It opened in February last year as a pop-up and had all of London’s foodies raving. After an extensive refurb, it returned in December as a permanent fixture in Soho’s never ceasing to amaze dining scene. Shackfuyu is the latest creation from the team behind Bone Daddies in Soho and Flesh & Bones in Covent Garden – but you probably already know that. What you might not know is that Shackfuyu serves up ‘Yoshoku food’ – a Japanese take on Western cuisine – and it does it rather well. Of course, we already knew it was going to be good, but felt the need to investigate further just to make sure…
For a Sunday evening, the place was buzzing. There were enough bums on seats to keep the atmosphere lively and the Sunday blues at bay. We managed to secure the ideal spot at the back, absolute perfection for people watching (although we were rather taken by the seats at the marble counter bar). We kept things relatively tame on the drinks front (it’d been a long festive week) opting for a deliciously zesty Frozen Yuzu Maragarita (tequila, yuzu & lime juice, agave syrup and orange liqueur) and an Asahi Black before switching to the soft stuff for the rest of the meal. But if you go and decide you want to go all out – Shackfuyu’s got quite the banging drinks list.
Now to the food. Where to begin? It’s best you go hungry and with someone that likes to share (and if they like everything you do – you’re onto a winner! If they don’t… whip them into shape!). The menu is full of small plates all designed to mix and match. The first of our glorious food parade to arrive was the devilishly good Korean fried wings – sticky, messy, spicy and oh so wonderful – they’re a no brainer in our opinion. Another no brainer if you catch it on the special menu: the individual hand dived roasted scallop. Beautifully done and served swimming in a chilli miso butter. Arriving next was the Wagyu beef tartar served with peppered prawn crackers, topped off with a yolk hat, just waiting to burst and pour itself over the beef. Next up were the satisfyingly more-ish Tako tacos (octopus, shiso avocado, gochujang), satisfyingly more-ish and from the selection of larger plates, the Grilled partridge with chilli ponzu. The final dish to arrive was the sukiyaki style wagyu picanha, served in a Korean hotpot that bubbled away in front of our eyes. Truly delicious and set us off into a truly stuffed slump.
Of course, when the only dessert on the menu was one of the most talked about of 2015, we weren’t going to refuse. The Kinako French toast with matcha ice cream had all of London hooked and it was easy to see (and taste) why. Whilst yes, it was a little bizarre to eat an indulgent breakfast dish for dessert it was surprisingly light and disappeared from the plate all too easily. Get it – even if you’re full. You’ll only regret it if you don’t.
14A Old Compton Street, London, W1D 4TJ | www.bonedaddies.com/shackfuyu