I’m told that Jing is short for Beijing, which might make it even easier to remember this newish eatery, which opened in August on the site of the long-lived California Roll at 1634 Bayview.
Prominently displayed on the bar at the back of Jing Chinese Restaurant are two covered jars, symbolizing the business’s wish for good luck and success. The jars seem to be paying off. Diners from all over Leaside are coming, not just once, but as repeat customers – “it’s our third time here, and not the last,” I heard from the table behind me.
Manager Ling Chen has previous history on Bayview. She worked at Riz years ago, and was happy when her good friends Jackie Lim and her brother Jerry asked if she’d be interested in coming back to Bayview to work in their new restaurant. As she says, “for friendship, no problem,” and also “this is a nice neighbourhood, and I’m happy to come back.”
When you first enter, you see that Jing is a quietly elegant space that easily seats singles, couples or quartets. What you don’t see is the upstairs room, complete with washroom, that is set with long tables for larger groups or private events. What you also don’t see is the kitchen. During light-business times, there are at least three chefs working at individual stations – for appetizers, dim sum and wok menu items. Their origins are Asian, including regions of China, Nepal and Vietnam. When things get busy, there can be six or seven chefs, plus supporting staff.
While there are connections between the ownership of Jing on Bayview and Tao on Laird, manager Ling insists the taste of the food is completely different. At Jing, for instance, she points out the jars of specially-made sauces displayed on the bar, which you can buy if you’re interested in adventuresome flavours, one of which is the basting sauce for their Peking duck. Jing also advertises four types of lobster specials – each involving a 2.5-3 lb. lobster. The lobster is cut into small pieces, which makes it easy to share and also easier to tackle for the less adventurous diner who doesn’t fancy struggling with claws.
A serving cart delivers wok items to your table. Your choice gets a quick stir in the very hot cast-iron pan while the garnish items are stirred in.
Jing also features a printed menu, and a special lunch menu, plus the restaurant is happy to accommodate special needs. And there will be new dishes coming soon. Jing is fine-tuning a fresh menu now that they have a better idea of their guests’ tastes.