This November, Mr Ji founder Samuel Haim will bring his take on Taiwanese night market chicken to Soho as he opens the doors to his first permanent home, following a successful pop-up in Camden. Samuel, who founded award-winning “new school” fish and chip restaurant Hook in Camden and now Greenwich, was inspired to open Mr Ji by his visits to the bustling capital city of Taipei. Mr Ji will dish up Taiwanese crispy fried chicken, dusted with flavourful powders, alongside booze-spiked, oriental fruit teas.
Using only 100% free-range chicken throughout the whole menu, the focus is on Taiwan’s signature crispy fried chicken often found in their night markets. Their hero dish, the Big Ji is a huge butterflied chicken breast, brined, coated in gluten-free sweet potato flour and deep-fried. Samuel prototyped many different flours before drawing to the conclusion that sweet potato flour worked the best, keeping the chicken juicy but extra crispy as well as non-greasy on the outside.
The Ji’s are dusted with a range of flavourings which the team have developed from scratch, including traditional spice, Thai ketchup, Korean BBQ and salt & black vinegar.
Samuel says, “I first met the real ‘Mr Ji’ whilst hiking up Elephant Mountain in Taiwan – he was an enigmatic character who tipped us off on where to find the best fried chicken in Taipei. I’m looking forward to bringing my modern take on Taiwanese fried chicken to Old Compton Street, using fantastic quality chicken and punchy powders.”
Mr Ji will open on Wednesday 20th November and to celebrate their opening will be giving away 100 Big Ji’s on a first come first serve basis on the 22nd November.