Apothecary East, Shoreditch: What To Expect

By Ellie Smith

1 year ago

The buzz of Tokyo meets East London cool at this izakaya hotspot

While in the UK, 5pm on a Friday means pub time, in Japan people tend to head for an izakaya: tapas-style dining and drinks. The word itself translates as ‘stay drink places’, and restaurants are typically casual spots, with food served sharing-style alongside cocktails and sake. You can find borrowed versions of the concept all over the world, including London, which has a buzzing izakaya scene that includes Apothecary East, a Tokyo-inspired spot in Shoreditch. Here’s the lowdown.

Apothecary East, Shoreditch: What To Expect

What’s The Concept? 

Apothecary East opened on Charlotte Road, just off Great Eastern Street, back in 2021, taking its name from the building’s former use as a Victorian pharmacy. The tavern-style restaurant gives the izakaya concept a Shoreditch twist, with interiors featuring exposed brickwork, foliage and green leather seating, with a robata kitchen counter whizzing up punchy plates. There’s always a lively atmosphere, with live DJs every Friday and Saturday, plus a bottomless brunch offering on weekends.

Apothecary East

What’s On The Menu?

There’s plenty to be excited about here. In classic izakaya style, Apothecary moves away from the starters/mains format and instead groups its menu into snacks, veg and vegan, raw, sushi rolls, meat and seafood, large plates and specials. On the small plates side, highlights include some very tasty karaage fried chicken, chicken gyoza, sesame corn on the cob, and crispy soft shell crab. 

From the large plates section, be sure to try the grilled truffle miso short rib, or the robata grilled poussin, which is marinated with teriyaki and served with furikake rice. Oh, and then there’s the sushi: plates of eight rolls filled with the likes of spicy tuna, Cornish crab, and salmon and avocado. 

Food at Apothecary East

Pair all this with a couple of Japanese-inspired cocktails, like the Maiko, mixed with Absolut vodka, triple sec, beetroot and pomegranate molasses – visit at Happy Hour (Monday–Friday, 4–7pm) and house cocktails are £7. There’s also a wide selection of Japanese whisky, sake and wine.

If you fancy kicking it up a notch, opt for the weekend bottomless brunch, which features free-flowing cocktails alongside a selection of sharing plates including teriyaki chicken thigh skewers, miso aubergine and prawn tempura (£35pp plus £25pp for bottomless cocktails). A separate vegan menu is also available.

A cocktail at Apothecary East

Anything Else To Note?

This is a good spot for private dining, with special party menus on offer and a dedicated events room.

How Much Are We Talking?

Small plates from £5.80, large plates from £24, with around three dishes per person recommended.


36 Charlotte Rd, London EC2A 3PG, apothecaryeast.co.uk