Establishing themselves as a new age Korean neighbourhood joint, JOWA offers slightly adapted versions of the familiar and international language of the cuisine. Its essence remains Korean, but don’t come here looking for a traditional spread, the kind with a freeflow of banchan (side dishes) or a grill on the table. Instead, expect a well-balanced menu that plays on your favourites, albeit slightly remixed.
At JOWA, they pay attention to the starters. The Tuna Tartar, coated with lemon gochujang and served with nori chips and perilla leaf lends a satisfying crunch, while the Gogi Pizza, which features a base of paratha bread crowned with bulgogi, soy-pickled mushrooms, rockets, red onions and a sprinkle of parmesan is equally rich in taste and texture.
There’s a big focus on meat, too. Made to share, the 12-hour smoked beef brisket is served with separate plates of potatoes, sweet corn, and a dip choice of Korean barbecue and sambal asap. They also make their way into more recognisable dishes like the peppery Yukgaejang (spicy beef soup with rib eye, glass noodle, kimchi, and tofu), and Dolsot Bibimbap (classic hot stone-style rice bowl with smoked beef brisket, egg, apple gochujang, and vegetables).
Enjoy them better with a collection of bottled cocktails: the Milkyway blends homemade Jatiluwih rice milk, honey ginger syrup with soju, while the Passione Du Jowa is a lighter brew of gin and passion fruit. As reflected on the menu, the overall mood is quite straightforward and casual, with a minimalist, woodsy interior to match.
Extending into retail, a selection of monochromatic tees and hoodies made in collaboration with Stella Rissa’s ready-to-wear brand Stellar Made is on display by the entrance. Between that and and their growing menu, JOWA seems bent on reminding us that they’ve got more than just one side to show. And there’s more to come.