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Sunday, 1 February 2015

Ted finds a Pearl


I found a pearl … truly I did. Jinjuu is Korean for “pearl” and it’s also the name of the true labour of love restaurant recently launched by Judy Joo in the revitalised Carnaby Street locale in Soho. To quote a famous non person … “this is food Jim but not as we know it” ... and that’s because it’s sooooooo much better and more enterprising. Jinjuu brings Korean Mexican to London in the most highly enjoyable of ways.  For those of you about to shout “Ted there is no such thing as Korean Mexican” … take this ...  Korean immigration to Mexico started in the early 1900’s. At the beginning they came to get away from a series of natural disasters that devastated a lot of their livelihoods and took work harvesting the agave cactus (raw material of tequila). Naturally they bought their cuisine with them and there was soon a happy “marriage” of flavours, textures and heat borne out of adaptation, that quickly met with the approval of all of the locals.

Ok ...  now that you believe me about that can we talk about Jinjuu please, because believe me it is worth talking about. It has two distinct areas, upstairs at street level there is a rather comfortable and stylish bar offering “Anju” – small dishes and snacks, essentially “street food” in smaller portions designed to be eaten while enjoying a few drinks, or order lots and make a real meal of it.

They have many choices of libation, including a number of cocktails. These will all be very nice being exactly what they are supposed to be ie cocktails, but as is the trend right now, they are also cunningly designed for food matching pleasure. I must say that any Negroni aficionado must try their White Rice Negroni.

Downstairs is the “dining” end of the business – a smaller and really rather comfortable space where you can easily observe the open kitchen if you so desire. I think that the open kitchen is quite reflective of Judy’s Iron Chef days and also her dint to the street origins of her cuisine. I guess I should mention the food now – fabulous in a word. If you ever had a bad individual Korean or Mexican experience forget it, and come and try the food of Judy and her small talented team. Service is spot on across the board as well which is down to a bunch of experienced professionals behind this new opening.

It is everything you desire when you say “I want something really tasty, layers of flavour and texture, perfectly cooked, and loaded with umami"... plus ... “look finally a desert menu where I want to eat everything".

While I was there I tweeted one of my erstwhile (and anonymous) foodie girlfriends and said “am taking the sauces home to roll in” … she’s yet to tweet back, dunno why …

5 comments:

Luis Gomez said...

You make me want to go over there to try it. Great jobTed! ;)

Luis Gomez said...

You make me want to go over there to try it. Great jobTed! ;)

Sharon Anck said...

You've made me want to put this place on my list of places to visit. Sounds wonderful.

Jack said...

Korean Mexican food? I am still trying to process that. But, I do learn so much from Ted and the Doll.

William Kendall said...

Korean Mexican food? That's a new one to me!

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