Monday, 17 December 2012

More Ramen this time at Shoryu Ramen

Like everyone else in London, I’m enjoying the latest trend of Ramen noodle soup and even more with all the new ramen shops opening up left right and centre now.
I’m enjoying this new craze, as I love Ramen a lot, a hell of a lot. I’ve been semi addicted to boodle soup since my first visits to Asia back in the 90’s.
First of all it was Thukpa, the part Nepalese, Tibetan noodle soup slurped in small hole in the wall Tibetan run restaurants in Kathmandu.
Then came the spicy Thai versions that used to kick start my day after many a heavy night in Bangkok drinking Sang Thip or Mekhong whisky.  The small roadside stalls always served me up an amazing bowl of rice noodle soup.
Laos and Cambodia have their own versions, which served a purpose, but were never as good as what u had in Thailand.
China also gave me many different variations on the simple noodle soup, from hearty gutsy broth in the north to more refined simple flavours in the south.
Vietnamese Pho is also an addiction with me, after spending 6 weeks slowly travelling around this amazing country having soup probably at least twice a day.
Even in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia also serve up their own variations on this incredible dish, but it is Japan that the simple noodle soup is taken to new heights, and maybe its one of the reasons I want to return to the “Land of the Rising Sun.”
Japan seems to be able to take anything and recreate it into something incredible. They’ve taken the humble Chinese wheat noodle and added it to a fish, meat or pork bone stock with mesmerising ingredients to create the best noodle soup on the planet.
In Japan there are noodle shops that specialise in one thing and one thing only. Could be Ramen, could be Udon style, but what ever they do, they do it bloody good.

The best Ramen noodle soup I’ve ever had was on our last night in Kyoto at a modern eatery with glass large glass fronted windows looking out onto the street. Very different from your normal wooden restaurant with a short curtain at the entrance.
Outside of Japan, the best ramen soup I’ve had was at Ippudo in New York. Oh my god it was good, so very good, lovely modern setting with shared benches, good vibe but oh so bloody good stock. Blog post to follow one day.
In London a small crop of ramen shops have begun to appear, first off was itenbari, a nice place, good soup but a better vibe.
Then along came Tonkotsu, which promised us the proper 48 hour pork bone stock, but sadly it never lived up to the hype, even after a bit of tweaking.
Bone Daddies is one of the latest creations and bloody good it is too, just wish they would do 1. Turn down the bloody music and 2. Give me more bloody stock you tight wads. I want more.
Shoryu Ramen is the latest offering, coming from the same people as the Japan Centre opposite, which I have eaten at on more than one occasion. Still wish it was based in Piccadilly, it was a lot better then.
Lovely modern setting but feels slightly out of place a little down Regent Street, should be in West London really.

The menu is kick ass with over 10 different ramen soups, mostly of the Tonkotsu variety from the Hakata District in southern Japan.
The milky white broth looks the biz and on first impressions it tasted the part also, but it wasn’t a long lasting taste and quickly disappeared. It tasted almost a watered down version of what it should be.
I like the noodles here, good taste, nicely cooked with a little bite in them. The egg was not runny, the chashu was disappointingly tasteless. A shame really. But there is room for improvement here and as they are listening to their customers, I think this place will improve and get much better. 

Portion control is at its best here with some very generous portions being served, just what I want at Bone Daddies.
The staff are a bit hit and miss to be honest with pretty slow but friendly service, but I’m sure they will improve over time.
I know I will be returning here to try out some more of their soups and hopefully when I return the Kare Age will be on the menu, not listed as “coming soon”. This I thought was pretty stupid to have items on the menu that you cannot have. That I do not like.
But a new ramen shop is definitely a good sign and shows that we are beginning to take ramen seriously. Bring it on. 

Shoryu on Urbanspoon

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