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Last week I was well overdue for a catch-up with one of my close friends; as we both share the same love for Japanese cuisine, I thought I would take us to Apothecary East, a Tokyo-inspired Tavern in the heart of Shoreditch!

There are so many great hidden gem restaurants in and around London; I love finding new places that I can recommend to my friends and family that they might not know. As we were going to dinner straight from work, I wanted to find a restaurant with a cosy, chilled atmosphere where we could catch up and graze all evening. This restaurant is down one of the sidewalks in Shoreditch highstreet; we both picked up on the laid-back vibe which instantly made us feel relaxed and ready to enjoy our Japanese feast.

One of the main reasons I love Japanese cuisine is that you can share many dishes allowing you to bond over trying new things. We ordered an array of dishes recommended by our lovely host Anastasia; we were confident in her choices and impressed by the quality of her knowledge and expertise.

I wanted to share the stand-out dishes to recommend ordering when you visit.

Miso aubergine – if you want a dish that’ll tickle your tastebuds, then you must order this dish! Whenever I see miso anything, it’s always guaranteed to taste amazing!

Sea bass ceviche, salmon tataki, and Yellowfish tiradito – all flavoursome dishes, If you like cold dishes, these are must-haves!

Chriashi – This dish was both of our favourites; it’s a chef-special sushi roll with a selection of mixed fish, avocado, spicy mayo and teriyaki and devoured all of these!

I would like to add that the restaurant recommends ordering around four small plates per person; the dishes come out of the kitchen once they’re ready rather than all at once.

For cocktails, we played a game where we each chose each-other a cocktail from the menu; the game was to pick out all of the ingredients that we thought were in our drink. It made the cocktail tasting super fun and competitive and added an element of surprise to our evening. I chose Ro a ‘sweet pea spritz’, a tequila, wine, absinthe and sweat pea-based cocktail. I didn’t know what to expect; we were both surprised at how good blended peas would taste in a cocktail! For my surprise cocktail tasting Ro chose a drink based on its description, it was called ‘Maiko’, and the tagline read, ‘sex and the city drink but bolder, richer and more complex, more of a Samantha’. My cocktail had vodka, triple sec, pomegranate, beetroot and lime; again, I’d have never thought beetroot in a cocktail would work; however, it tasted so delicious.

I love the atmosphere in this restaurant, it was busy on a Wednesday night, but that didn’t affect the service whatsoever; the staff were all super attentive and so friendly. I also like the laid-back vibe; it means I could catch up with my friend, enjoy delicious food and share great stories without having to dress up to the nines. They also have DJs on Friday and Saturday evenings from 7 pm, so bear that in mind if you want some evening entertainment.

A: 36 Charlotte Rd, London EC2A 3PG
T: 020 7060 5335
W: Apothecary East

Written by Danielle Tobin for Luxuria Lifestyle London and International