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Jinjuu Soho London

Jinjuu Soho London

Address 15 Kingly Street; London W1B 5PS
by Tenison Court
Neighbourhood Soho – Carnaby | See on map
Tube Oxford Circus [Bakerloo, Central, Victoria], Piccadilly Circus [Bakerloo, Piccadilly]
Telephone +44 20 8181 8887
Website http://jinjuu.com/
Price Anju bar food GBP 20-30. Restaurant GBP 30-50
Hours Mon-Sat 12-15, 18-24. Sun 12-16. Bar open 12-24 (until 01:30 Thur-Sat)

Move over Samsung, move over K-Pop and K-Drama. The next big thing coming out of South Korea is apparently its food. Not quite as exciting as its obsession with plastic surgery or its binge-drinking habits, but supposedly better for you and definitely better than another Gangnam Style dance.

While the cuisine is known for its liberal use of chilli and pungent flavours of fermentation, things that might not be everybody’s cup of tea, what Iron Chef Judy Joo serves up at Jinjuu seems adapted to please the Western palate. Trust somebody who used to trade derivatives at Morgan Stanley to make a product that will sell rather than slavishly following the rules.

The menu still features plenty of kimchi, bulgogi and bibimbap bowls, as well as their own take on KFC – Korean fried chicken – to satisfy any Koreaphile. Head downstairs for the more traditional restaurant part and the full menu, or stay at ground level for the snack version in a more informal bar setting. As you might expect, the latter is livelier – and easier on the purse, too.

For the casual diner, it can be a fun place to start the night or pop into for a boozy Soho lunch on Soju-based cocktails (Kimchi Mary? Seoul Sour? Lychee Lover?). Purists may complain but, as the loo wallpaper will remind you, South Korea is also the biggest consumer of Spam (yes, the canned stuff) outside of the US. If that’s authentic, we’ll go with this version thank you.