Forever on the lookout for some new and exciting brunch options, we headed to Jinjuu for a relaxed brunch which had something other than eggs Benedict. Their package is 380 HKD per person for their buffet from 12-4pm, add on 250 HKD for their free flow Roederer estate sparkling wine, house wines, selection of cocktails, beer & soju.
Luckily, I had already read online what was included in the package as no one seemed to tell us or mention that we could order anything to the table at any point during the brunch. We did get one complimentary glass of refreshing grapefruit soju to wet our whistles which was a nice touch and I suppose a suggestion to order their soju or request the free flow option. As it is January and most of us are on some sort of New year’s detox, we didn’t drink.
Going straight to the buffet, I was pleased to see salmon and beef gimbap, spicy tteok (rice cakes), pork belly and tuna tartare with apple and smoked salmon. All of these dishes were spot on and very enjoyable.
Jinjuu’s Korean fried chicken is Australian free range with a vodka and matzo meal batter which made all the difference to the taste. The chicken served in thighs, breasts and wings were amazingly crispy but also surprisingly tender. I was impressed with the quality of the meat which you can taste immediately, however I was a bit disappointed they didn’t have the spicy and sticky version of the chicken. There are some sauces on the side to give the chicken some more kick- spicy mayo and the kimchi sauce were great!
Approaching the ‘make your own bibimbap’ station, it was not that clear that you were meant to ask one of the staff for the stone rice bowl. Finally after grabbing someone, I was handed the small bowl of cooked rice and my choice of cold vegetables in a separate bowl. They did not mix it with the chilli sauce nor cook the vegetables further. This was more DIY than make your own so I am still perplexed as to how this adds anything to the experience.
The steamed egg which was upon request and the homemade kimchi were unfortunately extremely bland which is not at all how I would describe Korean food. After one bite, I gave the egg a miss. The same was said of the prawns which were overcooked and chewy.
Lastly, we grabbed some desserts at the end of the buffet. The crema catalana, I felt was over sweetened, but the chocolate brownie saved the day! Extremely rich so the serving was suitable and moist throughout.
Verdict: Despite the excellent, attentive service of the staff, Jinjuu’s brunch was underwhelming and left us feeling quite unsatisfied. The restaurant was a quarter full and I could see why. The initial hype of a trendy Korean in California Tower has died down and quality has unfortunately dwindled like many restaurants in Hong Kong. Plenty of better brunch packages in the city to choose from, so don’t waste your time or money on this one.
UG/F, 32 D’Aguilar Street, Central Ph: 852 3755 4868