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This tough-to-spot, industrial-chic noodle bar might be just what you’re looking for if you’ve tired of ramen. Tāng (‘soup’) offers a range of prawn, chicken or tofu bowls inspired predominantly by Singaporean recipes and filled with a choice of wheat, glass or rice noodles. There’s also a congee option, and generous sides of delicately fried chicken or black-bean tofu, the former paired with bright orange hot sauce or lemon tofu dip. Our highlight was the prawn tāng: an intensely dark prawn and pork broth with soy sauce, egg and springy, fat prawns. The small menu changes seasonally, while drinks include cans of Beavertown beer, one white and one red wine and oolong tea. Tāng’s biggest problem is location, sharing an entrance with fellow St Giles Hotel tenant VQ and possessing only a small exterior sign. With its windowless interior this pit-stop is fine for a quick bite, but nothing more.
Noodles bars and specialist noodle restaurants have been popping up all over London in recent years, including the sublime Kanada-ya. Most of these have been Japanese, with ramen bars proliferating like a rash, almost as if London had an itch it couldn’t satisfy. Departures from the norm, such as udon, sometimes don’t turn out that well, (the-probably-less-said-about-it-the-better) Ichiryu being an unfortunate example. Tang London is an attempt to address the other parts of Asia, a new opening with a more South East Asian flavour and a Singaporean head chef.
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The best thing about living in London is that there is always something new, something unusual or something hidden away that can delight you and inspire you. Tang London is one of those. A newly opened noodle bar on Great Russell Street (just off Tottenham Court Road). The entrance is tucked away between the flashier VQ restaurant and the YMCA. Or, if like me, you can&t read the street names for scaffolding, through the entrance of the St Giles&s Hotel.
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