We’ve been predicting Korean food as the big trend for 2013, and here it is – in just one of its many forms. In this case it’s the eat-with-fingers, messy, New York dude food version of Korean fast food. The dishes are served in disposable paper trays; tables are shared. No bookings are taken. Jubo feels improvised, and occupies one end of the long-established Bedroom Bar. Good cocktails are on hand. Jubo feels like a pop-up, but, we’re assured, it’s here to stay.
Korean fried chicken (KFC) is seasoned then fried twice, which produces a slightly crunchier coating which complements strong-flavoured or gloopy sauces. It goes well with beer, and is an on-trend dish right now – pub chains such as Draft House have cottoned on, and chicken joint Wishbone in Brixton also has a version. At Jubo the options are boneless thigh strips, or messier, bone-in wings. The texture certainly beats the other KFC; the soy/garlic dressing was zesty, the hot/sweet sauce thick and syrupy.
Steamed buns are firm rather than delicate, delivered with fillings such as slow-cooked pork belly, slow--braised beef, or a vegetarian mushroom version with hoisin sauce. Best of all though were the pickles – both the white radish and shiitake mushroom pickles had complex, fruity flavours.
Service was chummy, prices low. In Shoreditch, it should do well.
Reviewed by Guy Dimond