Panton Yokocho

Japanese·
££££
·

SquareMeal Review of Panton Yokocho

Found between bustling Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square, Panton Yokocho (Yokocho translating to alleyway in Japanese, in case you were wondering) is the latest opening from Japan Centre and the third Yokocho site in the city.

Walking up to the restaurant your attention is immediately drawn to a statement animated bowl of ramen with floating chopsticks - offering passers-by a hint of the kitsch and quirky decor that could await them inside. Entering the restaurant, Panton Yokocho’s decor reflects Japan of the 70s and 80s. Vibrant paper lanterns hang from the ceiling and crates of ingredients are stacked up to give you a true street-food experience.

The menu is a lesson in itself, giving insight into each of its 11 ramen dishes. Read up on each bowl’s place of origin, the year it was created, along with guidance on the base of the broth, noodle types and toppings.

To start we ordered the chicken karaage, a soy marinated crispy chicken - a hefty portion for a starter but perfect Japanese comfort food with plenty of crunch, along with a helping of edamame beans topped with a sweet and spicy chilli sauce.

For mains we opted for two very different ramen dishes. Tori Paitan Ramen offers the traditional take on ramen you would expect, a clear broth with generous helpings of grilled chicken and beansprouts. Be warned, this one packs a serious garlic punch. This was in stark contrast to the vegan Napoli Ramen, a tomato-based broth topped with grilled tomato, mushroom and a scattering of vegan cheese. An enjoyable dish but when surrounded by such an authentic 80’s Tokyo scene, this modern day take on a traditional dish possibly feels a step out of place.

Puddings include traditional mochi balls and mochi ice-cream, along with the vegan salted caramel affogato, which was our dessert of choice. The perfect small but tasty sweet treat to end our experience.

Service was friendly and welcoming, with staff happy to explain details and make their own recommendations. A little pricier than your typical raman bar but still perfectly affordable for a casual bite.

As you exit the restaurant a wall of waving lucky cats are there to bid you farewell, which is an adorable touch to finish off your experience.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Under £30
Cuisines
Japanese
Ambience
Fun, Lively
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Vegan options, Vegetarian options
People
Child friendly, Dates, Group dining [8+]

About Panton Yokocho

Found just off Leicester Square, Panton Yokocho is a casual Japanese restaurant from the team behind Heddon Yokocho, which celebrates all things ramen.

The restaurant’s interiors are inspired by ‘the alleyways of 1970s Tokyo’, which translates into a colourful space that features hanging lanterns, retro lights and vintage posters, all set against a soundtrack of Japanese pop tunes.

The menu at Panton Yokocho consists of ramen, side dishes and drinks. You can expect to find the signature Yokocho ramen, which consists of a soy-based chicken and pork broth ramen with slices of BBQ pork and topped with menma bamboo shoots, naruto fish cake, whole nitamago egg and nori seaweed. Elsewhere on the menu, there are regional specialties such as Sapporo Miso, a miso-based chicken and pork broth ramen, and Hakodate Shio - a salt and miso-based broth ramen. Vegan diners can join in on the fun too, thanks to the Vegan Napoli, a tomato-based ramen with grilled tomato and mushroom topped with basil and vegan cheese.

Guests can also tuck into a range of freshly prepared udon and soba dishes, such as prawn tempura udon, topped with crisp prawn tempura, wakame seaweed, spring onion and kamaboko fish cake. You can pad out your meal with side orders too - think the likes of chicken karaage, bao buns and meat and vegetable gyoza.

As for the drinks, Panton Yokocho offers a selection of Japanese draft beers, alongside sake, highballs and Japanese Shochu cocktails with sour mix and fresh strawberries. For a sugary treat, try the melon cream soda: a green melon soda float topped with vanilla ice cream and a maraschino cherry.

Look out for special offers and deals too, including a cocktail happy hour (Monday to Thursday, 4-6pm) and Wing Wednesday (a side of wings with any ramen for just £4.50).


FAQs

Can you book Panton Yokocho?

Yes, booking in advance is possible but the restaurant mainly operates on a walk-ins basis.

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Does Panton Yokocho serve vegan options?

Yes, there are vegan options on the menu.

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Is Panton Yokocho child-friendly?

Yes, there is no dedicated children's menu, but children are welcome.

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Location for Panton Yokocho

35a Panton Street, Soho, London, SW1Y 4EA
Website

Opening Times

All day
Mon 12:00-22:00
Tue 12:00-22:00
Wed 12:00-22:00
Thu 12:00-22:30
Fri 12:00-23:00
Sat 12:00-23:00
Sun 12:00-22:30

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