Review of 'Shack Fuyu'

Shack Fuyu serves “Yōshoku” (Western-inspired Japanese dishes), I would call it an izakaya (informal Japanese pub), from the ramen chain Bone Daddies. When we visited at about 7 pm on a Wednesday evening the small restaurant was packed leaving us sitting at the lively bar tucked in as close as possible to allow people to pass behind us.

We had just missed out on the “pre-theatre” menu (one small dish, one large £19, with dessert £22) so had a look through the standard menu which covers two sides of a piece of paper with a lot of small writing describing the many dishes they have on offer. In the dim lighting of the restaurant the menu was quite hard to read (leaving us to use the lighting under the bar top at our knees to make any sense of it). Roughly the menu is divided into quite small dishes (between £4 and £10 each) and big dishes (curries, meat/fish; between £8 for “Veggie Hot Stone Rice” and £24 for “USDA Beef Short Rib”) meaning very quickly the bill starts adding up. We decided to stick to the smaller dishes so we could sample more items, with the recommendation of between 2-3 per person.

Pink Grapefruit Cooler

Unusually for most restaurants, they actually have good set of non-alcoholic drink options OTHER than soft-drinks or tea though a bit pricey, I tried the “Pink Grapefruit Cooler” (£4.20) - Tangy but not too much - My companion had the “Painappuru and Mint Fizz” (£4.20) - Slightly sweet but very refreshing.

Charshu Pork Bao Bun

After ordering the dishes came at fairly random times as the kitchen struggled to keep up with the orders now coming thick and fast. We started with the “Charsshu Pork Bao Bun” (£6.20 for one) which was deliciously tender with not too much bun (bao) getting in the way of the delicious pork filling which was topped with two thin slices of apple pickle with the rest of the toppings (sweet spicy soy and kimchee) blending the flavours nicely together.

Crispy Squid

A short time later the most generous serving size of our visit arrived on the table: Crispy Squid (£8.80 for a large plate) which is something I just can't resist on any menu. The squid was delivered perfectly to the table - Piping hot from the deep-frier, crispy coating and very tender flesh. The hot peppers packed quite a punch but absolutely delicious as it added a bit of excitement to an otherwise unexciting ingredient.

Crispy Duck Bao Bun

Well, we thought the port bun was great until a “Crispy Duck Bao Bun” (£6.20 for one) was delivered which was absolutely delicious with some amazingly delicious toppings: Plum soy, a good amount of enoki and cucumber pickle. Juicy duck with a delicate flavour.

Tako Taco

Next up was “Tako Taco” (£8 for two) – An odd fusion dish putting small pieces of fried octopus in crispy taco shells along with shiso avocado and gochujang. Another refreshing dish that was slightly difficult to eat but well worth it though the octopus did get slightly lost in the other toppings. Interesting.

Temaki Salmon

We did pick up a more traditional Japanese dish “Salmon Temaki” (£3.80 for one) which was very well prepared with the salmon only slightly chilled (as it should be) with the right amount of seaweed wrap to make it relatively easy to eat. The salmon was centre-stage, as it should be, with the sesame seeds and other toppings helping accentuate the flavour.

The price, including an optional 12.5% service charge, was £46.57 which was reasonable. A number of the dishes were quite small for the money but all were prepared very well and quite tasty. Financially, a better option might be to go for their lunch, pre-theatre and tasting menu options but for a few small dishes…as long as you don't go overboard…it is not too bad. Service was a bit slow but it was busy and it is a tiny space.

Will be back to try more options from the menu.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2018-11-14

Cuisine: Japanese

Address: 14A Old Compton St, Soho, London W1D 4TJ ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE Leicester Square TUBE Tottenham Court Road

Location: London (England) - Soho



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Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7734 7492