This month we’re foodie-focussed and have been roving around London checking out all the latest hot new eateries and signature summer dishes. One of our favourites by far is new Korean restaurant Jinjuu, in the heart of Soho. We caught up with head chef and partner Andy Hales to find out what he get up to in the capital in his spare time (when he has any). 

How did the idea for Jinjuu come about?

Judy, Jaime and I had had the idea to do a Korean concept for some time now.  We’ve all been working together for over 5 years, and I've been to Korea several times with Judy as well. I love the flavours of their cooking and felt that a cool Korean restaurant was missing from the dining scene in London; meanwhile Judy was approached and offered a site in Soho, and we jumped at the opportunity. 

 

How has the concept developed since its inception, and what do people love about it?

We listened to our customers and took a lot of their feedback on board - we’re still tweaking the menu a bit and seeing what dishes are the most popular. People love everything from the fun sharing concept to the bold vibrant spices of Korean food, and a lot of them say that they’ve never had anything like it. 

 

What are your and Jinjuu's plans for the future?

We’re opening up our second location in Hong Kong this autumn, then we’ll see what else come to fruition! I would like to bring Jinjuu to America.

 

What's your favourite thing to do in London?

I don't get much time off any more with running the business, but I love to watch live sport and London has world class venues all over the city.

 

Where is your favourite place (other than Jinjuu) to eat in London?

At the moment, I like The Dairy in Clapham Common - great quality interesting food in an informal environment.

 

What would you do if you only had 24 hours in London?

Breakfast at The Wolseley, then walk it off with a stroll through Green Park, a bit of shopping in central London, explore Borough Market, lunch at Pont de la Tour and catch a Tottenham football match in the afternoon. Then I’d go for fish and chips at the Golden Hind followed by alfresco drinks at Madison, with great views of St. Paul's and the City., before finishing with a midnight feast and cocktails at Jinjuu.

 

What's your favourite part of London & why?

My favourite part of London is the South Bank, walking from Westminster down to the Thames and seeing lots of different things on the way. The skyline changes every year I walk along the river, with new buildings being constructed all the time. Borough Market is a great stop-off for food lovers and there are some lovely spots to have a drink next to Tower Bridge. 

 

What defines London for you?

I would say London is defined by the people who live here. It's one of the most multi-cultural cities in the word, which brings with it a new way of thinking and diversity. The history of the city is amazing, and that can be seen in some stunning architecture apparent everywhere. 

 

What trends do you see emerging in London in 2015?

Street-food will continue to flourish. Korean food has been knocking on the door for a few years now - hopefully, Jinjuu has broken some new ground. Fun, original, quality-driven concepts will continue to be popular.

 

What's your favourite London Bar/ Pub?

Centrally I like The Porterhouse: it has a great selection of beers and loads of places to hide away and escape from the world.

 

If you could suggest one place for our hotel guests to visit, where would it be?

I would suggest visiting the Tower of London for an interesting insight into British history. 

 

Thanks very much to Andy for his insider answers - for more ways to get up to everything he suggests and more, check out our competition to win a meal for 2 at the very same Jinjuu plus a night’s stay at every hotel Piccadilly