In the heart of Shoreditch, a place that is still buzzing, if not even more vibrant than it was 20 years ago, is the Japanese cocktail restaurant Apothecary East. It’s a rainy Tuesday evening in March so I wasn’t sure what the vibe would be but upon entering, the front bar area was a buzz with peeps meeting for after work drinks or folks tapping away on laptops. Something about a coworking energy makes you instantly feel like you’re in a safe space. If it’s good enough for people to gather in rather than an office or at their homes, then it’s good enough for me.
We are taken through; the low-level disco music and lighting makes for a chic Friday night feel. The restaurant soon fills up and the music is accompanied by the hum of chitter chatter. Our waitress is young and super friendly. Talking us through the Japanese menu – a mix of sushi, Asian salads, dim sum and larger plates. My guest and I decide to go for a mainly vegetarian spread, which, I’m sure isn’t the norm here but we had a lot of delicious options to choose from. Tenderstem broccoli, black sesame cauliflower, vegetable gyoza and the miso aubergine to name a few were all incredible, especially the latter which was a sticky delight.
To accompany our food we ordered non-alcoholic cocktails, which are hit and miss in many places I have attended, but this place did not disappoint. I had an Oolong Way Round, a glorious mix of ginger spice, apricot, and soda. My guest went for All Fun, No Guilt which was so close to a whiskey cocktail, we were both fooled.
The food and service were both on point and I can see how this place must come alive towards the end of the week. Close to the city and the hip bars of the area it makes for a perfect meeting place. The space can also be hired out for private events and every Saturday is host to a bottomless brunch of sushi, cocktails and soul music.
36 Charlotte Road