Serving funky and traditional Korean food, there’s something for everyone at this hot brunch spot.
Stepping into Jinjuu, in the heart of LKF at California Tower, you can’t help but stop and take in the interior décor: Think high warehouse-style ceilings with dangling colourful, traditional adornments, a Korean dragon wall art feature and warm wooden fittings, including high chairs! This place manages to be sophisticated and welcoming, the lonnng bar and overflowing buffet counter just begging you to come and eat and perhaps enjoy a cocktail or two.
I didn’t know where to start at the Entrée Buffet Counter, with stations covering everything from Kimbap (Korean sushi), Seafood, Bagels with Korean-inspired cream cheeses, Fried Chicken and Tofu, and of course ‘Build Your Own’ Bibimbap.
I piled my plate up with the healthier options: Tuna Ceviche lettuce cups, a mix of beef, salmon and vegetable Kimbap (the beef was my favourite), and an assortment of colourful vegetables from the Bibimbap station (with lots of hot sauce!); I didn’t see any rice on offer to add to my bibimbap but it occurred to me after that it probably was being served by the staff behind the counter and I should have just asked… whoops!
My brunch date had all this too, plus the heartier options – he raved about the fried chicken, and I stole a bite of his fried tofu… silky and creamy on the inside, with a super thin, crunchy coating on the outside. He also gave the Home Cured Yuja Scottish Salmon two thumbs up; super fresh and not fishy at all.
While some of the buffet dishes are for a more mature palate, there are plenty kid-friendly options if you’re bringing the little ones, from the bagels to the kimbap (perfect for little fingers!), and they’ll go crazy for the fried chicken. More adventurous eaters will have fun building their own bibimpap – a great way to get the veggies in, and they’ll have fun filling and decorating their own plate.
We were getting pretty full at this point (hard to do just one round at a buffet!), but the mains just sounded so good and it was Sunday, so we ordered the Kalbi JJIM USDA Short Ribs, basted in a soy glaze with grilled vegetables. The short ribs stole the show. The slow-braised cubes were so tender, falling onto the fork as we dug in, and the perfectly cooked grilled vegetables balanced out the meat’s richness. A gorgeous looking dish as well, complete with a garnish of shoestring fries and garlic chips.
Vegetarians will be happy here too, with the Miso Grilled Vegetables with tempura shimeji mushrooms and yuja aioli. For the kids (or mamas and papas!) there’s Fried Fish with Kimchi Mayo (you could ask for this on the side), mushy peas and French Fries.
We were going to say no to dessert… until we saw the table next to us digging into the Dessert Sharing Platter. I liked that most of the desserts in this were fruity and light, without being too rich or sickly sweet after the heavy meal. My favourite was the Strawberry Mess, served in two shot glasses with strawberry compote, yuja Chantilly cream, meringue, strawberry jelly and sorbet… a really refreshing dessert and the perfect palate cleanser; the kids will especially love the sorbet.
If you’re after something more decadent, also on the platter were two generous serves of Jinjuu’s Hazelnut and Gochugaru (red chilli) Brownie with Salted Miso Ice Cream; I love a brownie but this was a bit too sweet for me and I couldn’t taste the chilli, although the ice cream I was fan of – nice and caramel-y thanks to the miso.
We decided to skip the alcohol and went for the colourful homemade Korean iced teas (including an aloe vera one!) from the buffet counter instead. If you’re here to wine and dine, there’s an add-on option of free-flow Louis Roederer Brut NV Champagne, selected cocktails and house wines for $250. I’ve been back to Jinjuu since and let’s just say they do a mean Spiced Kimchi Mary, mamas!
Whether you’re after a family friendly brunch or boozy one with papa, the girls or a group, Jinjuu has got you sorted. Kids 4-12 can help themselves to the Buffet, along with a Main and Dessert for just $200/head, and if you don’t want to blow the budget, you definitely won’t go hungry with the Semi Buffet option at $280/adult. Or if you want to splurge, you’ll feel you got your money’s worth with the Semi Buffet, Main Course and Dessert Platter option at $400/adult.
We left with full, happy tummies and agreed we’ll definitely come back here for a special occasion (or just because!) brunch. This is one of the better value and quality ones out there.
Jinjuu, UG/F, 32 D’Aguilar Street, Central, Hong Kong, 3755 4868
Brunch is served from 12-3pm, every Saturday and Sunday. Make sure to book mamas, this place gets busy!