First things first – these are perhaps the worst food photos on the internet. I’m not sure what happened – it was fairly dark, I was on my third (delicious) yuzu margarita and I was rushing due to the usual time pressure when you have two hungry friends chomping at the bit whilst staring at a table of delicious delicacies… but still, my apologies.
The scene of said photo massacre was Shackfuyu on Soho’s Old Compton Street, little sister of ramen gods Bone Daddies and bun heroes Flesh & Buns. The premise is Japanese street food, or little bits and pieces of what’s hot in Japan right now, and although it feels pretty permanent it’s touted as a pop-up.
They don’t take bookings (yawn), and I was uncharacteristically early, so was shunted downstairs into a tiny dark basement they called ‘the bar’.. aka waiting area for incomplete parties so they don’t infringe on lucrative table space. I just had time for my first yuzu delight before the others turned up, and we were taken to our table.
The menu is fairly compact, with about 15 dishes of various sizes ranging from £2.50 to £12.50. We ordered a couple each plus one extra which was the perfect amount, and they were all extremely good. Yuzu margaritas and cherry gimlets (served in little bottles) were the ideal complement.
Beef picanha is a cut that sits on top of the rump and is tender and tasty. Shackfuyu serves it with kimchee butter which is salty with a hint of spice and an excellent friend for the beef.
Prawn toast masquerading as okonomiyaki is a cross between the prawn toast we know and love, and a savoury Japanese pancake. It has bonito (dried fish) flakes on top which shimmer from the heat of the toast – kind of creepy but also pretty cool. It’s an unusual dish, and one that I could’ve devoured multiple times over.
Ditto for the mentaiko mac and cheese – I order mac and cheese any which way wherever I see it, and this one was extremely hot, salty and covered in ground bacon and Bones Daddies’ signature cock scratchings. Perfection.
The Korean wings were another highlight, spicy and tangy with a bit of crunch from sesame seeds, and the cauliflower and aubergine dishes were also great. Hot stone rice was average – tasty, just not on a par with its menu buddies.
They serve one dessert which is kinako French toast with green tea soft serve ice cream – innovative for sure, but be aware that one is enough for three! The toast is sweet, soft in the middle with a perfect crisp fried outside. The ice cream tastes to me like fake American chocolate – not sure of the reason for this, but I’m not keen on green tea anyway so maybe that’s why. But the toast is fabulous.
It was about £120 for three of us, including a few cocktails – not the cheapest but it was really lovely food. I’m not sure how long it’s there but it’s definitely worth a go.