Soho restaurant Mr Ji closes due to staffing issues

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Staffing issues see Mr Ji Soho restaurant close

Related tags Mr Ji Chinese cuisine Casual dining Zijun Meng Samuel Haim Chefs

Modern Asian restaurant Mr Ji has closed its Soho site to free up staff for its imminent launch in Camden.

Samuel Haim launched Mr Ji as a grab-and-go fried chicken concept on Old Compton Street in late 2019, but relaunched the brand as a full-service restaurant​ with a menu overseen by TĀ TĀ Eatery’s Ana Gonçalves and Zijun Meng in 2021. 

A year or so on, Haim announced he had secured the former Hook site on Camden's Parkway and would again work with Gonçalves and Meng to bring Mr Ji up to two sites. ​ 

In a statement the restaurant said: “It’s been a really tough year with staffing, our industry has felt the pain, so we decided to close Soho and relocate the team to our new restaurant in Camden. We are excited to bring Mr Ji to the Camden neighbourhood as it feels like the right move towards the direction we want to achieve with the concept.”

The menu at the Camden restaurant - which is expected to launch next month - will feature some classic dishes, including the prawn ‘in’ toast, a toasted brioche ‘box’ filled with prawns in a bechamel sauce with sweetcorn and  Parmesan; the O’JI, a large fried chicken breast with chilli sprinkles, piccalilli mayo and golden kimchi - served with scissors to cut it; and the double cooked daikon cake with shiitake and garlic soy paste.

New dishes will include slow cooked ox tongue with ​wasabi dressing and fried capers; red prawns, served with spicy bisque, seaweed and prawn crackers; and fried rice, a classic egg fried rice dish covered with  prawns and hot & sour soup glaze.

While cocktails will continue to form a core part of the drinks offer, the Camden restaurant will also feature a more wine-led focus, with an emphasis on low intervention international wines.

Similarly to Soho, the Camden site will have a stripped back design with a raw architectural finish. A-nrd, the studio from Alessio Nardi who recently designed restaurants KOL, Darjeeling Express and Korean Dinner Party, has overseen the interiors that include concrete flooring, old stucco walls and raw surfaces with tile adhesive and paint patches.

Bookings for Mr Ji Camden open on 1 October.

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