Trendy Korean: Jinjuu in Central
A modern take on Korean food by celebrity chef Judy Joo sounded promising. The menu features fusion dishes such as prawn cake pops and has an extensive drinks list featuring cocktails with fun names, including So U Like Soju? and K-pop Pornstar. Everything was beautifully presented, although portions were small. The dishes were hit and miss. Jinjuu's signature Korean fried chicken (HK$125) was a solid hit. It was crispy, chewy and - even with all the oil - light.
The yook-hwe (HK$135), or Korean steak tartare, prepared the traditional way with pear slices and pine nuts, would have been forgettable if not for the spicy prawn crackers on the side. The crackers, made with a mix of Korean fermented bean paste and chilli paste, were deliciously crunchy and spicy. The Ibérico bossam pork belly (HK$460) was excellently executed, soft and tender. However, the fermented bean paste and chilli glaze overpowered the subtle flavours of the pork belly.
Dishes with strong flavours seemed to be a recurring theme, as evidenced by the Jinjuu carnitas fries with Ibérico pork (HK$90). The fries had a mountain of toppings and when we dug in, the cheese had already hardened. The kimchi was sub-par and the chilli sauce was too harsh.
Dinner ended with makgeolli (fermented rice liquor) and white chocolate panna cotta with mango and passion fruit compote topped with yuja sorbet (HK$80) and chocolate, hazelnut and gochugaru (chilli flakes) brownie with miso ice cream (HK$90) - the yuja sorbet was superb. The meal was completed by a glass of riesling (HK$110) and a Busan Waterfall (HK$85) mocktail of watermelon, red ginseng, honey, lemon and fizz.
UG/F, California Tower, Lan Kwai Fong, Central, 3755 4868