Shackfuyu: Soho

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.

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 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.

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 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.

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 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.

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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.

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 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.

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 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.

www.bonedaddies.com/shackfuyu/ 

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