Tonkotsu, 63 Dean Street, Soho, London, W1D 4QG
Visited: 26-Jun-2012 14h45
The Japenese word “Tonkotsu” means “pork bone broth ramen”. This Soho newbie of the same name promises a Tonkonsu made by cooking pork bones and fat for up to 18 hours over a high heat. With so many noodle shops in London, is Tonkotsu Bar & Ramen just another venue jumping on the foodwagen or really a tasty “must try”. After my visit today I would definitely say, YES go and try before everyone finds out!
If you are after noodle soup there are plenty of places to choose from in Central London. New Soho arrival Tonkotsu leads with a pork bone broth. They must love this dish as their website claims, “Our restaurant Tonkotsu is named after the lip-smacking, creamy ramen typical in Kyushu, but found all over Japan. Its rich consistency is created by emulsifying fat and collagen into the stock by cooking pork bones and fat for up to 18 hours over a high heat.” With claims like that who wouldn’t be curious?
The menu is extremely simple, there are only THREE MAIN COURSES. (The same number of choices as Burger & Lobster, which will be opening a few doors away). Tonkotsu (£11), Tokyo Spicy (£9) and Miso & Shyimeji Mushroom Ramen (£9). I opted for the signature dish and tea
All I can say is wow! The soup is incredibly tasty, and unlike some of their Chinatown neighbours, it didn’t feel like Tonkotsu had dumped the world’s reseve of Monosodium Glutamate in my bowl. The dish was nicely presented with a mound of chopped spring onions and sprinkled with seasame seeds clinging to the side of the bowl. The thin white ramen noodles had great firm texture, and the pork slices were very tender with a nice thin layer of fat around the outside. I was surprised to find a half semi-boiled egg in the soup. Unusually it was preserved somehow. Not like a Chinese Century egg, but it was definitely not your regular boiled egg affair.
If you like you ramen noodles I would definitely try Tonkotsu. It’s definitely a league above Wagamama, and the fact that I finished the entire bowl of soup says it all. I’ll be back soon to try the Tokyo Spicy
Tonkosu wasn’t full of Japanese guests when I visited at 14h45 on a Tuesday afternoon. The staff aren’t Japanese, in fact my waistress was Peruvian and the chef at the front of the shop was Polish! So if you’re the type who demands to be greeted by a sea of Japanese staff bowing at your every guesture, there are other places nearby for you. However, if you want some damn tasty ramen, served quickly, I recommend that you come here.