THE LOWDOWN: Bringing the Korean trend of ‘anju’ (drinking food) to Shoreditch, Jubo specialises in Korean fried chicken – the ultimate hot, sweet, crunchy bar snack. The restaurant officially launches at Bedroom Bar on Rivington Street in September but they’re currently soft open so you can sneak in to try them out. The stripped back, neon-lit eating area is open Tuesday to Thursday, 6pm to midnight, and 7pm to 1am on Friday and Saturday, so it’s perfect for a late night chicken feast that you won’t regret the next day.
THE FOOD: The Jubo team travelled from K-Town New York to Seoul in South Korea to perfect their recipe. Founder LK Foong says, ‘We’ve worked hard to develop the ultimate fried chicken experience. These are tender and succulent pieces packed with crunch and flavour.’
You can order wings or strips (boneless thighs) with either a deeply savoury soy-garlic sauce or a feisty Korean hot sauce. At a pre-launch tasting event, we were hugely impressed by the crunchy coating on the wings which they achieve by double frying them. The hot sauce has an addictive kick but isn’t mega-spicy, so you can jazz them up sriracha if you want to feel the burn.
The menu also includes homemade kimchi and pickles, kimchi slaw, a steak bulgogi roll, and steamed buns filled with melt-in-the-mouth pork belly and slow-braised beef. We liked the only veggie option – a fluffy steamed bun stuffed with Portobello and shiitake mushrooms, hoisin and shredded spring onion. Fans of Old Street bun specialist, Yum Bun, won’t be disappointed.
THE DRINK: Jubo are serving Korean Hite beer and soju, a Korean spirit that’s similar to vodka. Bedroom Bar supplies the rest of the drinks and on our visit their staff were mixing some pretty decent cocktails. We liked the Hoxton Fizz – a summery and refreshing blend of Wyborowa apple vodka, mint, elderflower, lime and pressed apple juice, served long.
EXTRAS: If you want to make a night of it, Bedroom Bar has regular live music and the Comedy Café Theatre upstairs hosts great value stand-up nights. Also upstairs is NOLA – a New Orleans-inspired bar that specialises in blues, cigars and seriously good cocktails.
THE VERDICT: With Jubo around, there’s no need to suffer deep-fried platters of regrettable bar food any more. If you’re planning a Hoxton bar crawl, you should definitely include a pre- or post-crawl stop at Bedroom Bar for some steamed buns, sticky strips and crunchy-spicy wings. You can eat well here for less than a tenner a head and the team have bagged themselves a great location, close to top cocktail bars like Callooh Callay, Casita and The Book Club. If you’re missing lazy summer evenings at Red Market (now only open at lunch), Jubo’s K-Town inspired street snacks are an excellent alternative.