London - Superb Tonkotsu Ramen at Bone Daddies, Soho
UK Hound, limster, tipped me off to this newish ramen spot, Bone Daddies, which took over the location of old-time Soho stalwart, Melati. The latter's demise was somewhat predicted as the Malaysian/Indonesian crowd moved towards Bayswater and the concentration of authentic Malay eateries there for their 'nasi goreng' & 'laksa' fix.
Bone Daddies's claim-to-fame, of course, was that it's helmed by Australian chef Ross Shonhan, former Head Chef of Zuma London. Its Tokyo rockabilly-inspired decor (think black noren), high bar stools & narrow counter tables belied the fact that it served some of the best-tasting tonkotsu ramen I'd had in London.
The noodles itself was nothing to shout about, but the thick, unctuous, collagenic pearl-colored soup, more gravy than consomme, sure packed some serious flavors. The 'chashu' pork slivers were rich & utterly delicious. The 'menma' bamboo shoots slightly softer than I'd have preferred but very good all the same. My only complaint was the 'ajitsuke tamago' egg which was overly-salted with soysauce drizzled over it (why?!). The chopped scallions & pickled ginger added some spike of flavors which undercut the buttery-rich broth. Overall, it was an absolutely marvellous bowl of noodles.
My dining companion opted for the 'tsukemen', cold noodles with finely-chopped scallions, bamboo shoots, finely-julienned 'nori' & the obligatory egg, and with warm 'dipping' broth on the side. Also very good, though I thought the noodles could have been served slightly warm instead, so the dipping broth would not be slightly cooled by each dunk. Overall, very good nonetheless.
Our starters were actually small, individual buckets of 'tori karaage' - very scrumptious fried chicken morsels. I wished they'd serve 'gyoza' dumplings though - 'ramen' and 'gyoza' always seemed to go well together, both being Japanese staples of Chinese origins.
Bone Daddies' excellent execution is really inspiring me to do a 'ramen crawl' of London, *if* only I'd had more time on this visit to London. A must-not-miss spot for any ramen aficionado to London.
30-31 Peter St
London W1F 0AR
Tel: 02072877437 / 0207287 8581
What I liked about this place is that, despite being a new spot which serves great ramen, one can just walk inside & get a seat at 8pm (granted it *was* a Monday evening). When Ippudo from Kyushu opened its first outlet in Singapore a couple of years back, we queued for over an hour just to get in the front door.
In Tokyo recently, a cousin was brought by his Japanese business associate to try Rokurinsha at the Tokyo Skytree - they joined a queue of 300 and waited 3 hours to get in. As they were consuming their noodles, people were standing *right* behind them waiting for them to vacate their seats. Londoners need to know how lucky they are compared to Tokyo-ites :-D
Just got back from Bone Daddies and only had to wait about 5 mins for a table despite it being a Friday Night.
Had the tonkotsu and some homemade pickles.
The pickles were really good.
The pork in the ramen was so soft and the flavour was great. The noodles were a little soft for me, not really springy enough. Agree about the soy sauce on the egg but the egg tasted great and was perfectly soft. I thought the pickled ginger was cut a bit too big but probably just a personal thing as I'd rather use pickles to cut through the richness.
The broth was a thing of wonder, Creamy, deep and rich coating your mouth like a porky milkshake.. However there was far too little of it. I had about 4 spoonfuls of it just to make sure it was as good as I thought and it was almost gone leaving the noodles and pork beached like a whale.
The best tonkotsu I've had in London but they need to be more generous with the broth.