JinJuu (Soho branch)

Jinjuu is an upmarket Korean restaurant opened by celebrity chef Judy Joo. It has two branches in London and one in Hong Kong. It has a modern atmosphere than your usual Korean restaurant in London but still serve a range of traditional Korean food.

I unexpectedly visited the Soho branch one Sunday afternoon. Just walked pass the restaurant and decided to catch lunch there. I was not dress for the atmosphere of Jinjuu as I was in my jogging top and trouser.

We started with Jinjuu’s Mandoo (£8 for four pieces), which are also known as steamed dumplings. There is choice of meat or vegetable fillings to select. We choice for the meat filling which was a mixture of beef & pork.

They were nicely presented with each dumpling served in an oriental looking spoon. You can pour some of the soy dipping sauce and eat straight from the spoon with no further plates needed!

Jinjuu

We also tried the Sae-woo pops (£8.50). These are crispy fried round prawn cakes served on sticks and served with creamy gochujang mayo. Although I did not find any thing special about the sae-woo pops, each one was nicely fried and went well with the dipping sauce.

Jinjuu

The one dish I had to try was Jinjuu’s signature Korean fried chicken (£9.50) which you can choose to have boneless chicken thighs, wings or a mixtures. I have seen Judy Joo on TV cooking programmes making her version Korean fried chicken, so it was interested to see how it taste.

Compared to other Korean fried chicken I have had so far, Jinjuu’s Korean fried chicken has a thick batter coating. It did reminded me slightly of the batter coating found on a battered fish and chips. The fried chicken comes served with two signature sauces – Red gochujang and Jinjuu black soy.

Jinjuu

Korean food can not be with out Bibimbap (£11.50) and for those who is not familiar with Korean cuisine. Bibimbap is a traditional Korean rice dish that is served in a traditional stone bowl. The bowl is filled with white rice and topped with vegetables and topped with a fried egg, served with gochujan sauce.

At Jinjuu, for extra charge you can add kimchi, beef, chicken, pork belly, prawns and tofu.

Jinjuu

Jinjuu offers a range homemade iced teas (£5 each) – Matcha & Manuka Honey, Korean Red Ginseng & Honey, Chamomile Flowers & Agave.

Jinjuu

Overall it was a nice restaurant but would not be my choice for having a traditional Korean food which could be cheaper. This would be a place I go for a special occasion than my usual Korean fixture.

(Menu and prices correct at the time of dining)

Jinjuu (Soho)
15 Kingly Street,
London,
W1B 5PS

www.jinjuu.com

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Yijo BBQ

Yijo BBQ is a tradition Korean restaurant where you can get charcoal BBQ in North West London. The restaurant is local to North Finchley and right next to the tube station.

Yijo BBQ

Yijo BBQ

There are are a range of Korean starters to select on the menu. We ordered a variety of traditional Korean starters.

Yukhoe (£9.50) is a Korean beef tartare served with pear and topped with egg.

Yijo BBQ

Par Jeon (£7.90) is a Korean seafood pancake and is one of my favourite Korean dish to order.

Yijo BBQ

Yang yeum chicken (£8.50) is fired chicken in sweet chilli sauce.

Yijo BBQ

Yijo has a range of meats to order for BBQ, ranging from beef, chicken, pork, lamb, duck and seafood. There is also platters which are great to get a range of meat. We ordered the modum so gogi set (£30) which includes different selection of meat.

Yijo BBQ

The restaurant is happy to leave you to cook the meat yourself. But if you are not sure how to cook the meat or prefer it to be cooked for you the staff will be happy to help.

Yijo BBQ

Yijo BBQ

The BBQ meats came served with lettuce leaves, side dishes and sauces.

Yijo BBQ

Yijo has a selection of rice and noodles including the famous bibimbap.

Yijo BBQ

There is a range of Korean broths and hotpots on Yijo’s menu. We tried the Sam Gae Tang (£15) which is one of the traditional Korean broth. It is made up of a whole chicken cooked with ginseng.

The portion size was decent for the price. Although the chicken was nicely cooked but I thought there was not enough ginseng.

Yijo BBQ

It is not a fancy place but one where you get decent Korean food at reasonable price. I do recommend you book in advance for a table.

Yijo BBQ
1 Station Road,
Finchley
N3 2SB,
UK

http://www.yijo.co.uk

The Hottest K-Food in London 2016

It was a great pleasure to be invited to attend The Hottest K-Food in London organised by Korean culture centre and Embassy of the Republic of Korean in the UK.

The Hottest K-food in London 2016

The event started with guest speakers sharing about their experience of how they got to where they were with their passion about Korean food. Daniel O’Sullivan shared the story of starting his restaurant Kimchi Cult in Scotland. Da-Hae West also shared her experience of how she and her husband AmeriKorean dream food business Busan BBQ was born. Jordan Burke the author of his award wining book Our Korean Kitchen, spoke about his experience of fermentation and explaining it is one of the main technique used in Korean cuisines.

A Korean lunch was provided in a buffet style where we tried a range of traditional Korean food – Kimbap (Korean style sushi), Japchae (Korean stir fried glass noodle), Namul (seasonal vegetable), Jeon (Korean pancake), Ggul tteok (Rice cake with honey), Mujigae tteok (Rainbow rice cake), YangNyum Galbi (Marinated beef), Ddeokbokki (Spicy rice cakes), dumplings and a range of deep-fried vegetables.

The Hottest K-food in London 2016

The final programme of the event was the award ceremony of the top 10 hottest K-food in London and to showcase their winning dishes.

The Hottest K-food in London 2016

Congratulations to all the winners listed below and in no particular order:

As well as showcase of the 10 winning dishes we got to sample the top 10 Korean drink – Morning rice drink, Green plum drink, Milkis, McCol, Aloe Vera drink (Original), Corn silk tea, Vilac rice punch, Vilac Cinnamon Punch, Pororo soy drink (Banana flavour) and Black bean & Calcium soy drink.

The Hottest K-food in London 2016

Cafe Damoa (Bingsu – shaved ice dessert)

Cafe Damoa is a casual cafe located in Golders Green (north west London), that serves Korean and Japanese food. It is also a place for Bingsu (Korean shaved ice dessert).

Cafe Domoa

For those who follow me will know what is bingsu (also known as bing) because it is actually not ice but milk that is turned in to snow that you can eat. You expect a light fluffy texture that goes creamy like ice cream when it melts in you mouth.

Domoa offers a variety of bingsu and in two sizes – small and large. Options of flavours includes Red bean, Strawberry, Blueberry (£7.90/£12.50), Oreo…etc

The Matcha (£8.90/£12.90) bingsu comes with red beans, mochi, corn flakes and a scoop of matcha ice cream. If you do not want a particular toppings the cafe is happy to exclude them or serve them separately.

Cafe Domoa

The Mango (£7.90/£12.50) bingsu is my current favourite at Damoa. The shaved ice is made up of fresh mango pieces, a scoop of mango ice cream and sprinkled with mango sauce.

When you compare the bingsu with the one at Shibuya, then Shibuya bingsu lead. That is why they are known for their bingsu in London.

I felt that Damoa’s matcha bingsu lacked green tea flavour. It was just the matcha ice cream that had the green tea flavour. May be they could had sprinkle matcha powder over the shaved ice. However, Damoa’s mango bingsu was delicious and the flavour was better than the mango bingu I have had at Shibuya.

Cafe Domoa

As well as bingsu for dessert the cafe also serves waffles which can be ordered on its own or as a set which come with coffee or bubble tea. Yes you heard it! Damoa also sell Bubble Tea (£3.40) with a choice of topping (tapioca pearls and popping boba).

Cafe Domoa

Damoa does not only serve drinks and dessert. They also offer a range of savoury dish such as sushi, noodle soup and bibimba dupbap (rice and salad). I have not yet had the chance to try their savoury dishes to be able to share with you.

(Not Sponsored. Menu and price correct at the time of visit)

Cafe Damoa
32 Golders Green Road,
London,
NW11 8LL,
UK

https://en-gb.facebook.com/Cafe-Damoa-170800179961870/

Naru London

Naru is a small Korean restaurant located near to Tottenham Court Road station. Fortunately it is not located on the same road as what use to be known as London mini Korean street, so it hasn’t been affected by the centre point and crossrail regeneration.

We started off with some starters including the tradition Korean pancake, Pa jeon (£7.30). I thought this was okay but probably not the best pa jeon in London.

Naru

The calamari in batter (£5.60) was a nice snack dish but it was nothing special.

Naru

Dak gang jung (£6.50) is deep-fried crispy chicken with light soy & red wine sauce. It is not as nice as the sweet and spicy chicken. But an alternative of a fried chicken that is not spicy.

Naru

When you come to Naru I recommend their soup pot which is served with steamed rice. But unusual that it was multigrain rice or what is known as black and white rice on their menu.

A favourite soup pot of mine is Kimchi jjigae (£8.50) which consist of spicy kimchi, sliced pork and tofu. It is one of the traditional Korean soup pot that goes well with rice and this spicy soup which is suited for the colder season.

Naru’s Kimchi jig was good as the soup was not too watery and more like a stew. There was a good amount of thinly sliced pork and tofu. The portion size was just right for one person.

Naru

There is a small selection of casserole which are larger version of the soup pot and is serving for 2-3 people. These do not include rice but for additional charge you can add rice, ramen noodle or potato glass noodle to go with the casserole.

The kimchi, sliced pork and dumpling stew is one of the casserole which can be served for 1 person (£13). The only thing missing from this was tofu otherwise it would had truly satisfy for my tofu loving friend.

Naru

Dolsot bibimbap (£9.60) which is steamed rice served with seasoned vegetables, egg yolk in a hot stone pot. It comes with a choice of beef, chicken, tofu or for £10.50 with mixed seafood.

Naru

Naru
230 Shaftesbury Avenue,
London,
WC2H 8EG

http://www.narurestaurant.com

Superstar BBQ – Snowball Dessert

In visiting Superstar BBQ this year I discovered they are now serving dessert, including the popular Korean’s shaved ice dessert (Bing), which are known as snow ball on their menu.

There are four different snowballs to choose: Original (£5.95), Honey quince (£6.95), Ice cream (£7.95) and Baileys (£7.95). All them come with sweet red beans, mixed dried fruits and nuts, drizzled with condensed milk.

Superstar BBQ

I had the Baileys snow ball which is the original snowball with a separate shot of Baileys. You don’t drink the Baileys separately, instead you pour it over the snowball. This turn the original snowball to an alcoholic snowball. 

Superstar BBQ

Superstar BBQ take of Bing is not the same as Shibuya in London Soho. The one in Superstar BBQ is as it described on the menu, shaved ice. Whereas at Shibuya, their Bing is made out of milk which gives it that creamy texture and the milky flavour. Shibuya’s bing is a winner as the best bing in London I have tried so far and it is resonable price for what you get.

The snowball at Superstar BBQ is expensive as the portion size is small. Especially when you compare to Shibuya. I am not sure the snowball would be a dessert I will consider to order again. Unless I wanted dessert and did not want to move on to another venue.

As well as sharing with you my new discovery of snowball dessert, I also want to share with you the Ginseng Chicken at Superstar BBQ. It is a traditional Korean soup, where a whole chicken is stuffed with glutinous rice and cooked with Ginseng. It is probably not a soup a lot of people in UK will choose to order, as Ginseng has a distinct taste that is not to every one liking.

The Ginseng Chicken (£19.50) at Superstar BBQ is one of my favourite I have had in London. It uses a whole stuffed corn-fed baby chicken to give you a mild chicken soup. But as from the price tag this soup is expensive. It is probably smaller than ones I have had at other Korean restaurants in London. But the one at Superstar BBQ taste the best.

Superstar BBQ

For my full review of Superstar BBQ you can find it here:
https://chechemui.wordpress.com/2015/09/05/superstar-bbq

(Not sponsored. Menu and prices correct at the time of dining)

Superstar BBQ
4 central Saint Giles Piazza,
St Giles High Street,
London,
WC2H 8AB

http://superstarbbq.co.uk

Jubo – closed its door

While writing this I found out the sad news that Jubo has just closed its doors. I have found out over the last few weeks many established restaurants around London have or will be closing their doors. It shows how difficult to run a business to become successful, no matter how good an idea or how tasty we consider their food to be.

I did not expect my recent and first visit would had been the last opportunity to dine at Jubo. Although it now has closed its door, I have decided to still share with you all what they did once serve in London.

Jubo

Jubo is a small restaurant located in Exmouth market and specialise in Korean fried chicken (Yangnyeom Tangdak), which come in the form of chicken wings or chicken strips. There are four different flavours to choose – soy garlic, hot, honey butter and volocanio.

I thought the hot flavour was the one that tasted more of the original Korean fried chicken, which is coated in a sweet and spicy sauce. This was my favourite flavour out of all the one I tried that evening. My least favourite flavour has to be the honey butter which was very sweet and buttery. The taste reminded me of caramel sauce or a toffee sweet.

Unlike many places in London, where Korean fried chicken are served in small pieces. The chicken pieces are large at Jubo, regardless if you have the chicken wings or chicken strips. The chicken are crispy outside coated in one of the sticky sauce and moist inside.

You can order the Korean fried chicken as a portion or as a chicken dinner platter which comes with 3 sides (kimchi slaw, crispy lotus roots and gunmandu dumplings)

Jubo

Jubo

Although Jubo is all about their chicken wings, they also serves a small selection of BBQ meat.

Beef Galbi (250g) is chargrilled short ribs which according to the menu has been marinated for 24 hours. It was the the least driest BBQ meat I tried, but I would not consider it to be the best beef galbi in terms of its flavour and tenderness.

Jubo

Pork ribs (350g) was a slow roasted baby back ribs in a Korean barbecue glaze. We had ordered two portions and one of them the ribs was too dry.

Jubo

Jubo had a selection of rice and noodle that can be ordered to accompany the meat or even to have its own.

Bulgogi rice bowl comes in a choice of skirt beef, spicy chicken or sweet tofy stir fry. Either choices would come with cabbage, red onions, carrots and beansrpouts.

Jubo

Japchae Bokkeumbap is fried glass noodles with rice, spinach, carrots, red onions, oyster mushroom with soy and sesame seeds. I thought this was an intersting combination wih the mix of rice and noodles, which gave it a range of texture to the dish.

Jubo

Kimchi Bookeumbap is kimchi fried rice with bacon, sesame seeds, spring onions and topped with a sunny side up. It was a nicely cooked kimchi fried rice with the bacon giving a smokey flavour.

Jubo

It is a shame that Jubo has now closed because I thought their Korean fried chicken was tasty and a good size for each piece.

Jubo
50 Exmouth Market,
London,
EC1R 4QE