Jinjuu is a modern Korean restaurant from Celebrity Chef Judy Joo (had to Google her, but yeah, she’s certainly a celebrity lol). There are two restaurants in London, in Mayfair and Soho … two utterly different places 🙂 I came across Jinjuu while searching for restaurants offering different cuisine than our usual (Japanese, Chinese, Indian, and burgers lol). Jinjuu’s menu was also rather promising, with tacos, sliders, dumplings, fried chicken, and a good selection of grilled dishes, all with Korean influence.
Jinjuu Soho is on Kingly Street, roughly five minutes from Oxford Street Station and just by Carnaby Street. It’s a good location, as Kingly Street gets really lively after work (9-5) hours. Soon as we step into the restaurant we are met by the check-in desk and the two nice ladies behind the desk; they welcome us, quickly check us in, and one of them leads us to our table. This was about 6PM on a Friday, and the fairly sized restaurant (on the ground floor, there is a basement level I didn’t get to see) is already somewhat busy, especially the rather cool bar along one side of the room. The restaurant deliberately has a rustic warehouse vibe with exposed brick walls and metal beams – it’s a good look, I must say.
The menus were handed to us as we sat; so it didn’t take us long to decide. Shiima went for edamames, vegetable dumplings, and mushroom tacos. I went for Tuna tartar, beef & pork dumplings, and pork belly tacos. We both picked Korean fried chicken sliders, and Jinjuu’s signature Korean fried chicken wings and boneless thighs. The dishes came when ready. First, quite surprisingly, were the signature fried chicken wings and thighs, which came with Gochujang Red & Black Soy sauces (Jinjuu’s signature sauces). The wings and the thighs were indistinguishable by taste, which isn’t a bad thing, but both were overly coated in batter. Way too much for me, I spent a good amount of time attempting to peel batter off the chicken. The fried chicken was delicious, not too much extra flavour on its own but the gochujang red sauce gave it all the flavour you’ll need. It’s a really good sauce. Next to arrive were my beef & pork dumplings, these were nice and delicate steamed dumplings with minimal seasoning.
Then my tuna tartar arrived, and it was rather lovely to look at and lovely to taste as well. The tuna was fresh and delicious tossed in mustard vinaigrette. Also, it went well with the crispy lotus root chips it was served with. Then came my favourite of the dishes – the Korean fried chicken sliders (two per serving). Really cute chicken burgers with the perfect ratio of chicken to soft brioche bun. It was delicious and moreish. I could’ve had two more, I wanted two more, but … didn’t want to be greedy. Shiima’s vegetable dumplings arrived next; oddly, maybe because I had eaten so much after my dumplings, it didn’t taste much different from the beef & pork dumpling. Like the beef & pork dumpling, it was nice and delicate, but I had a portion of one of the dumplings with the gochujang red sauce and it was so much more delicious. My pork belly tacos arrived, and it looked delicious. It tasted even more delicious than I expected. First, the tacos were soft; the pork belly was incredibly tasty as they’d been marinated in Korean spices, and the kimchii & Asian slaw was a good accompaniment. Shiima’s mushroom tacos were just as juicy (yes, juicy 😋), the predominant taste is the goat cheese and avocado, but you could still taste the sour cream and the mushroom. We were incredibly full at this point, so we didn’t even bother looking at the dessert menu.
We had a good time at Jinjuu Soho. The food was good, the service fantastic, and the vibe of the restaurant was superb – a fine middle ground between relaxed and edgy lol. Jinjuu is also moderately expensive (as moderate as £9 tacos could be 😄). I’d recommend for a somewhat chilled date, for foodies, and also large group dining.
Dress Code: Casual
Cuisine: Modern Korean
Amen & Shiima’s Star Dish: Korean Fried Chicken Sliders
Price: £35 each (excluding alcohol)
Rating: 4.2 out of 5