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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Casita Andina

Casita Andina is a Purvian picanterias in London Soho that serve dishes inspired by the Peruvian Andes. The place is small and one where the dishes are great for sharing.

We started off nibbling on avocado fritters (£3.50). There was some seasoning but it was slightly on the bland side. The texture reminded me of banana fritters.

Casita Andina

It was then follow by the raw bar with Cobia Titradito (£9) – Farmed black king fish served with pineapple tiger’s milk and nori chilli dust.

Casita Andina

From the hot kitchen we tried a variety of the dishes on the menu.

Tamal (£6.50) – pork in a corn dumpling with coriander, onions and tomatoes.

Casita Andina

Aji de gallina (£9) – free range chicken served with amarillo chilli, botija olive and quail egg.

Casita Andina

Maca Lamb lion (£14) – Annatto marinated lamb sirloin served with garlic uchucuta and spicy cancha powder

Casita Andina

Rocoto Rayado (£12) – Skate wing, seco criollo, rocoto chill, queso fresco. It was not exactly what I expected which was minced fish. If you not in to a fishy dish then not one I would recommend to order.

Casita Andina

We finished the meal with trying the full range of dessert on the menu.

Choco-sauci (£6.50) – Peruvian Alto El Sol chocolate ball, elderberry gel, chocolate crumble. This is a dessert for the chocolate lover. The rice krispy gives it a crunchy texture that worked well with all the other texture on the plate.

Casita Andina

Mango chia & chicha pot (£5) – Mango, chia, purple corn granita. I was not too sure about the flavours which made it my least favourite dessert.

Casita Andina

Strawberry and avocado (£5) – Avocado, strawberry, yacon, basil cress. I thought the combinations of all the different ingredients worked well together.

Casita Andina

There are a range of drinks including Chicha Morada which is a Peruvian drink made from purple maize. There is also smoothies made up with some interesting ingredient. We tried some of these which had unique flavours and not was all to my taste buds.

Overall I thought the presentation of the food was good. Some dishes I thought was better than other dishes we tried. But each one the combinations of the different ingredients worked well together.

(Menu and prices correct at the time of dining)

Casita Andina
31 Great Windmill Street,
London,
W1D 7LP

http://www.andinalondon.com/casita

DOZO Soho

Dozo is a Japanese restaurant with two branches in London and one of these is located in Soho. The restaurant serves a range of sushi including morden sushi maki rolls that are known as Dozo rolls.

We tried the Tiger Maki (8 pieces) – tempura prawn, tobiko, cucumber, avocado & lettuce (£13.80).

Dozo Soho

My favourite is the Volcano Maki (8 p pieces) – eel, leeks, bonito flakes, eel sauce, avocado & mayonnaise (£15.80). Combination of all the different flavours with Japanese mayonnaise makes a sauce that is addicting.

Dozo Soho

As well as sushi the restaurant also offers a selection of noodle and rice. We tried their Curry Tori Don deep-fried chicken cutlet in breadcrumbs with Japanese curry sauce on rice (£8.80). I felt the curry sauce was on the watery side. Compared to the sushi the presentation of this dish was lacking.

Dozo Soho

Overall sushi was better than their non-sushi dishes and it will be the Dozo rolls that you will want to order when you visit.

Dozo Soho can be a popular place and I do advise that you make a reservation. We did turn up and managed to get a table for three people with no wait. However we only had the table for an hour and half.

Dozo Soho
32 Old Compton Street,
Soho,
London,
W1D 4TP,
UK

http://www.dozosushi.co.uk

Tombo Poké & Matcha Bar, Soho

Tombo opened a second store a few months ago in London Soho. The store has a much smaller menu than their original cafe in South Kesington. The Soho branch concentrate on serving Poké, their popular Matcha drinks and desserts. 

Poké are basically sushi bowl served in a contemporary way. Tombo offers it with black and white rice or courgette noodles. The courgette noodles is the lighter version which is nice alternative to a salad in the Summer weather.

There are a variety of hot and iced matcha drinks including teas, latte, matchiato, juices and milkshake. It is defintely a place for matcha lovers.

The most popular items on Tombo’s menu has to be their dessert. Their matcha soft serve ice cream comes in the choice of a cone, pot, sundae (£5.40), manaka (£3.90) and affogato (£6)

Tombo sundae comes with matcha soft serve, red bean paste, matcha brownie, rice crispy bottom and a waffle stick. The matcha soft serve  is less milky than places like Tsujiri and has a stronger green tea flavour. It is perfect for those who prefer less milky and stronger matcha flavour soft serve.

Although it is not as milky, the soft serve is still creamy and not watery base like the one I had at Kanada-Ya. The ice cream itself was not too sweet but I did find the matcha brownies very sweet.

Tombo Matcha Sundae

Getting a soft serve does not come cheap, even on its own the price starts at £3.50. The sundae itself in the takeaway portion is even more expensive as it priced at £5.40. But the price is comparable to other places in London that serves matcha soft serve. It is defintely a luxary ice cream.

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

Poké & Matcha Bar – Soho
28 D’Arblay Street,
W1F 8EW,
London,
UK

http://www.tombopoke.com

Tsujiri London – Matcha drinks and dessert

Tsujiri is a Japanese traditional tea brand which serves its matcha (green tea) tea in variety of desserts and drinks. It is originated in Japan and has branches in Singapore, Canada and now in UK.

Matcha ice cream seem to be getting popular in London, especially with the Oriental community. It is no surprise as it is an Asia flavour. There seem to be madness with any thing containing matcha.

The shop is small which is located in the Soho area of London. There are only a few seats which are usually filled during the busy hours. But when there is so many people it can get stuffy that you would rather just eat on the street or at a nearby park.

Tsujiri is popular for their soft serve ice cream which comes in two flavours, Matcha (£3.95) or Vanilla (£3.45) in either a cone or cup. You can also opt to add toppings for additional charge – Kinako (roasted soy beans powder), Red Bean, Kuromitsu (dark sugar syrup), Shiratama (mochi), Marron Glace (sugar syrup chestnut candied).

Tsujiri London

If you want some thing a bit more fancy than the Matcha Sundae is a good choice. There are three to choose, Crispy Sundae (£4.95), Shiratama Sundae (£5.45) and Chiffon Cake Sundae (£4.95).

Tsujiri London

The Chiffon Cake Sundae consist of corn flakes, a piece of green tea chiffon cake, red bean paste and of course matcha soft-serve ice cream.

Tsujiri London

If you are like me who some time want a drink but still want an ice cream than the float (Small £5.45/Medium £5.95) is a good option. There are six to choose, O-matcha float, Houjicha float, Yuzu float, O-matcha milk float, Houjicha milk float and Red bean float. All of them comes with a choice of vanilla or matcha ice cream. It is definitely a good choice to get cool in the warm weather.

Tsujiri London

There are also a variety of drinks including hot or cold ice tea and latte. For some thing to cool down in the warm weather but more on the icy side than the ice blended (Medium £3.95/Large £4.45) could be the one. Just like the float it comes in six different flavours. however if you want some thing a bit more tradition than there is O-matcha.

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

Tsujiri London
47 Rupert Street,
London,
W1D 7PD

http://tsujiri-global.com

Bocca Di Lupo

Bocca Di Lupo is an Italian restaurant located in London Soho. It has been a popular venue since it first opened many years ago. Each time I go pass, it is always buzzing with diners. In the past, I have tried to get a table but never suceed until recently when looking for a place to have dinner with friends. I thought I would give them a call and unexpectecly to be told that there was availiabity.

Bocca di Lupo

The menu has a range of dishes to select that you spoilt for choice. The dishes at Bocca Di Lupo is to cover different regions in Italy.

The first dish we tried on the evening was the Seabream carpaccio with orange & rosemary. To get the full flavour of this dish you will need to sqeeze some orange juice, otherwise I thought it lacked flavour.

Bocca di Lupo

The grilled mussels with chilli oils was simple dish. It was nice but it would not be a stand out dish for me at Bocca Di Lupo.

Bocca di Lupo

It was my first time trying a Bagna fredda (chilled anchovy & garlic cream with fennel, potatoes, bread and mammole artichoke) and thought it was interesting. When it arrived at the table I thought it was a soup but its more of a dipping for the vegetables and bread. The dipping was full of flavour which made it suited to go with the bread and vegetable which was on the bland side.

Bocca di Lupo

We also tried one of the risotto on the menu which has taken my fancy over pasta these days. One reason is because it is wheat free which you will not find from traditional pasta. I am told that a good pasta and risotto is when the texture is al dente. However, not being an Italian and clearly not since I prefer my risotto on the softer side.

Bocca Di Lupo’s risotto al dente was a bit too on the hard side with a more crunchy texture compared to risotto I have had in London.

Bocca di Lupo

Being an Italian restaurant I expect pasta to be good and Bocca Di Lupo did not disappoint with both pasta dishes we ordered. As with many dishes on the menu, the pasta comes in two sizes – small or large.

Tortellini stuffed with pork & prosciutto, with peas, asparagus and cream

Bocca di Lupo

Tagliatelle with ragu bolognese

Bocca di Lupo

We also tried a few of Bocca Di Lupo’s roast/grilled dishes on the menu. My favourite of the evening has to be the whole slow grilled leg of milk fed lamb with garlic, wine and honey. This dish cost £55 which is for two person to share. The meat was tender with a
sweet honey taste.

Bocca di Lupo

The Roast suckling pig with chestnuts, white wine & bay leaves for £26 would be my second favourite dish of the evening. Crispy skin with succelant meat under it.

Bocca di Lupo

We also tried the Agnell cacio e uiva (lamb braised with white wine sauce thickened with egg yolks and pecorino). Looking at the dish you might think it not that pretty but after all it is a stew like dish.

Bocca di Lupo

The Caponata (aubergines, celery and tomato in agrodolce) come in the option to be served cold or warm. I prefer it warm. Love that the vegetable cooked until it is soft and it compliment the meat dishes.

Bocca di Lupo

We managed to finish our meal with dessert, but unfortunately some of the dessert were already sold out although it was not even 9 o’clock.

The Bonet (chocolate, coffee, amaretti, caramel & rum pudding) was very sweet and is for those with a very sweet tooth. For me one or two spoonfuls is enough to satisfy my sweet buds.

Bocca di Lupo

The Baba with baked rhubarb and cream I thought was like bread soaked in water. The portion size of this can be share. Compared to the bonet this was not sweet and more on refresh side. But it was my least favourite dessert of the evening as soggy bread really does not take my fancy.

Bocca di Lupo

I did enjoyed the food at Bocca Di Lupo but I was disappointed by the service. Our waitress obviously was trying to get us to finish so they could turn the table.

Me and few of us arrived 20 minutes early than our booking and we were shown to our table. However, even before our booking time we were already push to order and asked when the rest of our guests were arriving.

I was already aware that we only had the table for 2 hours and 15 minutes. So when we were offered the dessert menu and needed to give the table back on time, we tried many time to politely get attention of a staff to take our order. Finally when our waitress wanted to take our dessert, she comes over and decided to take the menus off us, giving us the impression that we had no time for dessert.

I know they are busy and want to turn as many tables throughout the night. But I think our waitress could had done it in a much more polite way. Other restaurant has been able to do it in a much better way. I wouldn’t recommend this place if you don’t want to feel push with your dining.

Bocca di Lupo

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

Bocca Di Lupo
12 Archer Street,
London,
W1D 7BB,
UK

http://boccadilupo.com

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