Celebrity chef, Judy Joo, is behind Jinjuu, a modern Korean restaurant on Kingly Street. I hadn’t heard of Judy before, but I’m always intrigued by celebrity chefs who have had interesting career changes, in this case an investment banker turned chef. Great move Judy Joo!
I love Kingly Street and the countless dining hotspots in Carnaby. Whenever a new restaurant opens here, I know it’s destined for success and will have a unique spin to its menu. Jinjuu, meaning pearl, has a menu focused on both traditional and contemporary Korean dishes, with surprising fast food classics making an appearance.
The décor is sleek and the ambience resembles the feel of a cool underground bar in New York. The trendy music, good service and contemporary Korean food with an American twist makes Jinjuu a fun dining spot.
We shared a selection of the Anju plates (Korean tapas). I was very tempted by the large plates on the menu but sadly we didn’t have enough space after the starters. I know, slacking as a foodie, but this gives me a great excuse to come back!
Korean fried tofu sliders– Golden fried crispy tofu, signature sauces, mayo and crispy lettuce tossed in a bun. These were the highlight of the meal. Great flavours and who doesn’t love anything fried!? My heart skipped a beat when I saw that I had one more slider left (I thought I had already eaten both) so I saved the best until last.
Mushroom Tacos – Miso sautéed mushrooms, kale, black beans, cheese, avocado and sour cream. These were very good. Messy to eat but I enjoyed the flavours!
French fries with ssam jang aioli– thin crispy fries and a delicious aioli dip.
Ya-Chae Mandoo (Vegetable dumplings) – steamed dumplings stuffed with tofu, vegetables and sweet potato noodles. These were ok, nicely presented but the strong flavours were quite overpowering.
Korean Mocha – Baked chocolate and boricha (roasted barley) ganache, cocoa nibs and hazelnut with milk ice cream. Sensational! I love a chocolate and hazelnut combo so I knew I would enjoy this form the moment I read the mouth-watering description. Rich flavours and a perfect sweet ending to the meal.
Reservations: Can book online via OpenTable or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: 15 Kingly Street, Carnaby. Closest station: Oxford Circus
Price: approx £30
Perfect for: A dinner with friends/family