When I've got a hankering for comfort food, it isn’t Japanese cooking which normally springs to mind.
Sushi, sashimi and soba are just… well… too healthy.
However, now I’ve eaten Shackfuyu’s Japanese take on Western cooking (known as Yoshoku), I’ll be dreaming of rabbit curry doughnuts, buttermilk fried chicken with kimchee and pork cheeks with cider miso during the iciest of winter nights.
Owned by Bone Daddies (I’m a fan of their ramen bar and sibling Flesh and Buns), Shackfuyu popped up temporarily in Soho last year and stuck around for good.
A groaning bucket of gloriously sticky and spicy Korean wings (£5.90) were crisp of skin and tender of flesh with a light nuttiness from a scattering of sesame seeds. I went through half a dozen napkins in order to get the glaze off my fingers.
Prawn toast masquerading as okonomiyaki (£6.30) was a clever collision of Japanese and Chinese flavours. A textbook tranche of prawn toast was covered with the toppings traditionally associated with Japanese omelette - a sticky sweet brown sauce, creamy mayonnaise, finely diced chives, pickled ginger and crisp and fishy bonito flakes.
During lunch times, Shackfuyu also serve a menu of bobby-dazzling Hirata buns. A super squidgy bun was filled with crisp battered duck leg (£6), cleansing pickled cucumber, sweet plum sauce, creamy mayo, enoki mushrooms and a few token leaves.
Completely stuffed, I of course ordered Shackfuyu's legendary signature dessert - Kinako French toast (£6).
A golden, light and buttery slab of sweetened fried bread was topped with sweet soy-based kinako powder and joined by a mountainous swirl of matcha soft serve ice cream. This is the kind of dessert which is made for sharing - however, as I was dining on my own, I had to shoulder the burden myself.
Lunch at Shackfuyu was lush and they also take reservations - seemingly a rarity for places I want to visit in central London. Highly recommended.
Address - Shackfuyu, 4a Old Compton Street, London W1D 4TJ
Web - http://www.bonedaddies.com/shackfuyu/
Telephone - 0207 734 7492