Jun 16 2013

Shoryu Ramen

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There have been a lot of Japanese ramen restaurants opening in London recently, and all in or around Soho – Tonkotsu (MMM), Bone Daddies (MMM) and now Shoryu Ramen, and I find it quite hard to differentiate between them. I personally think Tonkotsu and Bone Daddies have more character to the place (maybe Shoryu Ramen better food) and I was surprised to see how polite and European and sophisticated Shoryu Ramen was.

There are 2 branches of Shoryu Ramen, one on Regent street and the other one on Dean street, a pop up, and for the first month it was selling ramen noodles with a 50% discount. Shoryu Ramen is run by the Japan center, located across Shoryu Ramen, on Regent Street and Shoryu Ramen serves Hakata tonkotsu ramen and they have a Hakata-born Executive Chef who prepares these ramen noodles. I have described ramen noodles in the other ramen reviews I have done, but these tonkotsu ramen noodles are made with a thick, rich pork soup, originating in Hakata district of Fukuoka city in Kyushu, southern Japan (different regions in Japan have different varieties of ramen). Also in their cooking they only use pure filtered water, organic rice and 100% GM-free premium rapeseed oil.

The 2 branches open at 11.45 for lunch, and when we arrived at 11.55 the Regent Street branch was almost full, and was totally full with people queuing by 12.15. The inside as I said is much more sophisticated than Bone Daddies and Tonkotsu, it was nice and clean inside with a very posh bar on one side, which apparently has one of the widest selections of sakes in London, which is what differentiates Shoryu Ramen. But I personally like the more authentic and funky ambience in Bone Daddies (sitting on high stools on communal tables). The menu has 14 different types of ramen noodles, bigger variety than in Tonkotsu and Bone Daddies and I thought it was super funny how they named one of their ramen “Dracula ramen” that had extra garlic in the form of deep roasted tones from caramelized black garlic mayu and garlic chips.

There were 23 different types of sides and starters, so a lot! So I naturally had problems choosing the sides from such a wide range but in the end we went with 3 “gyoza dumplings”, “edamame with hakata yuzu and British sea salt” and “Yuzu Wasabi Tomato”. In hindsight the dish that I should have tried was the Hirata buns, as they were advertising those everywhere, and this seemed like their signature starter, but unfortunately I only found out about this during the middle of the meal, when I was already too full to eat anything else. The edamame beans were delicious, and the powdered yuzu and sea salt that was on edamane, was not as powerful as pure sea salt you get in other restaurants, but was extremely enjoyable and I preferred this to the usual sea salt version. The gyozas were great, and you could add your own ginger, spring onions to the sauce and pimp up your gyozas as much as you wanted. The “yuzu wasabi tomato” was a bit disappointing, as it was just a thinly cut tomato with the yuzu wasabi sauce at the bottom and it was quite light in terms of the flavour.

My boyfriend ordered the “Shoryu Ganso Tonkotsu”, their signature ramen with a tonkotsu & miso broth with added spinach, and I went for the “Piri Piri Tonkotsu” which was tonkotsu with a spicy chilli kick. A good ramen has three key components: a well-flavoured broth, bouncy noodles and interesting toppings. Both of the ramen we had had rich, milky pork-and-chicken-bone broth, which was good, I thought it was not as overpowering as the broth in Bone Daddies (I find the Bone Daddies noodles too strong in their flavour), but very similar and better than Bone Daddies. Both the broths were topped with the typical half egg with a nice and gooey egg yolk as well as thin slices of pork and vegetables and had nice and soft ramen noodles. The main difference in the ramen noodles was that my boyfriend had more spinach and my ramen was extremely spicy! I love spicy food and can usually take big spiciness but I could not eat this, and halfway through my meal just gave up because it was too much and too spicy and swapped my dish for my boyfriends, and he also had big problems finishing it (I have read another review where someone else had problems with their wasabi ramen and could not finish it as it was too spicy). The nice thing was that, just like in Bone Daddies, there were loads of things on the table which you could use to flavour your ramen, like sesame seeds, pickled ginger, garlic, not that I used any of this for my ramen, but I did eat quite a bit of the pickled ginger on its own, which I very much liked. 

I find it very hard to differentiate between Shoryu Ramen, Bone Daddies and Tonkotsu in terms of the food, the choice is the biggest in Shoryu Ramen in terms of ramen and side dishes, and also maybe the quality of food is a tiny bit better and they have a sake bar, but then again as I said Bone Daddies and Tonkotsu have more character to their restaurants, and where you eat matters for me, and because slightly better food and atmosphere for me weigh each other out, I give Shoryu Ramen the same ranking, MMM, as I gave Tonkotsu and Bone Daddies.

Date: 16/06/13
Location: Regent Street
Price for 2 people, no alcohol and with service charge: £40.50

Shoryu Ramen on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

Maija rated: 

3.00

Location: 

Shoryu Ramen
9 Regent St, SW1Y 4LR
London
United Kingdom
GB
Shoryu Ramen Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 3