31 Jul Best Ramen in London so far….
Latest update (7 Oct 12): we went back a few times over the past month, and, disappointingly, the taste changed. Apparently the recipe was revised for some reasons, or that’s what I was told… To me, the old one was much better. Hopefully they will go back to that eventually…
YAY!!! FOOD POST!!
Just because I have not been posting so often lately, please do not that think that I have stopped going out to discover what London has to offer your palate…
As you all know, I am a big fan of Japanese food!! I already told yo about my favorite Udon place in London … how about RAMEN for this time?
As many would agree, it is not so easy to find the offerring of a good bowl of ramen in London, and so we have been on the hunt for such for some time, trying here and there, but did not quite find something that would make us go for it again. This time, however, I am definitely coming back!
Address: 63 Dean Street, London W1D 4QG
Tonkotsu was opened in May 2012 by the owners of Tsuru Sushi, after the several much welcomed pop-up sushi events at their Bishopgate branch since November 2011, as a dedicated Ramen shop. That much was enough to get me excited before we reached this place.
With much anticipation, we got to Tonkotsu on Saturday, a bit early for dinner, but I must admit we were still a little surprised to find it so empty. Though I would not complain, a nice direct entrance would do me good after all the queuing and traffic all around the West End at the first weekend of the Olympics.
The place is still quite new, and has its own charm with the simple style of decoration.
Naturally, it has a very short menu, with ramen as the main character and a small number of other side dishes. Besides the day’s special, the batter-fried cod, we went straight to ordering the ramen.
The fish was not so impressive though, tasted a bit bland and I did not find any special touches done, but well, it was not the focus of our trip so we overlooked that.
…and the much anticipated bowls came out, Tokyo Spicy…
Before I go deeper into how it tastes, I have to admit I have yet been able to have a bowl of ramen in Japan, and do not believe I am in a position to make such a statement as “it is really how ramen should be”, neither do I intend to do so. However, I can at least say that I really liked what was given to us at Tonkotsu!
The tonkotsu broth is quite flavourful, rich and creamy and felt so good with every slurp, and the springy noodle bode well to give every bite a texture. The slices of pork were also done well, just right so that it was neither pink nor too dry. The boiled egg and bamboo shoot were a perfect additions.
The Tokyo Spicy’s soup was also great, not as rich and creamy, but decently flavour packed, and do not worry about the “spicy” in its name, it is nowhere the level of being unbearably hot.
I could really do with another bowl of either of the above for lunch tomorrow, unfortunately Dean street is not just around the corner…
The one thing we may complain a little about was the size of the portion. We found the bowl quite small for the price. (Though maybe it is the way it should be and we are just big eaters?!?)
However, they have my favorite dessert!! Mochi ice-cream!!!
All in all, a great place dedicated for ramen, and only a street away from Koya. My options for noodles in the West End have officially doubled! Next maybe we will try to somehow taste the commented shoyu ramen at Roka’s Shochu Lounge. Though the fact that they only do ramen on Monday makes this kinda tricky…
On another note, a couple of weeks before Tonkotsu, we also went to Nagomi (just off New Bond street) after reading all the good reviews on its ramen. Though I must say I was not so impressed by our experience with the food that day. The staff was super nice and friendly, the noodle had good texture, but I found the broth much too salty for me to spot any other taste it might have had, and the bowl was starving for more meat to accompany the noodle. The soft-shell crab and the ice cream were good, but we did not find ourselves satisfied with the ramen. Although, maybe it was just their off-day? Given how much praise Nagomi has received, I am willing to give it another try sometime and happy to be proven wrong. I will let you know the result of that venture when I manage to get around to doing it.
Address: 4 Blenheim Street, London W1S 1LB