Restaurant: Bone Daddies Shackfuyu
Where is it: Old Compton Street, Soho.
The concept: The Bone Daddies and Flesh & Buns team launch their first ever pop-up restaurant under the creative lead of head chef Ross Shonhan. The USP? A huge, traditional pizza oven sits at the front of the restaurant, but don’t expect any slices being served up, they use the unconventional oven to cook up playful twist on traditional Japanese dishes.
Who goes: Londoners with the finger firmly on the food pulse – Shackfuyu will only be open for one year so make sure you clear at least one evening to head down there. Also, if you’ve ever had to queue outside for big sis restaurant Bone Daddies, you won’t be disappointed to hear Shackfuyu is still relatively unknown and you’re far more likely to get a table. Visit before everyone else jumps on the bandwagon.
What kind of food: The menu will change frequently (visit their social media places to hear what’s currently being serve up), but you can always expect unusual twists on traditional Japanese dishes, given a smoky, charcoaled taste thanks to the mammoth pizza oven. Most of the dishes are intended to be shared, so order as many or a little as you like and dig in.
The interiors: The restaurant is slightly rough around the edges, which lends itself well to the Japanese izakayas trend taking London’s food scene by storm – an izakayas is a relaxed, pub-style bar serving up relaxed dining options. Sink into huge leather booths or pull up a pew at the hidden-away basement bar.
Hero Dishes: The Hot Stone Rice – a simmering hot bowl of rice, vegetables and sticky sauce fired-up in the pizza oven – is without a doubt their hero dish.
What To Wear: Something comfy and casual - Shackfuyu is decidedly relaxed and downplayed.
We tried: The USDA Beef Picanha with Kimchee Tare Butter – sizzling, char-grilled and cooked to pink perfection, this is a must-order. On the flip side, the Yellowtail Sashimi Toastada with Avocado Shiso is fresh, light and zesty, whilst the Prawn Toast Masquerading as Okonomiyaki (that’s a Japanese pancake in case you were wondering) isn’t the healthiest thing on the menu but is seriously moreish, you’ll never want to order regular prawn toast again. Order the Endive and Pear Salad and the Roasted Beets with Avo as a side and you won’t feel too guilty about tucking into the Mentaiko Mac & Cheese – a perfect combo of East-meets-West comfort food. And for dessert, we tried the super creamy Soft Serve Green Tea Ice-Cream – we bypassed the Kinako French Toast it’s meant to come served on as we were just too full.
And the drinks: Shackfuyu mix up a selection of in-house bottled cocktails, but we opted for a glass of Prosecco for a very reasonable £4.90 a glass.
Best for: A post-drinks dinner if you’re out and about in Soho or a mid-shopping pick-me-up. It’s worth knowing the restaurant operates on a no-reservations basis, so visit at off-peak times if you can to ensure you nab a table.
Our favourite thing about it was: London is brimming with cool new Japanese restaurants and bars at the moment but Shackfuyu really are doing something different – who knew Japanese cuisine could be cooked so well in a pizza oven?