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.
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