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and caramel flavors.
The food menu is fresh and contemporary, with ready-to-go choices like quiche, sausage rolls, lasagna, and pastries. The croque monsieur isn’t for those watching the calories, with its generous filling of ham and cheese slathered with savory béchamel sauce for RMB 45.
There’s a rather substantial Jamaica club with smoked chicken, crispy bacon, fried egg, cheese, and salad (also RMB 45). Fillings include pastrami, smoked salmon, turkey, roasted vegetables, and pumpkin ricotta.
Jamaica Blue is very popular for breakfast. There are light choices such as croissants, muesli, and yoghurt and fruit salad. Their eggs are very good indeed; choose from eggs benedict, omelet, and crepes and, if you’re really hungry, you can opt for their big breakfast of bacon, sausage, eggs, tomatoes, and sausages.
The a la carte menu is not extensive and focuses on salads, burgers, and pasta. The chicken caesar salad (RMB 42) is a large serving of greens, crisp bacon, hard-boiled eggs, and smoked chicken topped off with crunchy croutons, parmesan, and dressing. For the burger options, there is the classic beef burger, chicken burger, and a bacon cheeseburger (RMB 49-55). The beef is perfectly seasoned and cooked – a little bit pink and very juicy. Pasta dishes include a creamy carbonara, pesto tuna, vegetable, and bolognese.
If you still have room left, their cakes are divine: Jamaican chocolate truffle, carrot cake, cheesecake, apple cake…the list goes on. Prices range from RMB 25-30 and each cake is worth every single yuan.
Daily 9am-6pm. Beijing Riviera Clubhouse, 1 Xiangjiang Beilu, Chaoyang District (8450 6596) 朝阳区香江北路1号香江乡村俱乐部店
beijingkids Shunyi Correspondent Sally Wilson moved to Beijing in 2010 from the UK with her husband and son. Her daughter was born here in 2011 and both her kids keep her happily busy. In her spare time, Sally loves to stroll through Beijing’s hutongs and parks. She is a (most of the time) keen runner and loves reading: books, magazines, news, and celeb websites – anything really. Sally is also a bit of a foodie and loves trying out new restaurants.
Photos by Sally Wilson