Jinjuu - Gold
A Korean restaurant by Ramsey alumnus and Iron Chef - Judy Joo. Jinjuu, meaning 'pearl' in Korean but also a play on Judy Joo’s name, offers something altogether smarter, funkier and more polished than existing Korean fare in the capital so far. The menu is Joo’s "interpretation of Korean street food" - meaning Korean sharing platters and side dishes, barbecued meats wrapped with lettuce and Kimchi carnitas disco fries (slow cooked pulled pork with kimchi on fries), Korean tacos, Korean sushi rolls (‘kimbab’) and pajeon (spring onion) pancakes. There is also a selection of Asian beer and a large cocktail menus which includes drinks such as the Seoul Sour (Soju, ginseng spirit, honey and lavender syrup, egg white and fresh yuzu juice). The basement restaurant features banquette and counter dining with the ground floor featuring high table, an outdoor terrace and an illuminated bar all with Korean motifs throughout to reflect the modern and traditional aspects of Seoul. Upstairs is focused around snacks and cocktails while downstairs has a "food-focused dining experience". Plenty of counter dining options and bigger banquettes for groups. There's another branch in Soho and another in Hong Kong.
KOBA - Silver
Long before it became a trend in the capital, Koba has stood in London’s Fitzrovia since 2005. The restaurant specialises in Korean table barbecue and underwent a recent refurbishment to celebrate the beginning of its second decade - by Korean design agency Elephant have blended elements of the country’s rich design heritage with more contemporary touches. To coincide with the re-opening, chef and owner Lindia Lee introduced a revamped menu, yet the focus remains on table barbeque cuisine, signalled by a series of unadorned low-hanging extractors hovering over tabletop burners. Here, classic dishes like bulgogi are cooked by diners themselves. Other Korean staples, such as shinsunro, a hotpot served in a flaming copper pot, and bibimbap are also available.
Mee Market - Bronze
A 'table & market concept' with grab-and-go Korean and Asian food options. Mee Market follows Linda Lee’s successful ventures with fine dining Korean restaurant Koba, in Fitzrovia, and popular Korean street food outpost On the Bab - which now has several sites across London. Located on Archer Street, Soho, alongside Jacob Kennedy’s Bocca di Lupo, Mee Market is split across two levels and offers Korean and Asian-inspired hot and cold foods for both take away and dine-in, as well as a retail space on the lower ground floor. The varied food offering at Mee Market includes a Korean poke rice and salad bar, a hot counter for hearty Asian-stews, hot pots and side dishes, and Korean and Asian-inspired food market with takeaway options and recipe cards to cook dishes at home. Mee Market is also dishing up some signature dishes from Koba and On the Bab. Open Monday to Sunday 11am-8pm. Also - check the newly opened On The Dak, Lee's sister restaurant to the popular Korean street-food brand On The Bab specialising in Korean chicken.
Some Seoul food