Perkily tonsured Radio 1 Breakfast Show host Nick Grimshaw is a busy man these days. Not content with getting up at stupid o’clock every morning to drag the nation’s youngsters out of their beds, he’s also undertaking this new project. It’s filming close to transmission so no preview material was available. But what we’re dealing with is, essentially, a new panel show.
Every week, Grimshaw will be joined by Kiss FM DJs and team captains Rickie and Melvin, and regular guest Rochelle Humes from The Saturdays. They’ll be exploring pet hates and irrational personal obsessions – in other words, the smallest issues of the day. We suspect this could go either way. Grimshaw’s a likeable chap, but there are so many panel shows these days that a new one is going to struggle to really distinguish itself.
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,
Venue says: “Every day from noon-6.30pm and 10pm onwards, Shackfuyu offers an express menu with one small dish, one large dish and a drink for £19.”