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/

School Food, Hong Kong

School Food is a Korean restaurant that serves modern and innovated Korean food. There are various branches in Hong Kong and is a perfect place for large group.

We visited the branch in Mong Kok located in MOKO shopping mall. It is hidden in the corner of the 4th floor near Beard Papa. There was no queue when we arrive for dinner and quickly got a table.

The menu is trendy, simple and colourful, which is in traditional Chinese, English and Korean. There was also a separate menu for seasonal dishes.

School Food

We tried a variety of the blooming mari which are to represent flower-like rice. Mari combines the concepts of kimbap and roll.

The Seasoned Ham Mari 紳士先生 (HK$65) has to be my favourite which was an indulgent. This warm mari consisted of ham filling and coated in melted cheese wrapped in a layer of egg. I could have had this dish all to myself that made a good comfort food.

School Food

The Squid Ink Mari 烏卒卒 (HK$75) had a different texture with tender squid in the centre.

School Food

There are a range of snack food including an assorted deep-fried platter 脆味樂園(HK$88)  which is made up of deep-fried sweet corn balls (粟米球), deep-fried topokki (年糕), fries (薯條), salad and pollock roe sauce (鱈魚籽醬).

The deep-fried topokkoi (soft rice cake) was a good alternative to the traditional version which is stir-fried in a spicy Korean sauce. School Food also serves a range of topokkoi dishes from the traditional to fusion options.

School Food

There is a variety of noodles on the menu, but we did not get the chance to try. Instead we opted for the rice which are served in hot pan and some of them also come with melting cheese – gorgeous!

School Food

We tried the chef choice which was the BBQ Beef Ribs-Barhp with Potato Wedges 韓風牛仔鐵鍋飯 (HK$138). This rice is full of starch as it consisted both rice and potato. But it is so typical of asian style eating who are starch eater.

School Food

There are variety of drinks including Chilsung cider (韓國七星雪碧) which is a Korean style sprite that has no alcohol content. The athie (艾菲) are non-alcholic cocktails that are made for sharing. It comes in four different flavours – strawberry, mango, orange and pineapple.

School Food

As well as selection of cold drinks, there are hot drinks available including Korean honey yuzu tea 熱柚子蜜 or hot sweet date tea 熱紅棗荼 (HK$28 each).

School Food

The portion size at School Food are great for sharing, which makes it suitable to come with families and friends to enjoy a casual meal. If it is just you or dining between two then I would suggest not to order too much. Some of the dishes are actually quite filling then you might think.

School Food

School Food

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

School Food (Mong Kok)
Unit 453,4/F, MOKO, 193 Prince Edward Road West,
Mong Kok,
Hong Kong

(旺角太子道西193號新世紀廣場4樓453號舖)

http://www.miradining.com/school-food

Mr. Iron 熨烤達人, Hong Kong

Mr Iron is a Korean BBQ restaurant in Hong Kong which is located within the Mong Kok area.

Mr Iron

The restaurant design feels like you are eating in some underground space. It make it a trendy place to hang out for dinner.

Mr Iron

Unlike many Korean BBQ restaurant, the uniqueness about Mr Iron is a cast iron is used to bbq the meat. But not all meat on the menu require the cast iron. There is a symbol to indicate which one requires the cast iron.

Mr Iron

We ordered the pork belly (HK$105) which comes in one thick portion. It was one mega piece of meat and one where we had no idea where to start. Lucky the staff was there to help with cooking it.

Mr Iron

They started off cooking it with the skin faced down and the cast iron placed on top. After the outside was cooked, it was sliced in to thick chunk and further grilled until the meat was fully cooked. Unlike the usual thinly sliced belly pork you would find at a Korean BBQ, this was more like the Chinese crispy pork with the crispy texture skin.

Although, it looks fun with the cast iron, it did felt unsafe as the flame would go up with the oil dripping off the hot iron. We were so glad the staff was there to give us some helping hand, although they were happy for you to cook it urself.

Mr Iron

The restaurant has a drink list which is on a board hanging from the ceiling. It include a range of different flavour of cider. But this is no normal cider that most us would know with the boozy content. Instead cider in Korean term is a soft drink with no alcohol. It is just another fizzy drink.

I thought the drink was cool which tasted like cream soda. It is a drink I recommend to try when visiting Mr. Iron. The bottle is tipped upside down in to a glass . When you drink from the straw you can watch the content of the bottle get less and less.

Mr Iron

Overall I thought the food was average and expensive. Apart from the cast iron it was really like another Korean BBQ restaurant. However, it is a cool place to come here with a group of friends. If you have your birthday here, they will play Happy Birthday in Korean.

The queue for a table at Mr Iron can be long at peak time. So I do recommend trying to not go when every one goes.

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

Mr. Iron 熨烤達人
G/F,147 Sai Yee Street,
Mong Kok,
Hong Kong

(旺角洗衣街147號地下)

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