Bone Daddies Ramen Bar
30-31 Peter Street W1F 0AR
Bone Daddies is now soft launched with 50% off today and tomorrow (Fri 2nd Nov/Sat 03rd Nov). The ramen bar headed up by ex-Zuma and ex-Nobu head chef Ross Shonhan, opened its doors this lunchtime to a busy crowd. If you want to take a sneak-peek get there quickly tonight as it’s first come first served – no reservations.
The venue is next to Walkers Court in the heart of Soho (better known as “porn alley” and the former home of The (in)famous Raymond Review Bar). I can imagine this to be quite fitting as I understand that Japan Ramen Bars serve “salaryman” during a night out. I am not Japanese, but from what I understand, it appears to be culturally similar to groups of London City Workers grabbing ‘an Indian’ with a beer – eating and drinking. A winning combo.
The venue appears much brighter than its previous incarnation as a confused Malaysian/Indonesian Restaurant. The tinted windows and pot plants which used to clutter the daylight have been totally removed and replaced by a minimalistic no-nonsense design and communal tables. (As expected with most Japanese ramen venues).
The menus are a two paged affair served on wooden clip boards. One page for drinks and one for food. There are EIGHT different types of ramen on offer;
- SOY RAMEN
Mizuna, onion, nori, chashu pork (chicken bone broth)
Soy Ramen, chicken, cock scratchings (chicken bone broth)
- SWEEET 3 MISO RAMEN
Corn, wakame, butter, chicken (chicken bone broth)
- TONKOTSU RAMEN
Spring onion, chashu pork (20 hour pork bone broth)
Sesame, chilli, pork mince, bok choy (chicken bone broth)
- TANTANMEN 2
Tantanmen, chicken mince, (chicken bone broth)
- DIPPING RAMEN
Spring onion, kizami nori, chashu (chicken broth)
- RAMEN SALAD
Mizuna, carrot, wakame, chicken, sesame ponzu (no bone broth)
For those who are hungry it appears that most of the toppings can be added at very £0.50 to £2.00. Most interesting is the offer of a “fat pippette” to make your bone broth even more flavoursome!
Naturally, being in Soho, I opted for the ‘Tonkotsu’ for ease of comparison to the nearby competitors. It didn’t disappoint. The two large slices of chashu pork was easily more than what I received at my last visit to Tonkotsu in Dean Street, the soup was tasty and more thick. My dining partner for the day had more experience with this dish and commented that this best overall Tonkotsu he has had in London. He could name places with a better topping, or better bone broth, but no better overall product.
We ordered the side dishes of soft-shell crab and fried chicken. The chicken was nicely juicy on the inside and proper chunks of meat (not nasty ‘reformed’ or overcooked stuff that’s often offered). I loved the soft shell crab which was actually meaty (unlike some places where the crab had evidently escaped its shell before they fried him).
The main service was from the the enthusiastic front-of-house man. I dealt with the bartender directly for the cocktails as I know her from her previous venues. This is the FIFTH opening I’ve attended this week and the first where I genuinely felt that EVERY SINGLE MEMBER OF STAFF genuinely wanted feedback rather than just going through the motions. Very impressive, it feels like a ‘small venue’ where they have more invested in this project rather than it being a job.
I liked what I had. I can imagine some people will levy the accusation that Tonkotsu should not be £11 as it was never that price in Tokyo. However, we are NOT in Tokyo, we are in London. Looking at the menu a bowl of ramen noodles will cost between £8 – £12 which seems to be in line with everyone else.
As for authenticity, I am not the best person to ask as I am not Japanese nor possessed with an depth knowledge of Japanese cuisine, but I can say that I liked what I had. The Tonkotsu was great and surprisingly filling, the soft shell crab was excellent. The cocktails were nicely themed and well made, plus the attitude of the staff was fantastic.
I often say that you should watch what people do… not listen to what they say. In the spirit of that mantra, note that my dining partner for the day spent about 20 minutes trying to justify to himself WHY he should have a SECOND BOWL of ramen before he succumbed. I had to rush off but left him slurping another main course. As they say… actions speak louder…
NOTE: Bone Daddies are Soft Opened… so they are offering 50% off food on Fri 02nd Nov & Sat 03rd Nov