25 Apr Jumon, Belfast
Sometimes food can get a bit serious, a bit earnest. In the words of Cyndi Lauper, we just wanna have fun. Which is when Jumon steps on stage. Its walls are filled with towering murals of asian ladies sheltering under parasols, emerging through the inky rain. Prints of what look like vintage Sapporo advertisements are pasted papier-maché style from floor to ceiling, adding to the grungy mood.
That tarnished glamour is reflective of the menu here at Jumon. This is neither dainty nor elegant, this is dirty food. A smokey rock and roll eye with a worn leather jacket. Take for example, their Mandu Tacos. You wouldn’t immediately think to mash Yunnan style aubergine with smoked cheese and truffle ricotta. Yet somehow it magically comes together when combined with asian greens, avocado and salsa verde. Our other main course, a Jackfruit Curry, plays more with sweet and sour notes, contrasting pickled lychees and carrots with creamy coconut. I love the squishy fried tofu, the perfect sauce vehicle for any soupy curry.
Our wild card was the K.M.P. aka Kimchi Mapo Potato which roughly translates to fries covered in mapo aubergine, tofu, smoked cheese and fragrant with truffle oil. It included the same salsa verde as my tacos, giving the dish a healthy chilli kick. I would highly recommend ordering this! It feels like a nod to curry or cheesy chips, elevated with spices and truffle. Always thumbs up for truffle ??
We also enjoyed some unique cocktails – one based on peach, the other more citrus. Upon checking the menu for this post, neither seem to be available anymore but they do have an excellent selection as well as inventive non-alcoholic options such as passionfruit ice tea or cucumber ginger swizzle.
For dessert we turned to the dark side of the moon – it’s literally called Dark Moon. Chocolate cake is topped with berries, ice cream and chocolate ‘dirt’. I’ll admit to being a little underwhelmed with this after such fun and exciting savoury food. Perhaps their other desserts Super Moon (orange and coconut burnt cream) and Full Moon (banoffee) will do the trick next time.
Eating at Jumon is a surprise – unexpected combinations help you see traditional ingredients in a new light. Let me know what your favourite fusion mash ups are in the comments below, I’d love to hear them! ???
Nearest venue: Ulster Hall
Total receipt (2 people incl drinks): £64.90