Shep’s is a Korean-inspired bar and restaurant on Kingsland Road, opened by James ‘Shep’ Shepherd who was a barman at almost-neighbour Pamela. The interior of the bar is slick and cool with dark walls and cosy booths. The front room includes the well-stocked bar, a great spot for a drink and a snack, while the back room is a bit cosier for a larger meal.
The cocktail menu changes monthly and includes classics and those with a twist. They also offer Boilermakers between 6-8pm so we sampled a can of Hackney Brewery’s Kapow alongside a Jameson Caskmates, something a bit different to the usual cocktails! Shep’s also offer the usual wine and beer alongside Korean soju.
The food menu is designed for sharing and is made up of a selection of banchan (small side dishes usually served alongside rice) and anju (small and main dishes usually eaten with alcohol). The best way to enjoy this menu is to sample a selection of both to appreciate the different flavours.
We started with a couple of oysters, not always the biggest fan of oysters (it’s just that texture…) Shep‘s offers a chargrilled version served with chilli and ginger butter, hot sauce and togarashi. This was perfect for us, you could still taste the freshness of the oyster but it toned down some of the sliminess!
After that we ordered a selection of banchan, anju and main plates that arrive, tapas-style, when they are ready. The house mandu was served deep fried with a chilli dipping sauce and the bindaetteok (a type of Korean pancake) was crispy on the outside and the minced pork on the inside was full of flavour.
Grilled onglet served with smoked onion and doenjang puree, mother sauce and pajeori was cooked to perfection, almost melting in the mouth. However, our favourite dishes were actually a couple of the veggie options – this would be a great place to visit with vegetarian friends where we’d happily eat all vegetarian options! Mushroom XO noodles were rich and nutty in flavour and the charred cauliflower with fermented chilli and peanut was delicious. We could have eaten one of these to ourselves! A selection of kimchee (the day we visited included rhubarb, cabbage and radish) on the side is highly recommended to complement each dish.
If you’re looking for a cool bar that also serves great food, Shep‘s is for you. For more information, visit: http://www.shepslondon.com/