Jihwaja

Restaurants, Korean Vauxhall
3 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
Jihwaja

A karaoke-bar-cum-Korean small plates joint near Vauxhall station.

It’s hard to know where the restaurant starts and the karaoke bar stops at this little warren of a Korean joint on Kennington Lane. Even the tiny ‘main’ dining room is loomed over by a giant screen of silently warbling Asian teenagers, and some speakers haphazardly tacked to the wall. Next, time, I’ll ask them to get the mics out.Maybe.

Ah, but the food: pretty decent, if effectively an extended riff on sugar and soy. But there was one killer dish. The ‘cheese ramen’ was utterly filthy, a synthetic cheese slice melting into a bowl of Maggie-style noodles and a chilli-fired cloudy broth. My companion baulked; I wolfed the lot. Self-respect who?

What followed couldn’t quite hit the heady heights of that dirty dish du jour, though the crescent-shaped pork and veg mandu dumplings were surpringsly delicate, their thin skins just crisp and the piggy, pasty interiors juicy and lousy with scallions. More texturally interesting still were the fried cigars of seaweed, packed with wormy, slimy glass noodles. The de facto main event was a massive, steaming bowl of fried chicken. God knows how they get the texture like this: it was chewy, crisp and lip smackingly sticky all at once, and absolutely honked of garlic. There was a whole bird in there too: it was, I admit, my first time chewing on a chicken neck, and the rippling, HR Giger-esque appearance of the meat definitely puts it in ‘adventurous eater’ territory. But that reflects more on me than the kitchen (and, to clarify, it tasted great). In any case, it all came cheap – around £25 a head. Karaoke or no, that’s something worth singing about.

By: Tom Howells

Posted:

Venue name: Jihwaja
Address: 353 Kennington Ln
London
SE11 5QY
Transport: Tube: Vauxhall
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £60.
Do you own this business?
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Had my birthday party at Jihwaja and it was fantastic and fun and I really loved the foods they served. Staffs were really friendly! Definitely recommed to anyone who wants a great night of laughs good food and enjoyment!

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