What do I need to know about Shackfuyu?
It's the latest venture from Bone Daddies' Ross Shonhan (who is also behind Flesh & Buns). While those are fairly static concepts, Shackfuyu allows a little more experimenting from Shonhan. So although you may see the odd favourite from Bone Daddies (like the mac n cheese with bacon and cock scratchings) there's a lot on the menu here that's brand new (with no ramen or buns in sight).
Where is it?
It's on the end of Old Compton Street that meets up with Charing Cross Road - Leicester Square or Tottenham Court Road are your best tube bets.
Bookings or no reservations?
It's a no-reservations restaurant, so expect to wait at busy times. We went early-ish on a Monday night and the place was heaving. But there is a downstairs bar, so there's plenty of opportunity to sip on a yuzu margarita while you wait for a table.
Where should I meet for a drink?
Assuming you don't head for that downstairs bar, then Bar Termini, with cocktails from Tony Conigliaro, is almost opposite but pretty tiny. Alternatively, head up to the top of nearby Greek Street and take in a whisky cocktail at Milroy's.
And what should I order?
It's honestly VERY hard to choose from the undeniably excellent menu. So, if the budget stretches, then just take your time and slowly go through everything (it's all served in small plates fashion, so only order what you want when you want it). Of what was available on the night we went, the top three standouts were:
- The USDA beef picanha with kimchi tare butter (£12.50) - brought sizzling to your table with sauce you wanted to dip everything in, this is fantastic value for the price in Soho
- The aubergine with four types of miso and bubu arare (£5.80) - one of the best vegetable dishes we've had recently
- The prawn toast masquerading as okonomiyaki (£5.20) - for possibly being the most Vine-worthy dish given that the heat makes the topping look almost alive
There's more (their version of curried chips is amazing) but the real show-stopper comes at dessert with the kinako french toast and soft serve green tea ice cream (£6). it's deservedly lauded as the dish you absolutely need to leave room for. But it's huge - so easy to share between two.
There's a strong focus on sake alongside the Japanese beer and the cocktails - the frozen yuzu margarita (£8.50) is definitely worth ordering. We'd say it's probably best to stick to that part of the menu, although there is a short wine list (three reds, three whites) from £18 to £38.
We'd been reading some very positive write-ups of Shackfuyu beforehand, so we went with very high expectations as a result. And those expectations were easily met. It's well priced, very buzzy and the food is just great. Go before it goes forever.
Shackfuyu is at 14A Old Compton Street, London W1D 4TJ. For more information, follow them on Twitter @shackfuyu
Hot Dinners were invited to Shackfuyu. Prices were correct at the time of writing.