This weekend, Anna and I were in London to go to see Kit Harington in Dr. Faustus at The Duke of York’s theatre. Given that it was just around the corner, we thought we would head to Jinjuu London. This sophisticated Korean restaurant sits on Kingly Street, just around the corner from Liberty, with celebrity chef Judy Joo at the helm.
We ate in the bar on the ground floor, where the dining is a little more casual, but being within spitting distance of the bar meant that the drinks were free-flowing. This is really the purpose of the bar area – to enjoy Junjuu’s ‘Anju’ menu, which is literally food to be enjoyed while drinking. Most of the dishes are intended to be shared, and the concept of courses really doesn’t exist. You order what you want, and it gets brought out when it’s ready. It’s all rather relaxed and easy-going.
We started with the Mandoo dumplings. These little parcels of pork and beef were really delicious, and beautifully presented each on their own individual rice spoons. The flavour was delicate, and they were at their best when dipped into the spiced soy sauce for some added punch.
Then it was onto Junjuu’s Signature Fried Chicken. We opted to go for the mixed joints, so got a range of thigh and wings, with two sauces on the side – the Gochujang Red (hot and sweet) and the Jinjuu Black Soy. Being the weirdo that I am, I decided to mix. The chicken was cooked perfectly, and the batter was incredibly crisp and thick, without being heavy or stodgy.
The main event was the Bo Ssam Pork Belly. Unfortunately, I ate it before I could get a picture. Sorry. Served on a wooden platter for two, it’s a real feast of pork. Twice cooked, melt-in-your-mouth Black Berkshire pork belly, marinated tenderloin, sauces, glazes… the works. It was absolutely terrific.
On the side we had Jap Chae – stir-fried sweet potato noodles with seasonal vegetables – and Kimchee Fried Rice.
Pretty much anything you want, including soju (rice spirit), sake, and even soju boilermakers (beer with a soju bomb). I stayed relatively traditional, starting with a dry Tanqueray 10 martini, which was mixed to perfection.
Really excellent. All the staff seemed genuinely happy to be there, and the waiters were excellent – very friendly, and the right amount of informal, given the more relaxed bar setting.
15 Kingly Street
Open 7 days a week