Review of Shackfuyu - more to offer than just French toast
It took me a long time to get myself down to Shackfuyu and I’m not sure why. I don’t think I’ve read any bad reviews of it, and all I ever see is the picture of THAT French toast. When I finally arrived, I couldn’t hold my excitement.
Shackfuyu actually started off as a pop-up, and became so successful it was turned into a permanent spot in London’s Soho. It’s part of the group that gave us Bone Daddies (one of my top ramen places in London) and also Flesh & Buns (which I’ve also yet to try). So no wonder why Shackfuyu was a hit straight away!
The food that Shackfuyu serves is called Yōshoku food (洋食) which is the term given to Western-inspired Japanese dishes. Ross Shonhan is the man behind all this, and with each of the restaurants, he wanted to give London his take on Japanese cuisine. The menu at Shackfuyu definitely gives us that vibe. It’s all about sharing at Shakfuyu too, so come in a big group and you’ll get to try out more!
Aubergine (£5.90) – thick cut chunks of soft tender aubergine, smothered in miso and topped with toasted rice and nori. I ordered this because I saw the table next door have it and it tasted as good as it looked – as long as you like aubergine! I liked the balance of flavours between the sweet aubergine and savoury miso. Plus the toasted rice added a bit of crunch to the dish, otherwise it would’ve just been a plate of mush! Definitely a good starter for meat lovers and vegetarians.
Monkfish Cheeks – these were surprisingly really tasty! They were deep fried and seasoned with just a pinch of salt. Served alongside it was a yogurt type dressing and a wedge of fresh lime. I think the sharpness from both the yogurt and lime really helped to bring out the flavours of the monkfish cheeks. I just wish the portion size was bigger!
Cornish Crab Congee (£11.60) – never did I think I’ll see congee on a Western menu! Congee is like porridge, except its made using rice instead of oats. It’s a staple of Chinese breakfast and you can have all sorts of toppings and flavours. Congee is also good to have when you’re feeling a little under the weather, or to babies, as it’s easy to eat – and the Japanese share this view with the Chinese. A warm bowl of congee will give you one of the most comforting feelings in the world! That’s exactly what I got with this one from Shackfuyu, and I could really taste the crab too. I know it doesn’t look very appetising, but trust me when I say it’s really tasty. Think of it as a watery risotto, served bubbling in a hot stone bowl!
Sticky Fatty Lamb Ribs (£14.20) – this was the most accurate way of describing these lamb ribs. It was also a generous portion! The ribs were perfectly grilled and had that lovely smokey taste. There was a pickled plum miso glaze on the ribs, which added a touch of sweetness. Make sure to have some of the fresh shaved daikon (radish) on the side between each rib, as it’s a nice way to cut through some of the richness. These ribs were definitely one of my favourites of the night!
Grilled Salmon Kama (£7.80) – another one from the grill. This chunky piece of salmon had the perfect crispy skin, and moist succulent meat as you’d expect. It was served in a ponzu sauce which had a lovely fresh sharpness, to go with the fatty salmon.
Grilled Monkfish tail (£13.50) – this was one of the specials for the day. As with the salmon, this had a ponzu based sauce too. The monkfish tail was perfectly cooked. The meat also had a nice bounce to it, showing the fish was fresh. Have to say, I was quite happy with just the fish dishes, and it goes to show that we can have an enjoyable meal with eating meat!
Kinako French Toast with Matcha Ice-Cream (£7.00) – the main reason why people come to Shackfuyu is because of this dessert! It’s been said to be one of the most instagrammed dishes in London, and to be honest that’s how I got attracted to Shackfuyu. It’s the only dessert served here, and I’m not surprised, since nobody will want anything else. This isn’t like any French toast though. The bread is fried until super crispy and doesn’t even have any filling. Instead it’s soaked up with condensed milk and given a generous topping of kinako (roasted soybean flour). Paired with the smooth soft-serve matcha ice cream, this is totally a match made in heaven! It's also a big portion, so be nice and share!