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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The Diner (Soho)

The Diner has many branches in London that serves American style food. We visit the Soho branch which is located in Carnaby Street area.

Baby back ribs (£13) comes served with fries and slaw.

The Diner (Soho)

The diner has a large range of burgers to select which are all under £10. Each one don’t come with sides and you will have to order this separately. This does give you the options on the choice of sides you want or none at all.

The Diner (Soho)

I went for the most healthy option that I could find on the menu, a Cheeseburger salad (£10). This was a bunless beef patty where the bun is replaced by salad. The salad consisted of lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, croutons, shredded cheese with Diner burger sauce and mustard.

The Diner (Soho)

As well as the original fries, The Diner also has other fries to choose. I found the Wet Fries (£3.40) disappointing as for me the gravy was too water down and did not have much flavour.

The Diner (Soho)

The Chilli cheese fries (£5) was better the the wet fries but it was not the best version I have had in London.

The Diner (Soho)

For drinks, I tried The Diner’s super berry iced tea (£2.20). It was a refreshing drinks but not sure how natural it was.

The Diner (Soho)

Overall, the food was okay but nothing special. It would not been a place I would choose to dine but considered this dining evening as an opportunity to add on to the places visited in London.  When I looked around that evening, I felt like I had a mirror of seeing myself dining here in my younger days. For me this would had been a restaurant that I would had gone in thoses days.

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

The Diner (Soho)
18 Ganton Street,
London,
W1F 7BU,
UK

http://goodlifediner.com

Le Bab

Gourmet kebab has arrived in London and is living on the first floor of Kingly Court in Carnaby street.

Le Bab

The menu is small and simple, which is split in to five section – To begin, Sides,  The Babs, Large Bab and Dessert.

Maftoul Risotto (£4.50) is made up of maftoul with roast carrot, chipotle beurre noisette, barrel aged feta. Do not let the word risotto mislead you to think it is the Italian rice dish. As the photo shows it looks like couscous and that is exactly what it is since Maftoul is a type of couscous or also known as giant couscous.

I suspect it has the name as risotto because it uses the technique to produce a texture just like the Italian rice dish but with maftoul instead. Although, those who are gluten intolerance would not choose to dine at Le Bab due to the dishes contained flat bread, but beware gluten intolerance readers.

Le Bab

Meatlafel served on a bed of Tzatziki (£5.50)

Le Bab

Lokma (£5) has to be the highlight of Le Bab’s menu. The Lokma doughnut with spiced chicken liver parfait has a wonderful creamy texture when you bite in to. But of course you have to like the bitter flavour of liver. Otherwise this dish is not heaven to every one but would be hell.

Le Bab

There are variety of fillings to select where each is served on a flat bread.

Corn Fed Chicken Shish (£12) – Squash hummus, season’s pickles, chicken crackling, Le ‘Bab toum, biber, heritage carrot tops.

Le Bab

Roe Deer Adana (£13) – Cavolo nero kimchi, Jerusalem artichoke crisps, damson & chilli jam, game mayo, fried cavolo nero stem pickle.

Le Bab

Pig’s Head (£36) – Pig’s head & crackling served with black turnip, heritage carrot, onion, molasses sauce, carrot & turnip greens.

This is their large bab which is made to share and comes with flat breads and vegetable to wrap up your own bab. But one word of warning is that this it is “fatty”. You get a mixture of the meat and the fat that you will find in the pig heads.

Le Bab

Le Bab’s menu has a selection of sides that you can order along with the bab. We sampled two out of the three option on the menu, but I personally felt we could had skipped both of them.

Fondue Fries (£4.50) – cheesy chips.

Le Bab

Endive & Pomegranate (£.50) – Lincolnshire endive, Iranian pomegranate, shallot dressing

Le Bab

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

Le Bab
Top Floor, Kingly Court,
Carnaby Street,
London
W1B 5PW
UK

http://www.eatlebab.com

BAO (Soho)

BAO is popular in London for serving Tawainese style bao and they have a store in Soho which is near to Carnaby street. Being popular, there is no surprise that you will need to prepare to queue for a seat at BAO.

BAO

When you finally do get a seat, you would place your order by filling in a order form and hand it to one of the staff. The menu is broken in to three section – small plates, bao and sides.

BAO

The drinks are on a separate menu and there are a selection of hot or cold oolong tea. I ordered the Ming Yue BaoZhong which is a hot, light and fresh in flavour. Each hot oolong tea is served in a small clay teapot.

BAO

When you visit BAO you have to order at least one of their bao which is what has made them popular. There is different fillings to select including Fried Horlicks ice cream. Instead of steam bao it is deep fried bao with Horlicks ice cream. It was some thing I wanted to try, unfortunately not the day I visit. That was a shame as I’m not sure when I will give myself a good excuse to queue again to try one. Oh well!

Between me and a friend we tried two different one. Each one, the bao was soft and fluffy, which was better than the one I had at Little Bao.

The Classic Bao (£3.75) consist of braised pork with fermented greens and peanut powder.

BAO

Confit pork bao (£4.50) consist of pork belly with a hot pork sauce and dried shallots.

BAO

Eating bao can get a bit messy but don’t freak because you will get wet tissue to wipe your hands.

BAO

From the side we tried the turnip tops with salted egg (£2.50).

BAO

We also tried a few of the small plates including Tawainese Fried Chicken with hot sauce (£5)

BAO

One of my favourite on the menu is their Scallops with yellow bean sauce (£3.50).

BAO

Guinea Fowl Chi Shiang rice (£5.25) comes served in a small bowl which make it great size as a small plate. You can consider having one of these rice bowl and a bao, instead of muching yourself through lots of bao to get full and have your money draining away quicker.

BAO

Aged Beef Rump Cap (£6) served with aged white soy sauce.

BAO

Bao is a small place which is no surprise that you need to queue. It defintely not suitable for large groups here but a place to consider for one or two people.

BAO

(This was not sponsored. Prices and menu correct at the time of dining)

Bao
53 Lexington Street,
Soho,
W1F 9AS
UK

http://www.baolondon.com

Pitt Cue Co. London

Pitt Cue has been one of those places I hear a lot and wanted to go for a while, but never was brave enough to wait in the queue with the no reservation policy. Not only is it a no reservation policy but you can not add your name to the waiting list unless they see every one has arrived. Also you have to wait at the restaurant or you will be crossed off the waiting. Hearing the policy, it does put you off on whether it is worth the wait. But there are people who will wait and one evening, one of them was me!

The restaurant is small with a few seats upstrairs which is also the bar area. The main dining area is downstairs which probabaly only has around 16 seats. No wonder there is such a queue! If you enjoy having a few drinks then a few hours waiting for a table might not just feel that long.

On a Friday evening we waited around 2 hours for a table of 3 people. It was defintely a sign of relief when we got a table because we were really thinking on looking else where for food. So after such a wait was it really worth it?

We started off with sharing a portion of the Caramel Ribs (£8.50). They were soft meaty ribs in a tasty tangy sauce.

Pitt Cue Co. London

Each of the main is included with one side of your choice. But overall the portion at Pitt Cue are not big, so not for those who have a hungry belly.

I went for Pitt Cue best known dish, Pulled Pork (£11.50) and selected the bone marrow mash. The pulled pork was definitely one of the best I have had in London. The mash was nice but I was not fond of the lard kind of fat that came with it,

Pitt Cue Co. London

If mash is not for you there are other sides to select or order, including veggies. You need some with these meat!

Pitt Cue Co. London

There are lots of other meaty dishes as well as pulled pork, including daily special. But for some dishes be prepare for fatty meat which is not for every one.

Pitt Cue Co. London

Pitt Cue Co. London

I think there is no better way to wash all that meat with a root beer and they do one in a cool can which is labelled “Dad’s Old Fashined Root Beer”. The packaging looks like some thing out of a comic book.

Pitt Cue Co. London

The pulled pork was defintelly good, but I’m not sure I would go again to queue for two hours.

Pitt Cue Co. London
1 Newburgh Street,
London,
W1F 7RB

(Around Carnaby Street area)

http://www.pittcue.co.uk