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Shoryu, new ramen "brasserie" in Piccadilly [London]

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Foodie94 Nov 15, 2012 04:57 PM

Mr Foodie 94 and I stood in line for about 15 minutes to score lunch for 50% off at the soft launch of Shoryu, the new ramen "brasserie" at 9 Regent St. It's affiliated with Japan Centre in some way. It specializes in tonkotsu, or ramen in a whitish pork-bone broth. I had yuzu tonkotsu, he had wasabi; both were tasty, with rich stocks brightened by the flavours we'd chosen, delicious pork, nori, beanspouts, & beni-shoga (red pickled ginger). I would have liked some gyoza to go with, but I think they're keeping a pared-down lunch menu; dinner diners will have more options. I haven't tried Bone Daddies yet, but I have tried Ittenbari nearby, which I also like for the miso ramen and lovely gyoza. Ramen renaissance - now we need some soba places like Soba-ya and Cocoron in NYC!

  1. deansa Nov 16, 2012 03:03 AM

    Sounds like the broth was nice. Any comment on the noodles and how they were cooked?

    1. a
      astereilla Nov 16, 2012 03:22 AM

      I went last Saturday and had the Hakata Tonkotsu. I thought the broth was too salty and it didn't have the lip-sticking quality which is indicative of the gelatin content from the pork bone. It did have a good flavour, though perhaps a bit too chicken-y and not quite porky enough. There was a massive portion of noodles which hadn't been quite separated enough as they were still clumped together near the bottom of the bowl. They also appeared to be the wrong type of noodles, too thick and curly.

      The topping of cha siu was quite lean and tough. I added a soft-boiled egg for £1.50 - the yolk wasn't runny, but it was soft enough and was seasoned quite well.

      I sound quite critical about the noodles, don't I? For the soft launch prices, ~£6 was a pretty good price to pay for a decent bowl of noodles. I'm not sure I'd return, though. I think the broth at Tonkotsu is much richer, but isn't seasoned enough (I know, I'm picky), but the noodles and toppings there are executed in a much better way.

      I can't quite compare Ittenbari to either of these places as I've only had the shio (salt) ramen. As a bowl of noodles, I much prefer Ittenbari to either Tonkotsu or Shoryu but I think I'm biased towards clear broths. I'd be interested in hearing about Bone Daddies if you get a chance to go!

      1. k
        klyeoh Nov 18, 2012 10:19 PM

        Competently turned out bowl of noodles - I had the Shoryu Tonkotsu.

        The broth was light & fine - is it a trend in London's ramen restaurants for the kitchen to add an inordinate amount of pickled ginger already into the noodles before serving to the guests? Anyway, it didn't really matter too much to me as I love pickled ginger.

        Like the previous poster, I also found the noodles slightly too hard for me & left most behind, finshing everything else in the bowl.

        I like the decor of the place though - simple & bright. Most ramen place outside Japan inexplicably tried to make their places look "Japanese" in a kitsch way, whereas in Japan, ramen places usually have "Chinese"-like touches here & there in their decor as Japanese normally associate ramen with its Chinese origins.

        Address details
        ============
        Shoryu
        9 Regent Street
        LondonSW1Y 4LR

         
         
        1 Reply
        1. re: klyeoh
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          Foodie94 Dec 15, 2012 01:58 PM

          Our noodles were tasty; they had the rich, eggy flavor of good ramen and were cooked well. What I especially liked is the brightness the wasabi brought to the dish-I haven't had that combination before. I'm going back sometime now that they have gyoza and other sides.

        2. Kavey Jan 10, 2013 04:19 PM

          Went back to Shoryu again last night.

          First time I visited was fairly early on after it opened, though not soft opening early and it was also at invitation of the PR and owner. I really enjoyed it but felt the char sui (BBQ pork) was too lean a cut and therefore lacking in flavour and moistness and the egg was bland and also overcooked. Rest was great.

          I knew they changed the pork to belly a few weeks ago, and it was definitely a huge improvement. Likewise the nitamago was much better, though would love both halves if I'm being picky.

          An expanded menu too, this time we had wakame salad (which I loved both times) karaage chicken (very good), grilled peppers and gyozu and for desserts we had matcha ice cream, matcha chestnut tart, matcha spongecake and doryaki.

          Great selection of drinks, I particularly find their matcha above average.

          I liked Bone Daddies when I went, but found the stools uncomfortable not to mention really crammed in. Flavours were excellent but for my taste, broth was too thick and oily for soaking all the other ingredients. Liked it a lot but... for me I think Shoryu is a better fit.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Kavey
            Kavey Jan 15, 2013 01:25 PM

            Eek, my gyoza turned to gyozu. How odd. :-)

            1. re: Kavey
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              Foodie94 Jan 16, 2013 06:21 AM

              I went back last week and was disappointed by the under-seasoned, under-crispy gyoza. My Takana Tonkotsu had lots of tasty mustard greens, and my companion's Karaka Tan Tan Tonkotsu had a nice mince topping, but I still prefer the unusual Wasabi and Yuzu options.

              1. re: Foodie94
                Kavey Jan 19, 2013 02:34 AM

                I didn't try the yuzu but last time I went with friends, someone else had the yuzu and really loved it. I went for the new one with minced pork, which I really enjoyed.

          2. limster Oct 27, 2013 03:34 PM

            Went to the newer Soho branch recently. The tonkotsu ramen was ok, nothing bad but nothing to write home about. Broth was fairly fatty, creamy and rich, but could have had a bit more porky flavour. Chashu was good -- tender and flavoursome. Noodles had a bit of stiffness to them, which I liked, but a big bunch of them had clumped together, to the detriment of the otherwise good texture.

            The gyoza were very good - well seasoned fillings, thin skins with a nice touch of crispiness on the surface and just the right touch of resilience. Somewhat oily, but good counterpoints from finely chopped green onion, minced ginger and a touch of yuzu with the dipping sauce.

            1 Reply
            1. re: limster
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              FeastFinder Oct 31, 2013 01:57 PM

              I went Oct 22 and had the Dracula Tonkotsu & returned Oct 25 and had the Karaka Tantan Tonkotsu. I thought both were spectacular and full-flavored - especially the latter, which couldn't have been any porkier without it squealing :). My noodles were nice both times (1st time kinky/curly, 2nd time more straight/spaghetti-like) but I preferred the second of the 2 a wee bit. Perhaps, like anything, it's a particular batch of broth since each is inherently different no matter how hard one tries for consistency. I hope i keep hitting the good days!!

            2. s
              souhaite Nov 1, 2013 05:45 AM

              We went to Shoryu in Piccadilly for lunch this week. What a disappointment! The wasabi broth was interesting (in a good way), but the noodles were horrible -- overcooked and so gluey. Tonkatsu, on the other hand, had perfectly cooked noodles but a slightly bland broth. Still, I'd pick Tonkatsu over Shoryu any day. Terrible!

              3 Replies
              1. re: souhaite
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                Foodie94 Nov 6, 2013 04:08 AM

                Tonkotsu = pork bone broth ramen
                Tonkatsu = fried pork cutlet

                Even Google tries to correct "Tonkatsu" to "Tonkotsu" now, making it difficult for people like me who prefer the former!

                1. re: Foodie94
                  s
                  souhaite Nov 11, 2013 02:56 AM

                  I'll pay more attention to the autocorrect. I certainly know the difference.

                2. re: souhaite
                  f
                  FeastFinder Nov 11, 2013 03:56 AM

                  Gah it was a typo - I do know difference between tonkatsu & tonkotsu. Tonkotsu it should be!

                3. l
                  Loobs Nov 2, 2013 05:25 AM

                  Good place. I really enjoyed my meal there.

                  1. Kavey Nov 8, 2013 02:57 AM

                    Just got back from a trip to Japan, including a visit to Fukuoka, home of Hakata ramen, the style that Shoryu emulate.

                    I found that their broth is similar in style, but the noodles we had in the ramen we tried were much thinner, and the tradition was to serve them a bit harder, al dente, as the Italians would say.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Kavey
                      Paprikaboy Nov 8, 2013 04:41 AM

                      Out of all the places I've tried in London I find the noodles at Ittenbari most like the ones I encountered in Japan, in that they are bit chewier than either Bone Daddies or Tonkotsu.
                      BTW the worst ramen I had in Japan was in Fukuoka. It was quick stop off while I changed trains for Nagaski and picked a place where you get tokens from a machine and take to the counter. In my experience never a sign of quality ramen.

                      1. re: Kavey
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                        FeastFinder Nov 11, 2013 03:58 AM

                        I am headed to Japan at the end of this week for a couple weeks - SO excited. I'm also going with someone who knows ramen Well & we'll all hit his favorite spots. It will be interesting to compare!!

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