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Jinjuu of Mayfair: A Taste of Korea

Don’t be put off by the very posh environs of Albemarle Street. Jinjuu is warm, welcoming and works hard to put the diner at their ease. Boasting the talents of celebrity chef, Judy Joo, it only opened last October.


My guest and I opted for the signature tasting menu with paired wines for the courses. We had Prawn Crackers and Edamame to start, with a glass of prosecco followed by Lobster & Prawn Pops. These were delicious crispy fried round prawn & Canadian lobster cakes, seasoned with Asian aromatics, served on sticks in a wooden box. There was creamy gochujang mayo on the side to dip them in. This was followed by a trio of Jinjuu Mandoo: juicy steamed beef & pork, vegetable, & crispy short rib kimchi dumplings, served with soy dipping sauce. Then the pièce de résistance (and the dish that SEEN was anticipating!) Jinjuu’s Signature Korean Fried Chicken: golden fried free-range chicken thighs, with their bespoke sauces, served with pickled white radish. This was outstanding, robust and flavoursome. Our palates were refreshed by sliced raw salmon, sashimi style, avocado, soy yuja dressing, seasoned seaweed & wasabi tobiko, which prepared us for Glazed Usda Short Rib: slow braised, tender cubes of short ribs. Served with crispy straw potato, garlic chips, grilled vegetables, & basted with our Jinjuu soy glaze. We wrapped these delicious morsels in lettuce and seaweed. I still had room for Snickers Hotteok: flat Korean doughnut stuffed with salted caramel & roasted peanuts, peanut parfait, chocolate ganache, praline & Nutella powder. My guest opted for a smooth panna cotta.


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Our delightful sommelier was painstaking in her job of explaining the different wines to us, as were the waiting staff who were knowledgeable and obviously well-trained. We had a refreshing glass of Prosecco to start and then (variously) a Pouilly Fumé, which was light and subtle, a Côtes du Rhône, which was full-bodied and sinuous and a lovely Riesling, which had an oily taste almost of petrol, bizarre as that sounds, but it worked!


The wines were the perfect complement to the unctuous glazes on the meat and cut through the robust fire of the sauces. The Espresso Martini was strongly effective in preparing us for the journey home.


There’s a relaxed ambience to Jinjuu, with none of that stuffiness you sometimes get with fine dining. Families are encouraged and a table next to us became pleasantly raucous as the evening flowered. Jinjuu means ‘pearl’ and that’s what this restaurant is; a pearl of a place. I will be taking out of town friends there at the earliest opportunity.

Jinjuu of Mayfair
39 Albemarle Street