Ramen aficionados have helped this pleasingly authentic noodle joint to thrive and multiply, first in Japan and then across the UK, despite stiff competition.
Looks-wise, Shoryu mixes muted colours and nondescript artwork with traditional decorations such as white bamboo lamps, feature walls incorporating roof tiles, and a gong for welcoming diners – many of them Japanese. The atmosphere is consistently buzzy and upbeat with the staff here on hand to make you feel welcome.
Despite the crowds, serenity and efficiency reign: dishes go from order pad to plate faster than a speeding bullet train and come as and when they’re ready. To start, load up on shareable snacks such as sinfully good shoryu buns, Wagyu beef skewers or delightfully fresh sashimi, say, or try crisp soft shell crab tempura and a fresh cucumber salad.
Whatever small plates you choose, leave room for the main event and don't miss the signature Dracula tonkotsu – a deep, comforting, savoury bowl of garlic-laden broth that harbours tender BBQ pork, soft noodles, crisp Asian vegetables and a soy-seasoned egg. It’s the rich, deep stock that makes this so delicious: a pork concoction that is simmered slowly for hours on end (12 to be precise) to produce a silken soup base that has layers of flavour. If you prefer something a little lighter there are also miso iterations packed with veg and bamboo shoots, or a seafood combination that sees scallops, squid and prawns all combined in a savoury broth. Keep an eye out for seasonal specials too, as these often harbour luxurious or unusual ingredients and are perfect for when you fancy trying something new.
To drink, the list of sakés (including rare and premium offerings) is a draw; but alternatively, try an Asian-inflected cocktail or a cleansing tea from the concise but perfectly formed menu.