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Never-ending queues, sparse decor, cramped surrounds and back-crippling wooden planks to sit on may encourage diners to slurp and quickly make tracks at this no-frills, no-bookings ramen house, but
Tonkotsu’s flavoursome food is well worth savouring. Apart from snacks including battered soft-shell crab, ‘expertly crisped’ chicken karaage and bouncy gyoza dumplings, the menu revolves around
four versions of ramen, whose ‘life-giving, umami-packed’ broth and hand-pulled noodles (‘strings of loveliness’) demonstrate the care shown by the kitchen in creating this Japanese street-food
classic – you really can ‘taste the difference’, insists one convert. Winning combinations include the house version, served with ‘meltingly tender’ pork, crisp beansprouts, spring onions and a
soft-boiled egg cooked to ‘burnished bronze perfection’. Just add efficient staff, beers, saké and shochu for a ‘great-value, satisfying and savoury’ winner.
I'm a massive fan of noodle soup. So when the girlfriend suggested we go to Tonkotsu - a Japanese ramen bar in Soho, London - I was there straight away.According to one of Tonkotsu's blog posts, their ramen bar is London's first. They also take their food seriously, proudly displaying on their menu and website that they make their own noodles from their Japan-imported machine. But is it any good?The short answer is yes - the noodle soup is very good at Tonkotsu! And judging by the queue at the door, they've clearly built up a healthy following too.The menu is simple: there's only four ramen dishes to choose from (plus side dishes) - quality over quantity. All the ramen are between Â£9 and Â£11, so you won't break the bank eating there.I went for the 'Tokyo Ramen', a ramen noodle soup with a seasoned boiled egg, pork belly and bamboo shoots. The pork was soft and well seasoned, and the egg was perfectly cooked with a lovely soft centre. The noodles had a good bite to them, while the soup broth had a wonderful smoky and intense flavour to it.Tokyo Ramen: soy sauce base, pork and chicken stock and medium thick noodles topped with mirin and soy marinated pork belly, half a seasoned soft-boiled egg, menma and spring onions. The girlfriend ordered the 'Tonkotsu', the distinctive feature of which was the rich and milk-like soup broth. The taste was completely different to the Tokyo, and tasted creamy in comparison. It was a softer flavour in my opinion, but the girlfriend was equally impressed. In fact, she usually hates mung beansprouts (the type in the Tonkotsu ramen), but she ate them all on this occasion because, such was the flavour of the broth, it masked the sprouts.Tonkotsu: rich, sea salt-based pork stock and thin noodles topped with slices of melt-in-the-mouth pork belly, half a seasoned soft-boiled egg, menma, bean sprouts and spring onionsOverall, I really enjoyed the food at Tonkotsu and will be eager to try their other ramen bowls.
More from Pic My Food »
My ramen quest continues...for this weeks treat I found myself popping through China Town and heading into the widely acclaimed Tonkotsu on Dean Street. The restaurant is a small, two story, 30 or so seater with both table and bar seating. I settled in at the Ramen bar at the front and was greeted by helpful staff, whom encouraged me to try the gyoza after a friend had told me they a an 'absolute must' - naturally, I ordered some of the pork filled ones to arrive ASAP and settled into the noodle menu...
More from Life of a Londoner... »
I discovered TONKOTSU ramen during pop up event Tonk the Disco at Disco Bistro.This time I had Tokyo ramen with pork belly and prawn gyoza.I must admit I prefer the ramen I had..
More from Frenchy love food »
Having worked up an appetite now, my next course took me across the road to Tonkotsu, a ramen joint I’d heard very good reviews for from the Twitter community, so let’s just say when I walked in and ordered my Tokyo ramen (a soy sauce base with pork and chicken stock topped with mirin and soy marinated pork belly, half a seasoned soft-boiled egg, menma and spring onions), I did so with expectations. What I had though certainly did not disappoint...
More from wetrykai »
The best way to kick off the week is vodka, right? Well, that's exactly what I did when I attended an LCS event with Vestal Vodka. Coming out of Poland (with an Anglo-Kiwi twist), this vodka is different in many ways, although the focus is on it's single filtration, the "terroir" and age of its potatoes, and it's concept of small batch vintage. It has a pretty interesting (and initially not entirely pleasing) smell, but once you drink it, I picked up the strange nuances of apple and bubblegum, challenging but not displeasing. Over the night, I sampled the entire current Vestal range and emerged from the Vestal Vaults very much converted, only something an evening with the London Cocktail society can do...
More from a rather unusual chinaman »
Ramen restaurants are like buses – you wait ages for one, then three come along all at once. I’ve visited Tonkotsu before, but that little Soho gem has now been joined by Bone Daddies and Shoryu and all three are within easy walking distance of each other. Although all three serve the basic staple of tonkotsu ramen, they all do so differently and wouldn’t be mistaken for one another except by the very stupid...
More from The Picky Glutton »
Based on Dean Street in Soho, Tonkotsu specialises in one thing – ramen. I’ll be honest, I’d never had a ramen before and if you haven’t either – it’s a traditional Japanese noodle soup made with stock from animal bones and vegetables then topped with a variety of ingredients. I’ve been reluctant to order one before because I thought it would be greasy and watery – oh how wrong I was!...
More from samphire and salsify »
Today I'm again reviewing a new Dean/Frith Street restaurant. I promise that there'll be some geographical variation in the future! Tonkotsu is a new Japanese restaurant, with a familiar concept of being a ramen bar with a sort of informal cafe atmosphere. However, there are a couple of factors that do set it apart. The first thing you notice are the big bubbling vats of stock preparing the broth for the next day's ramen. A very deliberate move to show people walking past where the food is coming from, breaking down the barrier between the dining room and the kitchen. This is supplemented by information on the menu as to the origin of the ingredients and the preparation of the meats. We're certainly moving towards the age where people are becoming very mindful of sourcing, and this can only be a good thing.The second unique factor is the size of the menu. There are only 3 types of ramen, 3 types of gyoza, 4 sides and 1 dessert...
More from Fd Over LDN »
Tonkotsu in Soho had been recommended to her by her Japanese hairdresser and described as ‘excellent’. If you find natives eating in any restaurant, you know it’s going to be good.Ramen makes up a large part of the Japanese offering when it comes to their excellent cuisine (one of my favourites in the world). It is comprised of a life-giving and deeply flavoursome stock, noodles...
More from The Cutlery Chronicles »
Japanese noodles have finally arrived in London. Apart from the established and highly praised Koya which opened a couple of years ago and serves home-made udon (their walnut miso udon has made it on the top 100 dishes in London list) , two new ramen bars were launched in the last few months. There is Ittenbari in Brewer Street, which was brought to London by the Japanese owner of a ramen bar in Osaka, and now also Tonkotsu...
More from HungryinLondon »
There have been days I fantasise myself eating cheese ramen in Japan. That fantasy will become a reality one day, for now the search goes in London.Tonkotsu opened its doors around spring this year. I finally went one night after being put off by the queues of Cay Tre. From the shop window you can see the chefs at working making the ramen bowels. The group of us sat upstairs and was presented the menu. Disappointedly there are only 3 options on offer...
More from The Food Connoisseur »
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