Nestled in the vibrant heart of Shoreditch’s culinary scene, a remarkable restaurant is enchanting diners with an extraordinary experience that transcends the boundaries of traditional Japanese cuisine. APOTHECARY EAST (yes, it’s in all caps to emphasise its magnitude) is a stunning fusion of the ancient and the contemporary, masterfully blending the mystique of Eastern apothecaries with modern gastronomic prowess. Step inside this captivating establishment, and you will be transported to a world where the boundaries between food, history, and art become delightfully blurred.
From the moment you cross the threshold of this alluring eatery, the stunning decor and atmosphere envelop you with their edgy chic style. The venue’s name is a delightful nod to the heritage of the building which historically housed a warehouse and apothecary. The venue was also the site of one of Shoreditch’s original destination bars, Cantaloupe, and now inspired by Japanese izakayas, the zany bar is at the heart of the venue. Apothecary combines a relaxed cocktail bar with a Tokyo inspired small plates menu, live DJ sets and Shoreditch vibes, all in an enigmatic old East London setting.
Apothecary is the creation of a team of seasoned restaurateurs – James Williams, Rohit Chugh and Dominic Lake. Launched in 2021 and borne out of conversations during the first lockdown, the idea behind Apothecary was a simple one: to create an old school independent venue for local residents and workers to enjoy any time of day, any day of the week.
But the true magic of APOTHECARY EAST lies in its culinary creations and cutting-edge culinary techniques. Drawing inspiration from the food heavy taverns of Tokyo, this culinary gem was a true joy to visit with a fellow Japanese food-loving chum.
Each dish presented to us were a testament to the boundless creativity of the chefs. A standout among the starters was the yellowtail tiradito – an incredibly flavoursome dish infused with yuzu soy, truffle oil, jalapeno and coriander cress. The Karaage fried chicken was a perfect in all ways. Heed my warning. Order two portions or regret it.
The mains were equally as enchanting, with dishes such as the pleasingly rich Grilled truffle miso short rib being an absolute showstopper. The grilled lamb belly was a joyous mergence of Japanese flavour and optimum texture – the perfect comfort dish for meat lovers. Being avid sushi lovers we also ordered merry plates of salmon avocado and spicy tuna rolls which were divinely fresh and tasted how I imagine sushi in Tokyo to taste like. The Wagyu beef tartare sushi roll was a genuine taste sensation and arrived adorned with kisami wasabi, spring onion, fried potato, mustard cress and a glorious unary sauce.
Of course, no meal at APOTHECARY EAST would be complete without imbibing on their exceptional cocktails. We adored the Zen Garden – a heady concoction of Roku gin, green tea, shiso and lime. The Blurred Lines sipped cautiously by my friend was a strong yet uplifting concoction of Haku Vodka, Pear eau de vie, Bianca vermouth and a pleasingly tart cranberry cordial – the perfect end to a magical evening.