Jubo has taken up residence in the Bedroom Bar Shoredtich and is turning out some delicious Korean style fried chicken. Yes, the location may at first seem a bit odd, but the pop-up is actually in the side area which is more slick minimalist canteen, less smoky boudoir and is well suited to chowing down. The menu is centered around a choice of chicken strips or wings in a soy garlic or hot & sweet sauce. If that doesn’t strike your fancy, there are a trio of hirata-style steamed buns (think Yum Bun), a chicken sandwich, and a bulgogi steak sub as well as a spread of your typical Korean sides.
The atmosphere is chill and a bit subdued given that it’s in bar, but this does mean you can have a conversation while you stuff yourself with chicken. Most of the light comes from the giant neon sign which does bathe everything a strange glow – then again this is hardly a surprising situation for the area. While you can take a group, keep in mind that the whole place can seat at best 30 so you may be in for a wait if you are dragging along your full posse. All in all, it’s good food at a reasonable price in a surprisingly cool setting which fits with the fresh and spunky Shoreditch vibe.
Well this is a bar, but if you prefer to meet away from the final destination you couldn’t ask for a better spot. Just across the road is Callooh Callay (currently the 9th best bar in the world) where you can pop into for a cocktail or down the street is Cargo if you prefer to power through a fishbowl while enjoying the sun. Prefer whiskey? Beard to Tail is only a few minutes away and they consistently serve up some of the best whiskey drinks in East London.
What to eat?
I was there to test the chicken with Katie B and that’s just what we did. Since we were also joined by Jules H, we could order a few more things on the menu. We opted for the chicken dinner platter (£35) which gives you a massive 8 strips, 8 wings, and 3 sides. You can get the chicken in a mix of the two sauces (half and half – not literally mixed) so of course we did. To get an idea of size, each strip was about 8 inches long and 1.5-2 inches wide so it’s a sizeable bit of bird. The wings are about the size of tennis balls and also boast a good meat-to-bone ratio. Both are twice fried to give a crunchy batter without retaining any oiliness and then covered in a sticky glaze. The result is a juicy, flavourful piece of meat that is quite literally finger-licking good (if for no other reason than your hands will be covered in the saucy glaze).
The platter is enough for 2 people (or 3 light eaters) so I ordered a couple of hirata buns to finish off the meal. Unfortunately, the beef brisket was all sold out, but I’m just as happy with pork belly and portobello mushroom. Perhaps it was just in comparison to the excellent chicken, but I found the buns lacking in taste and pizzazz. If going for buns I’d rather hop over to Yum Bun and focus my eating on the KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) at Jubo.
Becky H finally arrived towards the end of the meal and ordered up a chicken roll which is a kimchi slaw topped fried chicken thigh stuffed into a soft bun. This is a winner with the tangy kimchi slaw marrying well with the spiced mayo – both of which are well supported by the meaty flavours of the chicken thigh. The soft bun absorbs the run off juices and acts as a counterpoint to the crunchy fillings.
Stuffed and in need of a drink?
Good thing you are in a bar! As you’d expect, there is a full range of drinks from various beers (both your standard Korean beers as well as other world brews such as Blue Moon) and cocktails. Despite my dining companions reluctance to drink, I went for a Bed Head – a mix of rums similar to a flaming zombie – that was sadly not served in the promised tiki-head mug but was tasty and potent all the same. Alright, I admit, I ordered it because it was served on fire and I’m a bit of a pyro but it’s a good drink too!
Worth the dosh?
The chicken dinner platter at £35 is a good way to taste a full range of chicken pieces if you are sharing with friends. The roll is a hearty meal for one at just under a tenner but the buns seemed a bit small for the price. So yes, its worth it especially if you stick to chicken you will be hard pressed to find a better deal in London! Oh, and they accept cards which is a refreshing change from the cash only pop-ups that inevitably mean a quick dash for cash at some point during the meal.
Find Jubo here
68 Rivington Street
London, EC2A 3AY
020 7033 0198