Time Out says
This stylish ex-pop-up from the group behind Bone Daddies and Flesh & Buns, serving East-West fusion food, has now reopened as a permanent restaurant.
If there was a restaurant version of ‘The Apprentice’, an episode might go like this. A sweaty-browed candidate would be standing in front of Suralan, pitching his idea: ‘We’ll call it a pop-up, so people get all excited about it, and if it’s a big hit, then we’ll just make it permanent.’ ‘So it’s not really a pop-up at all?’ ‘No, Suralan. If people don’t like it, we can simply shut up shop and no one will be any the wiser.’ ‘Brilliant, I love it… You’re hired.’
Shakfuyu, from the team behind rock ’n’ roll ramen bar Bone Daddies, is just that kind of genius plan. Billed originally as a ‘long-term pop-up’ (a phrase to raise a cynical eyebrow if ever there was one), it turned into a runaway success. So they’ve done the decent thing and made a long-term commitment to 14a Old Compton Street.
Because, cynicism aside, it’s great. Not perfect, but still everything a hip Londoner would look for in a meal: a sexy setting (shiny tiles, bare bricks and the trademark grungy soundtrack – on our visit, they were playing Pearl Jam); young, cheery staff with obligatory arm-and-everywhere-else tats; and ‘with-a-twist’ dishes. In this case, Japanese. There are large plates too, but everyone comes for the small ones, in particular the soft prawn toast/okonomiyaki (omelette) mash-up, with its sweet, smoky sauce and the sweet-and-sticky battered-then-slathered Korean-style chicken wings. The hard shell taku tacos (which on our visit came filled with tender marinated octopus and creamy avocado, plus lightly pickled cucumber) are a must-order, as is buttery kinako ‘french toast’, which comes with green tea ‘soft serve’ (Mr Whippy-style) ice cream. It’s all reasonably priced, too.
It seems that you can’t keep a good pop-up down, and we’re right glad of it.
14a Old Compton St
|Transport:||Tube: Leicester Square or Tottenham Court Rd|
|Price:||Meal for two with drinks and service: around £60.|
|Opening hours:||Mon noon-3pm & 5.30-10pm; Tue-Fri noon-3pm & 5.30-11pm; Sat noon-11pm; Sun and Bank Holidays noon-9pm|
|Do you own this business?|
Users say (40)
Average User Rating
4.2 / 5
- 5 star:16
- 4 star:16
- 3 star:7
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:0
Great spot in Soho. An original take on Japanese cuisine and overall agree with everything in the time out review except that the characters on the wall aren't "oddly Chinese". They are Japanese Kanji - which originates from Chinese:
- Kanji (漢字; Japanese pronunciation: [kandʑi] listen), or kan'ji, are the adopted logographic Chinese characters (hànzì) that are used in the modern Japanese writing system along with hiragana and katakana."
We love coming here for the aubergine dish, the kinako toast which i think is best shared and the yuzu margarita, salt rimmed for sure! I also love that the floor manager is super flexible and is happy to accommodate us everytime (we don't mind standing)!
Thought to pop here for a quick lunch as recommended to do so my colleagues. Lovely venue and was surprised to see how busy it was for a mid-week lunch time. Managed to get a spot in the window seats and noticed was a constant stream of people who knew better than me and booked in advance. Even though it was busy, it didn’t feel crowded or rushed.
We tried the buns and they were good. Could have eaten more of them without thinking. The buttermilk chicken had a lovely spicy kick to it, suitable messy to mop up with bun. My colleague raved about the beef short rib. Also tried some tasty prawn toast…not so sure about the crispy fishy topping it came with but a delicious treat awaits underneath.
Will be going back…will remember to book in advance next time.
The tastiest food and so reasonably priced! I highly recommend the miso cooked aubergine, definitely worth a visit! Thank you also to the very helpful staff for such a lovely lunch x
I had a great time at Shakfuyu. Good atmosphere, lovely staff and a long list of interesting dishes to try. Wagyu beef tartare, tako tacos and lamb neck fillet with kimchi tare were stand-outs for me (although the rabbit curry doughnuts did remind me a little of Findus crispy pancakes). My biggest problem was deciding on the dishes to miss out. I only have so much capacity! All the more reason to go back and try the rest though.
Shackfuyu won’t offer you the classical ramen-only menu as his big brother does, but a concise menu where the focus sits heavily on the on starters tapas concept with a Japanese twist together with a few main options.
The Edamame with a marinade of sweet chilli soy was outstanding and the same goes for the Okonomiyaki style prawn toast. My main - hot rice bowl with beef - took a bit more effort to eat, not because it was not tasty or well made (which it was!) but because it comes on a piping hot bowl which will surely burn your tongue if you are not patient enough. The venue is nicely decorated and centrally located. Service was attentive and chatty and the vibe is vibrant. The only problem you might have there is the background music which was quite loud hard rock. I absolutely loved it being the metal-head I am, but eating while somebody’s husky voice shouts on the background won’t probably be to everybody’s taste.
Love this place, small sharing dishes, friendly staff and booze-heavy cocktails. Also home to the best KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) I've had in London.
Great food and really reasonably priced. Perfect for a pre-theatre feed as food arrives really quickly (we were in and out inside 40 minutes) and service is slick, too. The classic rock soundtrack won't be to everyone's taste, but the hot stone rice (like a Korean bibimbap) most definitely will.
Great place to start your night out! Loved the idea of Japanese-American style small dishes!
The staff was welcoming and helpful. We had to wait at the downstairs bar for a few minutes until a table became available, but this was probably the shortest time I had to wait on a friday night!
We tried every dish on the menu and nothing disappointed. My favourite is definitely the beef picanha and the aubergine.
The Cocktails are great and I would definitely recommend their only dessert. Probably one of the best puddings I had.
Brilliant venue but found the food somewhat disappointing. Cocktails were excellent and I think it would be better enjoyed by those looking for cocktails and tapas than those primarily interested in Japanese food.
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