Where exactly is it? The outdoor courtyard at wine bar and craft beer house Filly Brook on Grove Green Road. Half is covered, under a marquee and with dangly heaters. The remainder, by the mural, is open to the elements. There are also pavement seats for walk-ins.
OK. So what goes on there? Sho Foo Doh is chef Fumio Tanga, whose cooking is inspired by the “casual izakaya bars and drinking food culture of Japan.” Expect small plates, bowls of rice, snacks and “(un)classics”, which means everything from vegan gyoza and fried sardine sandwiches to okonomiyaki, a savoury pancake streetfood dish particularly popular in Hiroshima where Fumio is from. It’s piled high with all manner of toppings, from noodles and cabbage to seaweed flakes and Japanese mayo.
What should I eat? We shared six small plates on our first visit: tacos were piled with glistening red gochujang tuna and avocado (order two each); cucumber is pickled with sesame vinegar; and super tender Japanese fried chicken comes with aioli (all pictured above, top pic).
An unexpected highlight? A very moreish plate of buttery charred miso hispi cabbage with frikake (a Japanese seasoning), while nicely sesame-crusted panko cauliflower, with soy and mirin, is another must. To soak up the easygoing Vinho Verde white (£25) we also scoffed a baked katsu rice dish with bechamel and cheddar. The six small plates cost £39 in total.
What’s the service like? Like everyone, they’re coping with the level of demand. You order drinks via the app, and food from the server. But there were no issues regarding service from our table.
We say: This is a unique menu for the area, and there’s enough choice to warrant a few visits without repeats. Our next order will be the okonomiyaki crepe dishes (£12-14), topped with an option of pork belly and kimchi, squid and prawns, or mushrooms and benishoga (pickled red ginger).
Sho Foo Doh is at Filly Brook, 392 Grove Green Rd, Leytonstone, London E11 4AP, follow @fillybrook and @shofoodoh