Saturday. 5.45pm. Soho. Queues were already forming outside London’s most popular restaurants. Even Herman Ze German felt full.
We were hungry and time was precious. Not wanting to stand in the cold, we chose Tonkotsu – a Ramen restaurant with a thirty minute wait beneath a large, energy wasting turbo heater.
Inside, the music was pumping and steam was bellowing from the open Ramen bar. We shared a long, wooden table and speedily ordered a plate of hot, salted edamame (£3.50) and homemade Prawn Gyoza (£5). The latter had a lovely flavour, but weren’t a patch on Mama Lan’s creations.
Ramen wise, I chose Shimeji, Shiitake & Miso (£9) with an unhealthy added portion of pork . The sauce was rich, with half a semi-hard boiled egg, thick, silky noodles, mushrooms, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots and white, juicy meat.
I had a flashback to Bone Daddies. The flavour was there, but my bottomless pit of a stomach couldn’t conquer it. I found the sauce too salty, too thick, too rich. I couldn’t handle it again – something my friends agreed on.
Paying took forever; a stressful process made worse by our desperate need for fresh air. The staff were a friendly bunch, but my word they were slow.
Tonkotsu gets a LLE Rating of 5/10. I’d rather go to Koya for lighter noodles, delicate flavours and a more relaxed atmosphere.
Tonkotsu, 63 Dean Street, London W1D 4QG