WORDS BY BIANCA NICOLE
Middle-eastern and Japanese fusion restaurant JIJI has become a go-to for diners across London. Nestled just off busy Upper Street, this cult eatery offers innovative dishes, fresh flavours and a friendly team of staff. 2023 looks to be the year of JIJI with a brand new menu launched back in December and plans for expansions into new locations throughout the capital.
Created by Janina Wolkow, (who also found fame as the founder of the award-winning restaurant Sumosan) JIJI draws influence from the authentic cuisines of Tokyo and Tel Aviv for a truly unique culinary experience. Janina has taken great care in curating a team with a passion for excellence. Executive Chef Bubker “Bubba” Belkhit boasts over 20 years of experience in the kitchen, specialising in Japanese dining.
The new menu focuses on a combination of sharing and individual plates, with a selection of the highly popular Kushiyaki (skewers) dishes. JIJI marks a new beginning with the addition of brand new options to choose from including Chicken Karaage, Roasted Fig Salad, Fish Katsu and Baked Hispi Cabbage.
Starting with the "let's roll" section, the Jiji Salmon, Tuna Tartare, and Truffle with Ponzu is a must-have for a starter (it was so moorish, I may have ordered another round!). The shawarma was my partner's favourite dish - the meat was beautifully prepared, with a range of flavours that melted in the mouth. The waitress advised us to add the flatbread, which was a beautiful touch. Jiji baked it on the robata grill with olive oil and zaatart creating a chewy, smokey, and perfectly baked flatbread, delicious!
Jiji has created a beautiful dessert, the Malabi, which is rose coconut cream cotta with hibiscus caramel and almonds that had our tastebuds dancing. This dessert is one not to be missed and it's vegan! Jiji offers a great range for vegetarians and vegans. The bar offers heavenly unique blends of cocktails, wines and sakes.
With tasty options for all, JIJI should undoubtedly be at the top of your dinner reservation list for 2023, especially with the promise of new sites coming soon to a street near you.