Oh hey, what's this ramen hype I hear?
After receiving some great news *I got a new job* I was gifted with a trip to Tonkotsu for the evening from Mr R. I wasn't really in to the ramen hype, purely because I’m more of a Pho fan than anything else, but I finally got around to visiting this little restaurant.
The restaurant itself is pretty small and it had that squashed sardines effect when it was in full capacity. We arrived just before 6:45pm and manage to get a table upstairs, away from the 'crowd'. The staff, although quick on their feet, was unfriendly and uninformative - we felt a little ignored. The menu was very limited to just 4 ramen dishes and a few side dishes, so there wasn't much to choose from. I already knew what I wanted so ordering was speedy.
Tonkotsu Ramen for me and Toyko Ramen for Mr R - with a side of Tofu Hiya Yakko.
The tofu hiya yakko (pic: top right), which was served cold, was my least favourite dish of the night. Topped with bonito flakes and chopped spring onions and without a dash of soy sauce, this dish would have tasted like thin air - nada! I'm a huge fan of tofu, but this version of it did not hit the spot.
The rich, sea salt-braised pork stock for my Tonkostu ramen (pic: bottom right) was delicious It was silky, smooth and had extremely strong flavours. Although a little salty to my palette, however the soft melt-in-your-mouth pork belly that was served with it balanced out the richness of the broth. The small touches from the chopped spring onions and the small half boiled egg, just gave that extra edge to the dish. Add a little bit of their home made chillie oil and you have perfection. In an ideal world, I would loved a bit more of the Ramen, but hey for £11 you can’t go wrong.
The Tokyo Ramen (pic: bottom lefy) is a soya sauce based broth, and again the pork belly served with it balanced out the saltiness of it – yes it was really salty. To me, the broth tasted similar to miso soup (with less salt!), but Mr R found it a bit too overwhelming and felt that it lacked extra seasoning. And again, there was not enough ramen in the bowl.
With the menu being extremely limited, the dessert section was next to nothing. There were only two options – icecream/sorbets or mochi. We opted for 3 selection Mochi. Nothing particularly special, but my favourite one was the Yuzu Mochi (the yellow one on the left) – tasted a lot like lemonade!
IMO: Great little restaurant, delicious food, but the service and the ambience let it down. As mentioned above, If you’re looking for a bite to eat and just want something simple to hit-the-spot, then this is the place for you and its in the heart of soho, you can’t go wrong!