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A trendy, moodily lit Korean bar and restaurant in Soho.
What would you want to eat while ogling a Playboy bunny? That’s one question Judy Joo doesn’t need to ask herself any more. The Korean-American ‘Iron Chef’ left her job last year as executive chef at Hugh Hefner’s London club to set up her own enterprise in Soho. It’s a trendy Korean bar and restaurant, without a cottontail in sight.
On our visit, the moodily lit bar was packed with after-work office types downing cocktails and East-meets-West Korean dishes, while a DJ pumped out ambient tunes. This place takes its cool credentials seriously.
As for the food, the ‘Jin Chick’ deserved its status as Jinjuu’s signature fried chicken snack. Crisp-coated and tender thighs came with sweet, spicy chilli sauce, thickened soy and refreshing pickled radish. But soft tacos with pork belly, Asian slaw and kimchi (fermented Korean cabbage) were more humdrum.
In the dining room too, quality was mixed. Kalbi, the classic barbecue beef dish, was made with bavette rather than the usual rib; ours was chewy and under-marinated. A K-ed up ‘moules marinière’ (bacon, white wine and fermented chilli and soya bean pastes) shouldn’t have worked, but it did.
Jinjuu has room for improvement. But it’s another encouraging sign that Korean food is moving further into London’s mainstream – and that’s a development to welcome. I’ll take Jin Chicks over bunnies any day of the week.
15 Kingly Street
|Transport:||Tube: Oxford Circus|
|Price:||Meal for two with drinks and service: around £85.|
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