[This post is also published on my personal blog ET Food Voyage]

Ramen is undeniably one of the best and most sophisticated type of noodle soup in my opinion. There is so much technique and finesse behind a good authentic bowl of ramen – from the stock, noodles, toppings, etc.

There isn’t a lack of restaurants that serve ‘ramen’ but for a true authentic bowl of ramen, you must visit a ramen house. I promise you they taste absolutely different. I genuinely think an authentic bowl of Japanese ramen is like the most sophisticated art form of noodles. There are a few Japanese ramen places around London and in this post I’m going to introduce you Shoryu.

Shoryu is established by the Japan Centre team and has now opened a number of branches around central London. The Carnaby branch is the one I usually visit – I have always loved the vibe at Kingly Court and there’s also an outdoor seating there which is really nice during summer.

They have a drum at the entrance and servers will hit it as they welcome you into the restaurant. Their menu offers quite a variety of options and ‘fusion’ flavours for ramens. Obviously they serve traditional tonkatsu ramen as well as some classic variety such as black garlic ramen and white soy milk miso ramen. Apart from the classics, they also offer some fusion flavours such as curry ramen, kimchi ramen, piri piri tonkatsu and tan tan ramen. When you order, you get to choose the texture of your ramen noodles from either hard, standard or soft.

Before we delve into the scrumptious ramens, let’s begin with starters.

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For starters, I normally like to order the Soft Shelled Crab Tempura.

I absolutely adore soft shelled crabs. It’s always a must to order whenever I see it on the menu back home in Asia. It’s not a common item here in England and I must admit I do miss it rather much. One thing that bugs me a bit about soft shelled crabs though is that it’s not always meaty. Thus it’s such a delight to find out that the soft shelled crabs served at Shoryu are actually meaty and not a mere crispy crab-flavoured fried batter. It wasn’t too oily and the sauce lightens it up as well. The side salad was very refreshing either and very tasty

Now to the ramen, first off the Kimchi Seafood Ramen. This ramen consists fiery kimchi broth, prawns, scallops, squid, nitamago egg, kikurage mushrooms, nori seaweed, seasoned beansprouts, topped with spring onion, sesame and fried shallots.

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The base broth is quite flavourful and rich with a mild hint of spiciness from the kimchi. It’s not the richest broth I’ve had but definitely a decently flavourful one. The seafood was nice and not overcooked under the hot broth. The scallops in particular are of quite a decent size.

My most favourite ramen toppings are the nitamago egg and kikurage mushrooms. These two are absolutely essential for a classic ramen. It’s hard to not love a marinated soft boiled egg – that savoury soy sauce flavour in the egg and the luscious molten egg yolk – how can you not? I absolutely loved how soft the nitamago egg was in the ramen. The slight glossy surface makes it an eye candy too! When topped with some sesame it adds this aromatic fragrance to it, both to the egg and the broth in general. As for the kikurage mushrooms, I just simply love that earthy fungus flavour and the al dente texture it possesses.

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Another ramen I’ve tried before is the Kuro Tan Tan Ramen. Tan Tan noodles (or DanDan noodles) is actually from a Chinese Sichuanese cuisine which involves a very aromatic spicy sauce and chilli oil. So a Tan Tan Ramen is basically a fusion of Chinese and Japanese flavours.

The ramen is composed of a spicy pork and beef broth topped with spicy fried minced pork, bbq pork, nitamago, sesame and spring onion. The broth was really rich and relatively thick in texture. The flavours are majorly Japanese with an additional touch of the very aromatic Sichuanese spices and heat.The fusion concept is very well executed and I thoroughly enjoyed it a lot.

Seeing a couple of decent ramen houses popping up in London makes me so happy – it somewhat reminds me of the ramen frenzy back home in Hong Kong and it’s a delight to see such an iconic quality gourmet food item gets spread worldwide. Shoryu is definitely one of my favourites for London ramen houses. Worth checking out!😉

 

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Published by Eutonne Tam