Sunday, 23 March 2014

Tonkotsu: tasty ramen noodle soup

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 £9 and £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 onions
Overall, I really enjoyed the food at Tonkotsu and will be eager to try their other ramen bowls.

Square Meal Tonkotsu on Urbanspoon