We’re big fans of the High St Kensington Bone Daddies here on YOU mag (especially as it’s handily located in Whole Foods, just downstairs from our HQ) so we were super-keen to try the latest member of the Bone Daddies family - Shackfuyu pop-up on Old Compton St in Soho.
Its other West End siblings are Bone Daddies Ramen Bar in Soho and Flesh & Buns in Covent Garden, but although the restaurants are recognisably related, they are far from being chain-eaterie clones. Whereas our local Bone Daddies serves up delicious ramen (which, along with sushi, is the dish most of us associate with Japanese cuisine), Shackfuyu’s USP is giving Western dishes a Japanese twist - for instance, dressing familiar salad ingredients with a spiced miso dressing or with shiso (a Japanese herb similar to mint.)
This is no ‘now-you-see-me…’ pop-up since it’s set to stick around for at least 12 months - which is brilliant news for London foodies, as the dishes here are seriously good. Plus this stylish shack has still got that innovative ‘pop up’ feel as the chefs experiment with new dishes every week, giving diners a playful take on different Japanese food trends (the menu is set to change completely every six weeks).
There’s just one main dish and one dessert on the menu - both are big enough to share between two. We loved the USDA beef picanha, a tender cut of rump steak from Nebraska served with refreshing kimchee tare butter (kimchee is a fermented cabbage originally from Korea) and the Kinako French toast was a wonderfully indulgent dessert. Our waiter suggested we order three each of the smaller dishes - a tricky decision as we fancied everything on the menu. Our stand-out dishes were the red mullet nanban style (escabeche) - which translates as foreigner/Portugese style - with its deliciously zingy orange juice marinade. And the gorgeously chewy prawn toast masquerading as okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake). The fried potatoes with Japanese curry sauce was also a simple but inspired dish.
We came away feeling excited by the innovative flavour & ingredient combinations - not to mention energised by Shackfuyu’s cool rock 'n' roll soundtrack.
Shackfuyu is at 14a Old Compton Street, http://www.bonedaddies.com/