Shoreditch’s Japanese-inspired hotspot has been making waves in the foodie universe with its incredible menu of mouth-watering small plates and intricate cocktails that form the crux of the Izakaya concept. The new signature large plate selection serves up refreshingly unique ideas through traditional flavours – firmly marking itself as one of London’s best Japanese drinking and dining experiences.
There’s a transportive energy that hits as soon as the door opens. Suddenly in a cool but classy bar in trendy Tokyo, as traditional as it is modern, the hustle and bustle of Old Street feels a lifetime away. There’s a mouth-watering aroma from the open grill and an allure from the cosy banquettes, and a menu that excites with a premium spin on some of the better known Japanese classics.
With an impressive drinks menu of sake, umeshu, and Japanese whiskies, Apothecary is famed for its skilful cocktails – and there’s a few you won’t want to miss. Found in Translation is one for the sweet tooth, introducing an exotic twist to its sake base with Lillet Rose and apricot oolong tea cordial. You can also find pear eau de vie (Blurred Lines), beetroot and pomegranate molasses shrub (Maiko), and apple and fennel syrup (TDHS) – a popular choice with adventurous diners.
The small plates are designed to be served tapas-style, and include robata grilled skewers, tempura and fried plates (the miso glazed aubergine is a must), and an array of fresh sushi rolls. The Hirata Buns are worth an order, with its carefully layered flavours making the Japanese fried chicken bun a real customer favourite.
Apothecary also manages to serve up the definition of melt-in-your-mouth meat, with its succulent lamb belly dish – a rarity in the London dining scene. But it’s the Blackened Salmon & Smoked Tiger Prawns with edemame puree that steals the show, its subtle but distinctive flavours working together perfectly to elevate the plate to the true menu standout.
This isn’t the place to skip dessert, either. The indulgent Yuzu baked cheesecake is one-of-a-kind, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better ice cream in London than the miso caramel and sesame chestnut ones here.
What we love about Apothecary is that not an inch of the plate goes to waste. From the accompaniments to the dressings and sauces, every component makes a notable contribution to the journey the masterchef intends to convey. There's pleasurable complexity in the flavours, without the hard work – perfect for the Japanese Izakaya with an elevated premium twist.
Apothecary is more than just about the food - though we think in its case, it would be more than enough to keep us coming back for more. The Izakaya offers a carefully-curated programme of events, including live DJs on selected nights, and a weekend free-flowing brunch. There's a great pride in delivering an experience rather than just the food and drink, with a brilliant buzz in the air and bespoke playlists for every taste, all whilst maintaining a deeply authentic vibe.
The Shoreditch hotspot has curated a flawless experience. We’ll certainly be back.
Apothecary East can be found at 36 Charlotte Road, EC2A 3PG, open Tuesdays to Thursdays between 12:00 and 23:00, and Fridays and Saturdays until 00:00. You can explore the incredible menus on offer and reserve your table here.
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