10 August 2015

Restaurant Review: Shoryu Ramen

Having recently announced my sojourn to Japan, it seemed like a good time to write up the review of a ramen restaurant that I went to a while back - Shoryu Ramen.

I actually first ate at Shoryu Ramen a couple of years ago, as a pre-theatre dinner before seeing Book of Mormon (it's brilliant, do go and see it if you haven't already). Created by the team behind Japan Centre, Shoryu Ramen had a pop up restaurant on Denman Street for about a month at the time (it has now became a permanent restaurant). I remember having the Dracula Tonkotsu, which was topped with caramelised black garlic oil and garlic chips. It was pungent, fiery and delicious. It really did live up to its name... there was so much garlic in it that you didn't have to worry about a living being, let alone a vampire, wishing to get too close to you after eating it.

I visited Shoryu Ramen again more recently, and this time decided to go for a slightly more sociable ramen. I ate at their branch on Regent Street (they now have four dine-in restaurants, including the original Soho restaurant and locations in Liverpool Street and Carnaby Street).

All of the ramen served at Shoryu are tonkotsu style - this means that the base of the ramen broth is created by slowly simmering pork bones for over 12 hours to create a rich stock. At Shoryu, the ramen are specifically Hakata tonkotsu, hailing from the Hakata district in Fukuoka in Kyushu, Japan. I'm actually stopping over in Fukuoka when I fly over to Japan in October, so I'm going to see if I can find any authentic Hakata tonkotsu ramen to sample at the airport!

So, as I was saying, I wanted to steer clear of the garlic this time, and so I kept it simple and went for the signature ramen: Shoryu Ganso Tonkotsu. As with all the other ramen on the menu, this comes topped with char siu barbecue pork belly, nitamago egg (soft-boiled and seasoned with soy sauce), spring onions, sesame, ginger and nori seaweed.

Shoryu ganso tonkotsu ramen

There is something so soothing about ramen: the combination of hot, savoury broth and hearty, filling noodles does it. Soup is said to soothe the soul, and this one certainly does -  the rich, creamy flavour of the broth has a real depth to it, making it incredibly satisfying. All the toppings help to take it to another level, - the pickled ginger really cutting through the richness, the tender, sweet pork belly echoes the flavour of the broth, and the soft boiled egg is simply delicious in its own right. The different textures and flavours of the toppings really help make it an interesting dish - usually I would get bored halfway through eating a bowl of soup but certainly not with this.

And because you can never have too much pork (never!), I also had a char siu barbecue pork belly hirata bun.

I love the soft, springy texture of these buns! A slice of cucumber and some salad added welcome crunch to the mix, either side of the tender, flavoursome pork. The lashings of mayonnaise made the whole thing particularly moreish. I could have eaten a couple for sure!

I'm looking forward to trying some more regional variations of ramen when I travel to Japan. And because I'll be living there for a while, I'm sure I'll also be tucking into instant ramen pots every now and then, particularly on those days when I just can't face cooking (or need a quick hangover cure!). Instant noodles were actually voted the invention most Japanese are proud of recently. You can't deny that they are kind of brilliant.

But if you're looking for real ramen in London, Shoryu Ramen is a good place to start!

Have you been to Shoryu Ramen? Do you have a favourite ramen bar or Japanese restaurant?


  1. Oh this sounds delish! I'm frequently in this part of town for theatre things, so will definitely seek out this spot.

    1. Thanks for reading my review Claire :) It is a great pre-theatre spot, and the service is quick so you don't have to watch the clock - hope you enjoy it!

  2. Shoryu is on my to visit list but ramen in Japan is the best - so much cheaper too! Very envious of your move there! x