London: Shackfuyu

As proof that time is passing at what feels like the speed of light, here’s a post I meant to publish at the end of the summer last year when I’d just enjoyed my birthday meal at Bone Daddies’ Shackfuyu. I love this type of food that I would describe as Japanese junk food and the restaurant calls Western Japanese food.

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My friend Ro and I met up for a drink at then newly opened Café Monico before heading over to Shackfuyu. We were both really hungry and ordered away. First up was padron peppers. Not much to say about them really; they’re always lovely!

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Next we had the Korean fried wings which were nice and hot, just very messy to eat!

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The imo fries, crispy sweet potato fries, with yuzu mayo were also lovely.

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And by the time we had the sashimi it was a lovely palate cleanser with its fresh flavours.

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At the beginning of the meal the food arrived at a fast and steady pace but when it was time for the last two dishes – the heavier ones – we waited for approximately 40 mins. Not great and it wasn’t communicated very well to us either. It was just a shame as we then started to feel full before the rich meaty dishes finally arrived. We still managed to enjoy them though, but it was a bit of an effort trying to finish them!

The sukiyaki style wagyu picanha was amazing but so so rich. It was piping hot when it arrived, cooking the beef in the stone bowl at the table. When it was cooked we mixed it all together and thoroughly enjoyed the sweet sticky sauce enriched with an egg yolk and the enoki mushrooms. A must-order dish!

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The sticky fatty lamb ribs with pickled plum miso glaze were also full of umami and finger-lickin’ good.

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We were beyond full at this point but still had to order the Kinako French Toast with matcha soft serve ice cream. It’s probably the most instagrammed dessert in London and very very good, even when you’re so full you’re about to explode!

Shackfuyu, 14a Old Compton St, London W1D 4TJ

 

London: Black Roe

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After the summer my friend Gaby gathered her closest friends to belatedly celebrate her 30th birthday with a dinner at Black Roe in Mayfair.

There were seven of us and as the food here is for sharing we divided ourselves into smaller groups, to make it easier to order.

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There were three of us in my group; Laura, Ro and me, and we shared all the dishes, except these oysters au gratin that only Laura and I had. If you like oysters, I highly recommend them – they were so nice we were scraping the sauce off the shell.

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Black Roe is mainly a poke restaurant (the trending Hawaiian fish dish) so we had their classic ahi poke (Hawaiian tuna with sesame soy marinade. So nice!

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Then we shared the sashimi salad which was also really nice but had a little too much dressing for my liking.

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Next up were the giant tempura prawns, served with coriander salsa and truffle aioli. I loved these!

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Then it was time for the pièce de résistance; whole lobster mac ‘n cheese and it was HEAVENLY. You have to have this if you go. Promise!

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Lastly we had the smoky lamb racks which were amazing as well!

I really enjoyed our dinner here and will definitely be back for more of that lobster mac ‘n cheese (and oysters, poke and lamb racks…). It’s not a cheap place but the portions are large so when you share it works out really reasonably. This amount of food was enough for three hungry girls, if that’s of any help.

Black Roe, 4 Mill St, Mayfair, London W1S 2AX

Sashimi plate

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This lovely sashimi plate with fresh vegetables, crispy onions and hot wasabi mayo is a great way to start the weekend. Just add bubbly.

Sashimi plate, per portion

2 shallots, sliced 

oil for frying

1/2 avocado, sliced

10 cm cucumber, sliced and cut into sticks

a handful lambs lettuce

mayonnaise

wasabi powder

50 g super fresh salmon

50 g super fresh tuna

chopped coriander

2 lime wedges

Kikkoman soy

Heat up 2 cm neutral oil in a saucepan and fry the onion until golden. Drain on kitchen towel. Mix mayo with wasabi powder to your taste. Slice the fish and start plating everything. Scatter with coriander and serve with lime wedges and Japanese soy sauce. 

Revisiting Kurobuta, Chelsea

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A Saturday a looong time ago now, Caroline and I met up for dinner in Chelsea. We hadn’t booked anywhere but wanted Japanese and when we tried Kurobuta they luckily had space for us at the communal table.

I’d only been to Kurobuta once before this, when it was still a pop-up at a different location on the Kings Road, but the permanent space is so much better. The ambiance feels more restaurant-y and the food is just as good – if not even better!

A group at our communal table were eating the tempura prawns when we arrived, they looked really good so it was the first thing we ordered. They were nice and crispy on the outside but the prawn within was still nice and juicy and the onions and chilli worked well with the prawns and the delicious mayo. The fried white shreds underneath the prawns were not that nice, but at least it looked nice!

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Our next dish was these a-ma-zing wagyu beef sliders with steamed buns, crispy onion, pickled cucumber and umami mayo. Sooo good and my favourite dish this evening!

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The wellowtail sashimi was nice but a little too wet for my liking as it was resting in a pool of yuzu and soy.

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Also the maki roll with spicy tuna was a bit of a let down. It was lacking a bit in flavour and all the spice came from the sauce on top, not from the roll itself..

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But we absolutely loved the grilled miso chicken! Nice charred flavour from the grill and it was perfectly cooked.

Despite not finding all the dishes perfect, I do really enjoy coming here. The food is always good and some dishes are excellent. And compared tp many other restaurants offering Japanese small dishes or Asian fusion this is one of the better! Just promise me you try the Wagyu slider, and you’ll see what I mean!

Kurobuta, 312 Kings Road, London SW3 5UH 

Japanese lunch at Roka, Aldwych

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At Taste of London this year Caroline and I got a voucher for 25% off food at Roka Aldwych, which we used shortly after. In August I believe. Where does the time go?!?

Anyway, it was a lovely sunny day and we had time for a long lunch. Those were the days…

The first thing on the menu that caught my eye was the scallop sashimi, and I remembered the fab version I had at Berns in Stockholm, and just had to order it here too. Sadly it was nowhere near as nice as the one in Stockholm, it was fresh but not as nice tasting. The yellow tail tartar was also a little plain, but from here on the lunch only got better and better.

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The softshell crab and kimchi maki roll was really nice, and I like the fact the sauce was served on the side instead of all on top of the sushi.

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The beef gyozas were also nice, not wow but nice. The filling was OK but the pastry was perfect.

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This sticky deliciousness that is grilled aubergine was just amazing! I would come back just to have that. Yum…

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And these beef and shosito pepper skewers were top notch too!

The level of the cooking was a bit up and down but the dishes got (seriously) better towards the end of the meal, so maybe they’re best at the cooked dishes here.

Roka Aldwych, 71 Aldwych, London WC2B 4HN