Already billed by the Evening Standard as one of the “best new London restaurants opening in 2015“, Judy Joo’s new restaurant, Jinjuu, has its official opening next week (13 January) at 15 Kingly Street London W1B 5PS (though it has a “soft launch” at the end of this week). The Daily Telegraph and the Londonist also include it in their new restaurants to watch.
Even without all the good advance write-ups, I’m looking forward to the opening as something that will liven up the Korean restaurant scene in the centre of town. Here’s what you can expect, taken from the official press release:
A partnership between Judy Joo (Executive Chef) and Kia Joorabchian – founder of Babbo Group, Jinjuu will seat 85 over two floors and will gravitate towards Korean comfort foods and a convivial way of eating. Drinks and “Anju” (Korean food consumed with alcohol) will be served on the ground floor bar, where high tables, outdoor terrace and an illuminated back bar displaying beautiful bottles of Soju will define the space. Accompanying the Asian beer selection, the cocktail menu – as created by Jinjuu’s Bar Manager and mixologist Kristian Breivik, previously at Trailer Happiness – will embrace the typical Korean spirit Soju.
Signature cocktails include the Seoul Sour (Soju, ginseng spirit, honey & lavender syrup with egg white and fresh yuzu juice) and South Korean Fling (a mix of plum-infused Soju, cherry brandy, fresh citrus and aromatic bitters). Highlighting Korea’s tradition to never drink without food, flavour-bomb snacks will include Korean tacos, pajeon pancakes and Jinjuu’s signature dish Korean fried chicken (£8.50).
Downstairs in the restaurant, guests will be able to indulge in Korean sharing platters and side dishes that will cultivate Korea’s unique style of eating – where each bite is bespoke. Barbecued meats will be prepared on the open kitchen grill and wrapped with lettuce, whilst a Ko-Mex dish of Korean carnitas fries (fries topped with braised pork and Kimchi) will innovatively celebrate the chef’s colorful Korean heritage. Alongside comfortable banquette seating, there will be counter-dining spaces for those keen to watch the chefs at work.
The ex-chef of the Playboy Club brings a talented team to Jinjuu, including Head Chef Andrew Hales, who has worked closely with Judy since 2011. A regional finalist of the Roux Scholarship, Andrew boasts a background in classic French fine-dining and Michelin-starred training and mentoring, whilst Ottolenghi-alumnus Jaime Garbutt, will showcase his technical and creative skill as Head Pastry Chef.
Designed by Tibbatts.Abel, Jinjuu will exhibit Korean motifs throughout, contrasting the ornate and decorative with the industrial and raw to subtly reflect the modern and traditional aspects of Seoul. An exposed brick wall will be burned with an iconic white crane bird pattern – symbolic in Korean culture for longevity – whilst Celadon coloured fabrics, silks, ceramics, soft pearls and warm copper notes will balance against concrete, gunmetal accents and distressed metal finishes. A distinctive bamboo ceiling feature will be an integral part of the design, whilst hidden Korean street graffiti art will also aim to delight unaware guests.
Those of you who can’t get to London can get an idea of some of her flavours by watching her new television series, Korean Food Made Simple, which starts screening later this month:
An introduction to South Korea’s bustling food markets, culinary traditions and classic street food, this 10-part series sees Judy journey to her homeland and share her simple and delicious versions of robust Korean staples, as she makes them back home in her London kitchen. The series premiered on the Cooking Channel in the United States in April 2014 and will air on the UK’s Food Network (freeview 41) on 26th January.
Here’s a trailer for the series: