Shackfuyu - Soho, London
Izakaya: (Japanese: [izakaja], ee-zah-ka-yah)
a type of informal Japanese gastro pub. Casual places for after-work drinking.
Izakayas have been popping up all over London in the past few years but none with perhaps quite as much panache as Shackfuyu in Soho. There was jubilation in the streets when this pop-up from the team behind Bonedaddies turned permanent earlier this year. If you haven’t already been, then you’ve probably heard about it. You may have drooled over what could be the most instagrammable dessert in history, the Kinako French Toast with Green Tea Soft Serve Ice cream and immediately added it to your list of must-try restaurants in London. Shackfuyu has received much love and high praise and I’m going to add to that because shackfu-me it is just so damn good!
Quite simply it was love at first sight. Any menu that contains Korean fried chicken wings and a selection of Bao buns with a side of rock'n'roll music knows the way to my heart. The restaurant itself features a schmick bar at the entrance manned by equally schmick, friendly staff. Plush and cozy round leather booths line one wall and the likes of the Rolling Stones blast in the background. It’s fun, cool and unpretentious, a place you could easily spend a day nibbling and sipping yourself into a state of foodie enlightenment.
Shackfuyu serves Yōshoku food – Western-inspired Japanese dishes. All are served tapas style and meant for sharing, however some dishes (namely the Prawn Toast masquerading as Okonomiyaki) are just too good for that, take my advice and order it twice. The Korean fried wings are just the way you want them: a hot mess, nose-runningly spicy, sticky and finger-licking kinda messy. I love a beef tartare and this one is up with the best of them. I may never have ordered the Miso Aubergine if it weren’t for another loyal Shackfuyu regular, but it is now a sweet and fleshy must-order dish whenever I head back for my Shackfuyu fix.
Whatever you do, leave a little space for that insta-famous Kinako French Toast to share with your date, your mates or just have it all to your lovely self.
Sadly, I have been unable to capture this dessert, it seems as quickly as it arrives it disappears and I have to put the camera down if I want a piece of the action. I will just have to go back and keep trying.