LOTI EATS | MR JI
After popping up in Camden, Samuel Haim (also founder of Hook) has brought his Taiwanese night market chicken to Soho with a permanent site for Mr Ji. It’s a simple set-up inside the Old Compton Street restaurant, with a communal table down the middle flanked by two-tops on one side and counter seating on the other, with some neon signage for decoration. You order at the till, pick up from the window when it’s ready and the service is speedy but the food is a cut above your average fast food joints.
It’s all about the fried chicken here (the birds are free range and the sweet potato flour coating also happens to be gluten-free), which comes in multiple forms and dusted with a range of flavour powders. There’s the Big Ji, a huge flattened out chicken breast; the Half Ji, a smaller portion; and popcorn chicken, bitesize nuggets of thigh, which can all be dusted in the powder of your choice. We had the garlic & spring onion on the Half Jj and Korean BBQ on the popcorn chicken, and we got our fries dusted with the Salt & Black Vinegar one, which is a real winner.
If you like your chicken a little more saucy, the tenders tossed in a sweet BBQ sauce, are a great shout. The Ji Baos, sliders made with bao buns are also worth a go – the buns are fluffy and not overstuffed so you can actually eat them without wearing most of the filling. The thin and crispy coating also means there’s no greasiness that you can sometimes get with a thicker batter.
A range of iced teas are also made in-house at Mr Ji, which you can spike with booze if you fancy, and these make for an excellent pairing with the birds. Almost everything on the menu is under a tenner so it’s a great cheap eat too.
72 Old Compton St, London W1D 4UN