Tonkotsu – Review (London Soho)


Ladies and gents, here is the latest incarnation brought to us by The Tsura Sushi Bar folk. So what can I say about Ramen? This wheat and egg based noodle with an elastic, springy chew is not to be confused with the packet nonsense that you get on your supermarket shelves, this is the good stuff. As I walk in, I already sense something magical with the open kitchen visible to all passers-by, the huge bubbling pots releasing it’s oh so amazing porky steam.

Whilst I sit down on my stool by the counter (other seats available further in and upstairs) next to the bubbling pots in the kitchen I’m surrounded by an industrial-esque decor. It gives off this street food vibe which I adore, and it seems pretty damn authentic.

The menu is short, but impressive and it covers a good selection of starters and sides.

 

Here is the Tonkotsu – its base is a slow simmered pork bone broth that has been cooking for up to 18 hours it’s also known as the signature dish. The flavour is an intense milky, rich, a lip sticking porky delight, no doubt from all that fatty, delicious collagen. It comes with a seasoned egg which is cooked to perfection, soft yolk and great texture. That’s not it though as it’s topped with bamboo shoots, bean sprouts and tender pork belly slices.

 

Here is the Soho Ramen, a sea salt and pork base stock topped with smoke haddock, caviar, seasoned egg and, bamboo shoots and bean sprouts. Who would of thought a porky broth would taste so good with fish! It worked well but didn’t ooze the quality of the others.

 

My personal favourite is the Tokyo Ramen – this is a soy based pork + chicken combination broth which was a sweet, savoury intensely satisfying clear base. It came with the bean sprouts, bamboo shoots and egg too. The pork belly slices were unctuous, sweet, tender with a nice little bite to it. I was eating it as slow as possible to savour every bite!

 The side dishes are up there too; the gyoza pork dumplings gave crispy savoury flavour profile with the moist minced filling. Delicious!

And when you do get there ordering the Kara-age chicken is essential! It’s crisp-fried, deboned chicken thighs, humorously known as JFC – the moist flesh is covered in what seems like layers and layers of addictive crunch. It’s like a drug! Consume with lemon and top with their in-house chilli oil, an aromatic roast condiment full of sweet, soft-roasted garlic and sesame seeds, it produces a perfect little intensely satisfying kick.

Drinks, served by the obligatory hipters are equally as awesome craft brews, Japanese beers and whisky. Check it out;

The cold, cold, crisp Sunlik got my vote!

 

The verdict;

The damage: We paid 30 Pounds per head with a couple of beers with several sides
The good:  Springy, chewy noodles served in a deep, intense broth, sweet pork and sides that give buzz giving qualities – what more can you ask for? 
The bad: There isn’t one on my road!
Rating: 4/5
 http://www.tonkotsu.co.uk
63 Dean St  London W1D 4QG
020 7437 0071

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