Jinjuu Soho - Carnaby, London

Korean Restaurant, Bar, Bars and Pubs, Ethnic Foods

Address

Address

15 Kingly St, Carnaby, London, W1B 5PS
jinjuu.com

+44 20 8181 8887

Reviews

Reviews

3.8

Based on 201 reviews.

 

Agregated reviews (201) Jinjuu Soho - Carnaby, London

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Jinjuu offers great atmosphere with amazing interior and easy going vibes and music. The choice of cocktails was extensive and every one I tried left me wanting another. For starters I had the sliders with fried tofu which were just the right size, the flavours were great and I enjoyed it thoroughly. My friend had the wings which he also liked. For my main I chose the vegan cauliflower dish which was my favourite part of the whole evening, it was crispy and just the right texture - not too overcooked or undercooked. The sauces that came in tiny bottles were a great idea because I could control the amount I wanted and tasted fantastic. Overall I enjoyed the food a lot. Bonus of the whole evening was the interior of the toilets. It had posters of k-pop stars all over the walls which I thought was amazing ! If I had to pick on anything, I'd say because we came at a time when not many people were at the restaurant, the staff kept coming up to us asking us for our order when we were just enjoying our drink and conversation so we felt a little bit pressured to order food. Other than that it's a hip and vibrant place and I would definitely recommend it.

4 by Angela Review source

The food was excellent but the service wasn't great. As soon as we sat down we were asked bluntly by our waiter 'DO YOU WANT FOOD?' The menu was quite simple without a lot of descriptions, so we ordered a few small plates and an order of pork belly and kimchi-fried rice. I wish the waiter had explained that the pork belly platter came with rice, lettuce and kimchi, because we obviously wouldn't have ordered an additional rice. The most uncomfortable encounter however was when we had ordered 4 mandoo (dumplings). The menu read that we could order more individually if we wanted. My husband asked for two more, and waiter misunderstood and brought us 2 more orders (8 more in total). When we tried to explain that we only wanted 2 more, we were told that we had to order a minimum of 4 (which we had already done). Overall not a huge problem, but we were made to feel as if we were acting dumb and didn't understand the menu, and the waiter was accusing us of being wrong. Overall - food was excellent and having lived in Korea I felt it was really elevated authentic flavours. We will visit again, but fingers crossed we have better waiter.

3 by Kate McHugh Review source

I think I had much higher expectations and so was pretty disappointed. Most of my complaints are actually about the food itself. Japchae was a bit oily and the Bulgogi in it was just thick chunks of dry, non-marinated, flavorless beef (£15). The Prawn Skewers were basically two barely grilled shrimp dumped into enough gochujang to cover the fishy taste (£11!). Kimchi Fried Rice was ok, obviously very spicy, but also salty with all that pancetta. Mandoo were very good and flavorful - a nice mix of pork and beef in a light steamed dough (4 pieces for £8). But the rest was also down the drain, including the overly acidic vinegar kimchee, the naked, non-marinated, boiled bean sprouts and the yuzu soaked pickled cucumbers. I may still try the Mayfair location, but we're definitely not coming back here - there are way too many other Korean places at a much lower price tag. For the record, the atmosphere and the service were just fine. This is most likely a fun place to load up on cocktails with friends after work, chomping away on Korean fried chicken, and sending the bill to your boss.

2 by Mike Lazarev Review source

I lived in Korea previously for one year and discovered probably the best and most under-appreciated food in the world. Went to Jinjuu for lunch and it started out well. I liked the tacos, and the overall modern twist on Korean flavours. On the negative side, the dishes that followed were good but not amazing. The biggest disappointment was the fried chicken. Interestingly, before going to Jinjuu I read online that the food critic from the Evening Standard (Fay Maschler) was slated by the chef (Judy Joo) for criticising the chicken, basically saying Fay didn't understand Korean food. Well I agree with Fay, and I ate plenty of fried chicken in Korea. My local place while living there (essentially some tables and chairs in a tent on the pavement) produced fried chicken that nearly made you orgasm. Unfortunately, the stuff served at Jinjuu didn't even get me slightly hot under the collar as it was heavily battered and therefore stodgy and oily. I am glad that Korean food is catching on in the UK, but for the real thing (at decent prices), you really do have to go to Korea.

3 by Review source

We were a party of 4 and were given a table whereby it was somewhat impossible to have a proper conversation between the four of us. The hostess said she'd give us the next available table that would seat 4 people properly. Two became available but they refused to give them to us. I found this very upsetting as this was a reunion of friends who hadn't seen each other in a long time. Had it not rained so much outside we would have left the restaurant at that point as the table was really not suitable for a party of 4. The staff couldn't care less!
When we wanted to order more food 90 minutes into our booking we were told we'd have to give the table back soon for another booking. That wasn't mentioned at the time of booking the table or when we started dinner. When I made it clear I wasn't happy about this the manager said they'd moved bookings around and we'd be free to stay. We ordered more food, another bottle of wine and desert. All in all not a pleasant experience. I will not be visiting this place again.

1 by Review source

Jinjuu is the best korean food in all of london in my opinion for a few reasons. The quality of the ingredients is far superior. But that is also reflected in the slightly higher price point compared to cheaper venues. The meat tastes of a higher quality and they list that it is usda prime or grass fed, etc. also I follow them on Instagram and they make everything in house. Most korean places just buy in the kimchi and dumplings and all of the sauces and use premixes. Jinjuu makes their own and you can taste the difference. It is more expensive than myunga down the street but much better and worth it. The seasonings are also better and the japchae is full of veggies and meat while at other places you just get mostly noodles. The bibimbap is fantastic and the bossam pork was very tender and juicy. The service was much nicer than a normal korean restaurant too. The drinks are really original. We had the kimchi Bloody Mary and spamarita. So tastey and this is my go to place to upscale quality korean in london.

5 by Review source

(Real Reviews) Man! the chicken wings the Chic-ken Wings! this place was very nice not too pricey and very honest, our waitress was on point with each question and was not afraid to cater her knowledge of choosing the right dishes to fill our bellies. If I could recommend the chicken wings and thighs along with the fries as a quick lunch dish this will honestly make your day. (Get some of that citrus tea down you too it's a combo).

We also tried out the bibimbap just for review purposes and found only two major flaws, the bowls were way too hot! And the flavour wasn't quite near authentic. Even after receiving it and stirring in the sauce the rice layer at the bottom dries out and becomes hard making it a slightly unpleasant texture.

The atmosphere is great the waitress we had was on point! And the food we had was tasty. Remember this is fusion so don't expect the Traditional Korean experience. Overall real reviews rates this an 8 bibimbaps out of 10

4 by Keirebuu Ishi Review source

I have been a couple of times now, and it's a lovely place. I'm Korean, so I don't know why these non-Korean people are saying that the flavours are not Korean. Although the dishes are not straight up traditional the flavours are really Korean. The kimchi, for example, you can tell it is homemade and not store bought. The ssamjang sauce is brilliant. The 'bulgogi glaze' is really spot on Korean. I was just looking up the phone number and decided to click on the reviews and was really annoyed that people are posting what they don't know about. A lot of the fusion dishes are so tasty. The Korean Fried Chicken is better than versions that I have had in Korea and more traditional in taste. The BINGSU IS SO SO SO BRILLIANT. best place for bingsu in all of london. MUST GO FOR THIS DISH. And it is totally priced very very reasonably. no idea why people thing this place is expensive when everywhere in London costs about £15-£18 for a decent cocktail.

5 by Wendy Ma Review source

TOP DRAWER....This was our 3rd visit to Jinju in the space of three years and by far the best out of 3.. The waiter Philip was magnificent and the knowledge he had around the dishes we chose was outstanding... The Crispy chicken is out of this world, so much so that we ordered an extra portion (look out for the accompanying garnish yumm).. The ingredients in all these dishes were very well thought through.. We had the wild mushroom and truffle tandoo which again we ordered a second portion of as the first were finger so delicious... The BImbiimap with Prawns another delightful choice but the dish that blew us away ENTIRELY was the snicker HOTTEOK, I am absolutely speechless as this is a masterpiece and what makes it even more special is that the pastry chef is 22 years old, HOW? ......... Salivating all the way as this is one of those restaurants that needs to be discovered by Greg and John from Masterchef.. TOP FRIGGING DRAWER, you will not be dissappointed... FLAWLESS,...

5 by Review source

I went to Jinjuu on the recommendation of a work friend and I was glad that I followed his advice! The only thing he said was 'try the tacos' so this was just one of the many dishes my friends and I tried that night.

The beef tacos, the carnitas fries and the bibimbap bowls were all delicious and are highly recommended. We also tried to the tempura vegetable plate which was also really good. The tofu was the best I'd ever tasted but the batter was a little heavy for my taste. The only thing we ordered that I wasn't that fond of was the g-something bombs. Essentially, a jalapeno with meat and cheese inside. I didn't find the filling that full or flavorful and again, the batter was a bit heavy for my taste.

On the whole we had an excellent time and I'd highly recommend the cocktails too. The servers were friendly and attentive which is unusual for a 'cool' establishment.

4 by Tara Mansfield Review source

Good food with clear Korean/American influences. But terrible service. We felt rushed and pressured the moment we sat down. They didn't even wait for our whole party to arrive before pressuring us to order starters or drinks. Edamame beans at £5 definitely overpriced. And then again rushed us to order before we had made up out minds. After food, our waitress took more than we wanted to pay (we didn't want to pay the full service) but by that point it was too late. And after paying I went to the bathroom where one toilet was completely clogged, so I had to wait 5 minutes in a queue. On top of that, when I got back to the table my friends were rushed straight away to hand the table back and nobody said thank you to us as we left after we had just spent £200 at the restaurant. It's like they didn't want us to return back so I am more than happy not to as there are plenty more places with much better service.

2 by Serena Yuen Review source

I am here in London visiting from NYC and decided to check out Judy Joo's restaurant after seeing her show on telly. I go to Koreatown often in NYC, and NYC has really awesome Korean food in general. So, I was curious to see what Jinju was like. It did not disappoint. I don't eat much meat and the bibimbap was amazing. I had it with shrimp which you get a lot of in the bowl, and the vegetables were really taste! the sauce was also not overly sweet or spicy. really delicious. we also had the shrimp balls on sticks, which were out of this world. so so so tasty. we almost ordered another set. we share the fried chicken which was the highlight. reallly crunchy and crispy and the sauces were awesome. so much better than bonchon or other korean fried chicken places in NYC! we also had the kimchi bloody mary and it was so delicious. so spicy, but really addictive. i want jinju to open in nyc!

5 by Kerrie Stephens Review source

I'm korean and I was really impressed overall by the general quality. They have lots of different kinds of soju. Even expensive ones like Hwayo which is very hard to find in london. They make really interesting and delicious cocktails using it too. I had a soju based pornstar drink that was really wonderful. My friend had a spamarita that was so so good too. What I really liked about the food was that all of the meat is sourced well and they don't use MSG here like at most korean restaurants. You can tell they make wn kimchi too. As it doesn't have that store bought quality to it. The short ribs were so tender and really really good and the fried chicken the best KFC in london by far also taking into account that the chicken is from a real free range place farm.its my new favorite korean. I wish they had more of the stews though and soups.

5 by Review source

First time here and will be returning. A lot of reviews are saying it's not very Korean and this is true. It's Korean with a American/westernised fusion, which you would know if you researched the restaurant before going. - don't expect authentic Korean food. The food here is tasty and well presented. Side portions are a little on the small side. Waiter made sure we always had water which was nice, however the main negative for me is the staff, all the male staff we encountered were friendly but 2 of the female staff never smiled, slightly bossy and gave off a superior up-themselves vibe. Told us immediately before we sat down that we had to leave by a certain time because the table we was at was reserved. Could've been put a lot friendlier. But on the positive- food is really good. Presentation is good. Atmosphere is nice.

3 by chaz F Review source

I don't often review places because it is not often a place can make me go wow. This place really does deserve 5*. The decor is typical for Soho- nothing fancy, very down to earth. The place is intimate with only a few covers but the service is excellent. Immediately attended to, a dedicated waiter who was attentive but not overly pushy and kept our water and wine glasses topped up. They focus on the little bits that add upto a lot. I can't comment on the cocktails as we stuck to wine but they were being made from scratch so will assume good things. Finally the food.....THE CRISPY CHICKEN WAS DOPE! My group and I are all raving about the food. The mini sliders, prawn balls, tuna tacos and truffle chips were all very tasty and fresh but that chicken was just -Homer Simpson drooling- delicious.

5 by Review source

Had a dinner for two a few weeks ago. I'm a fan of Korean food, and I was really impressed with the tofu sliders (seriously SO good! with sort of sweet/spicy/bbq sauce in a bun), and my bibimbap with fried crispy tofu. It was the best tofu in 2 different ways that I loved. The Mr had a bowl of japchae, which he reported as very good. Both bibimbap and japchae servings were so generous we were unable to finish them, and we both had big appetites! Also had cocktails, which are yummy and creative. Korean Pornstar (that's the name of a drink haha) is served in a martini glass with half a passionfruit and a shot of soju on the side. Really cool. Friendly service as well, we didn't feel rushed. Bonus: In the bathrooms there are Kpop posters on the walls and Kpop playing from speakers :D

5 by Anna Suberlak Review source

Extremely tiny food and extremely expensive. Service was awful. First I ordered a cocktail a friend in the table had ordered and they brought me a slightly different one, we told the waiter and he said it was the same cocktail, we showed him that even the colour was different and he said it was because a different barman did it, and then offered to change it which was good. Two of us who are veggies had ordered tofu burgers, the person that brought the food said tofu burgers, and put them in the table. After trying them we looked at each other like about to puke: they were chicken burgers! And last they took a millennia to bring the main course, and ended up giving drinks but only after a long long wait. Now that I see the reviews (I didn't chose this place) I see why.

2 by Paula D'Urbano Review source

The hype was better than the food (bland stodgy grease)

I had high hopes for this place after all the PR surrounding it. To be honest I would have had a better dining experience in McDonald's. I love Korean food and eat it regularly but would never go here again, which is a shame as the concept for the place was great.

Good: Decor, location, idea

Bad: food lacked any flavour and was very greased and stodgy with high price tags. Wouldn't have minded if it tasted great.

Staff: Polite but was an awkward experience where there was so many staff and all looked so bored they wouldn't leave us alone to eat, hovering about.

Judy Joo sorry but we won't be back or recommending this!

1 by Review source

Pros:
- some of the food is decent but not exciting

Cons:
- music was so loud that the waiter couldn't hear our orders and it certainly didn't help us to have a relazing and pleasant evening
- the fried chicken has a massive amounts of oily batter hence it wasn't nice at all
- the pork dumplings are one of the worst things I have ever tasted. They had absolutely no texture and tasted horribly
- food was highly overpriced. A rack of ribs to share that was 27£ was barely enough for 1 and it came with a completely bland rice and 5 leaves that they probably call salad.

All in all, I'd recommend you go somewhere else as you'd be disappointed.

2 by Alexander Peshev Review source

I’ve usually love coming here because it has such a good vibe, but I will never be attending this bar/restaurant again. Me and my friends came here on a Friday night and were served by a gentleman named Antonio, the service was awful. Antonio was soo rude, especially when we just asked if we could change one of my friends drinks and swap it for something else. He made a very patronising comment stating that we just picked the wrong drink and there’s nothing he can do about it. Towards the end of our time here he gaves us the bill and said he needed the table back, and he made sure that he kept pestering us to to leave. This is not what you would expect from a restaurant in the west end, very disappointing.

1 by Review source

If you're reading this review before your first visit to the restaurant, please bear in mind that there's a very strict time limit for dinning. It's written nowhere in the booking system (they never answered the phone call. Even at 3pm) and nobody tells you upfront. However, when your time is up, they'll come to your table, while you're (physically) eating, and say that you have to give up the table.
Also, please don't waste your time to complain this to the restaurant manager. He'll just say there was an option to move to the bar area (which there wasn't) and say how 'generous' of him to give you extra minutes to finish up your meal.

1 by Review source

There are some very authentic dishes here like the Bibimbap which is the best in London, or the kimchi that they make themselves and is very very good. Then there are some dishes that are more fusion like the Korean Fried chicken mini burger which is amazing. There is a street food theme going on with more modern things like prawn pops and tacos. Then there is a more traditional element like the korean style steaks and noodles. I had a absolutely perfectly cooked and delicious sea bream with this soy dressing. Very moist and beautifully presented with tasty pickles on the side. There were 3 birthday parties around me. I can see why people like to go in groups. I will come back.

5 by Review source

This place is really good for Korean street food dining from celebrity chef Judy Joo. Set in the heart of Soho it's just what you need after a day of shopping. The decor is modern and well run with staff being very knowledgeable about food options. There is ample seating all around but you need to book in advance if you are going in a group. Lots of starters which can fill you up and are delicious so you may not need to go all out and order mains. The bar as you enter has a selection of beers and wines and makes great cocktails so if you have to wait grab a pre meal warmer. Overall this is an excellent place and exactly why London is the food capital of the world right now.

5 by Anish Shah Review source

The food is generally excellent, but the service is poor. We had a view that allowed us to see behind the bar, and we could see the staff chatting and gossiping behind the curtain, ignoring the floor. Added to this, I ordered a rice bowl which was a little dry (the egg had congealed a little, I suspect it had been sitting under a heat lamp for quite a while), and I asked for some soy. It took until we had pretty much finished eating for the soy to arrive from behind the curtain, and they charged us extra for it (a few ml of SOY!!!). This was a bit of a sting considering the only reason it was ordered was because the food was a little dry. I don't think I will be back.

3 by Robin Stewart Review source

Be aware! French old guy comes up to my girlfriend (Oriental) condescendingly says she speaks good English. She has been in London all her life and never experienced this kind of racism in London.

Upon asking for the bill he makes us wait for 10 minutes while leaning on the bar and just looking around. He then charges us an OPTIONAL £5.18 extra for service. We didn't get to choose if we wanted to tip him or not but he used the card reader by himself and gave himself a genourous tip which we realised only after leaving the restaurant. Pretty sure that's theft.
Avoid at any cost, don't let yourself get served by that old French guy.

1 by Review source

Been going for a while now and been unimpressed with the reducing number of vegetarian options and the increasing prices.

Good points:
- atmosphere
- cocktail selection
- the quality of food.. especially the snicker dessert and he tofu mini burgers.. YUM!

Bad points:
- overpriced dishes (e.g. Jinjuu carnitas fries were served without meat - to make vege friend - but charged at £8!)
- used to be a wider selection of vegetarian choices, but seemed to have reduced
- last visit, the man serving (older, french chap) was over familiar and not attentive.. towards the end left us waiting very long).

2 by Jason Wilko Review source

This is our go to place for me and my girls! Great wine selection which you can have as carafe (handy especially when you don't want to drink a bottle). The food is always good. We especially like dim sum and the Korean Salad. Took other half there today even though we had no reservation, we were given an hour slot that was available. The food arrived as always on time and yes, he tried the salad and let's just say he paid the chef the highest compliment (have the photos as proof). Vibe is great, staff very friendly. The toilets have a very interesting sign which if you do go, make sure you check it out!

4 by Dee Castro Review source

I am new to London and decided to try this place after seeing Chef Joo on TV. I'm Korean and I was very impressed with how much Korean things the have here. The selection of different soju is fabulous and they even have Hwayo soju, which very difficult to find in London. I had a kpop pornstar and they have funny coasters that come with drinks! The menu is not totally Korean, lots of mixed things, but everything was very tastey and I loved the kimchi. Tastey homemade kimchi! The mandu was very good too and homemade taste too. I'm so happy to find this place! The Korean fried chicken was so SO SO yum!

5 by Review source

This place was absolutely amazing!!
They gave you delishous chilli cracker bites to snack on while you were there and the drinks were amazing!
My brother got a mucho macho (mocktail) and downed it. I had a pink grapefruit which was just a juice and my friend got a jin-gem cocktail which she loved.Her boyfriend got a beer and my mum got a hite which she got two times. There was a lovely staff member called Nicholas/Nickolas and while I was drawing in my book he continued to compliment it and made a few nice jokes I loved this experience and would come again anytime I’m back in London thanks!!

5 by Review source

We booked this restaurant having read a good review. When we came in, we were sat at a table by the very busy bar. I was disappointed to later learn that there was a downstairs that was quieter and more like a restaurant rather than a pub. The service was not great. It was hard getting anyone's attention and was nit friendly at all. The food was ok but nothing special and we were extremely disappointed with the size of the mains (short ribs and seabass) which were very expensive given they were the size of starters. One of our party who was vegetarian was served some dish with beef in it.

2 by Rajul Savani Review source

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