Tag Archives: Tonkotsu

Bone Daddies Ramen Bar @ Peter Street, Soho

Bone Daddies @ Peter Street, SohoBone Daddies @ Peter Street, SohoBone Daddies @ Peter Street, Soho

*今日のトピックは昨日のブログの続きですので、昨日のを読んでいない方は、お手数ですがそちらを先にお読みください。

セックスショップの集まるソーホーの一角、Peter StreetにあるBone Daddiesは、昇龍と共に最近オープンしたラーメン屋。ロックンロールのかかった明るくてモダンな店内は、ラーメン屋というよりカフェのよう。Bone Daddiesは、以前、高級ジャパニーズのZumaNobuで働いた経験のあるオーストラリア人シェフの店で、日本人経営ではないが、メディアやブロガーのレビューは軒並み高く、日本人の友人の一人もロンドン一だと褒めていたので、行ってみるまでの期待値は高かった。Bone Daddiesには2回行き、20時間煮込んだ豚骨スープのTonkotsu(£10)、鶏ガラベースのSoy(しょうゆラーメン、£9)、同じく鶏ガラベースのSweet 3 Miso(みそラーメン、£10)の3品にトライ。見た目もいいし、チャーシューや卵も美味しかったのだが、3品ともスープがダメ。ベースの味は悪くないんだけど、何かが違う。とんこつは濃厚過ぎて、グレイビ−ソースみたい。そして、しょうゆもみそも何故か甘い。甘さに耐えきれず、チリオイルを加えて、甘さを紛らわせて食べたが、そこまでして食べる価値があるかと言うと、ちょっと微妙。

シェフはオーストラリア人だし、味もイギリス人好みにしているのかもしれないが、ラーメンの好みは個人的なものなので、私の友人のように、日本人でもこういう味が好きなな人もいるかもしれない。ともあれ、Bone Daddiesなどのおかげで、ラーメン人気がロンドンで高まるのは喜ばしいこと。人気に便乗してどんどん店が増え、もっと美味しいラーメンが食べられるようになるかもしれないから(希望的観測)。

* If you haven’t read my blog of yesterday, please read it first, as today’s topic is related to what I wrote yesterday.

This is another new ramen noodle restaurant Bone Daddies, located in the deep heart of Soho’s red light district. To Japanese eye, it looks more like a cafe or bar, playing rock’n roll, rather than a traditional ramen place. Bone Daddies is a creation of Australian owner chef who previously worked for Zuma and Nobu, and the media & public reviews are generally good, including one of my Japanese friends. So I had a high expectation. We went there twice, and tried Tonkotsu with 20-hour pork bone broth (£10), Soy with chicken bone broth (£9), and Sweet 3 Miso with chicken bone broth (£10) in total. Bowls of noodles looked great, but when I tasted the broths, my hope turned to disappointment. Other stuffs, such as chashu pork and boiled eggs, were tasty, but I didn’t like broths of all three… Though base were not bad, but something was wrong to me. Tonkotsu was sort of too rich and heavy like a gravy sauce, and soy and miso broths were too sweet, so I had to add some chilli oil to moderate the taste.

Maybe the chef made the soups like these to accommodate to British’s tangs? However, ramen is quite subjective and personal, in Japan as well, so it’s understandable if other people like Bone Daddies. Also if ramen gets more popular in London, more restaurants will open too – that’ll be great so I can have more choices!

Bone Daddies @ Peter Street, Soho

とんこつラーメン(左・£10)としょうゆラーメン(右・£9)

Tonkotsu ramen (left. £10) and Soy ramen (right. £9)

Bone Daddies @ Peter Street, Soho

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Shoryu (昇龍) Ramen @ Lower Regent Street

Shoryu (昇龍) Ramen @ Lower Regent StreetShoryu (昇龍) Ramen @ Lower Regent Street

今、ロンドンではラーメンがトレンディ、中でも豚骨ラーメンが人気のようだ。以前書いたTonkotsuに続き、最近オープンした2店・Shoryu(昇龍)Bone Daddiesはメディアから高い評価を得、また回転寿司チェーン・Yo! Sushiヨー!スシ)でもラーメンがメニューに加わった。寿司屋がラーメンとは何事かとは思うが、まあそこはイギリス。で、昇龍とBone Daddiesの2店で2回ずつラーメンを食べてみた。今日は昇龍、明日はBone Daddiesについて、私なりの感想を書きます。

11月24日にピカデリー・サーカスの少し南にオープンした博多ラーメンの店・昇龍は、向かいにある日本食スーパー・Japan Centre(通称ジャパセン)の系列。むき出しのレンガ壁やユニークな形のランプシェードなど、従来のラーメン屋のイメージを覆すモダンな内装で、店のロゴもなかなか洒落ている。正式開店の前にしばらく半額セールをやっていたので、FacebookなどのSNSや口コミで、かなり美味しいらしいとオープン前から在英日本人の間ではかなり話題になっていた。

メニューには、通常の博多風とんこつだけでなく、味噌を加えた昇龍とんこつや、わさび、高菜、ゆず胡椒を加えたもの、またPiri Piriとんこつというかなり辛い一品と色々なレパートリーがあり、東京風醤油や札幌味噌ラーメン、また餃子や枝豆等のサイドディッシュもある。博多出身のシェフが作る豚骨ラーメンは、ちょっともやしが多すぎるのがもやし嫌いの私には難点だけれど、スープは旨味があり、見た目よりさっぱりしていて、お腹にもたれず美味しい。ただPiri Piriは私には辛過ぎて、お水をいくら飲んでも口の中から辛さが取れず、汗だくになってしまったので、辛いものが苦手な方はご注意を。

たまたまシェフが誰かと話しているのを盗み聞きしてしまったのだが、彼はラーメン作りにかなりこだわりがあるらしく、麺は最初に使っていた麺が気に入らず、日本の東洋製麺(と言っていたと思うが)から取り寄せたものに変え、麺を茹でる機械も最初の物がこれまた気に入らず、2千ポンドもする新しい機械を買い直したという。

日本の行列ができるラーメン店とまではいかないけれど、イギリスで美味しいラーメンが食べられるなんて、大袈裟に聞こえるかもしれないけれど、ここに来た10年前は思いもよらなかった。日本食ブーム様々だ。

Japanese street food, “ramen” noodle soup now has become a new big thing in London, especially ‘tonkotsu (it means pork bones in Japanese)’ ramen, among other kinds such as miso, shoyu (soy sauce base), or shio (salt in Japanese). After Tonkotsu, which I wrote in the past, two new places, Shoryu (rising dragon in Japanese) and Bone Daddies, have opened recently and received good reviews from UK media. Even the sushi chain YO! Sushi using the Japanese style ‘kaiten’ conveyor belt, has included ramen on their menu lately. I tried Shoryu and Bone Daddies twice each and would like to compare them – today Shoryu, and tomorrow Bone Daddies.

Shoryu ramen, specialising in Hakata ramen or Tonkotsu ramen, is opened on Nov 24th by Japan Centre, a Japanese food store across the street near Picadilly Circus. They had half price campaign for a while before its grand-opening, and good comments about their ramen has been spread among Japanese in London via Facebook or by word of mouth. Shoryu’s modern interior such as bare brick walls and stylish lamp shades, doesn’t look like a typical ramen restaurant in Japan, which is often plain and shabby. In fact, ramen in Japan is sort of a fast food and cheap, costing normally not more than £7.

Their menu lists not only normal Hakata Tonkotsu but also a variation of Tonkotsu such as Shoryu Tonkotsu with a bit of miso, spicy Piri Piri, Wasabi, Takana (spicy pickled mustard greens), Yuzu citrus, as well as regional variations of Tokyo Shoyu (soy sauce base) and Sapporo Miso. They have also some side dishes such as Gyoza dumplings and Edamame soy beans.

Their Tonkotsu ramen, created by Hakata-born chef, was quite tasty and it was not heavy as it looked (Tonkotsu tend to be a bit thick and heavy), though there was a bit too much Moyashi bean sprouts on a top. However, if you don’t fancy spicy food, be careful with Piri Piri – it was very hot, at least to me, and I sweat so much while eating and had to drink a pint of water together to sooth my mouth.

I overheard the conversation between chef and someone, and he seems to be very enthusiastic about making a good ramen. He replaced previous noodles because he thought it was not good enough, and now uses noodles of his choice, imported from Japan. He was also dissatisfied with the machine to boil noodles and replaced this with new one that cost two thousand pounds.

I wouldn’t say that Shoryu is as excellent as the most popular ramen restaurants in Japan where people are willing to queue for hours to eat a bowl, but I’ve never thought that one day I would be able to eat decent ramen in UK, when I came to London 10 years ago. Bravo!

Shoryu (昇龍) Ramen @ Lower Regent StreetShoryu (昇龍) Ramen @ Lower Regent Street

Tonkotsu ‘Ramen’ Restaurant @ Dean Street, SOHO

日本食人気、イギリスのカジュアルレストランチェーン・Wagamamaのおかげで、ロンドンでも日本風ラーメンが普及、そこそこ美味しいラーメンが食べられる店が増えた。少し前にオープンした、イギリス系ラーメン屋・Tonkotsuもその一つ。在英日本人の間では、ソーホーのLittle Japan・Brewer Streetにある、大阪・堺の塩ラーメン専門店・龍旗信とタイアップした麺屋一点張が人気だが、味だけでなく店の雰囲気にもこだわるMは、内装より味で勝負の日本のラーメン屋の典型である一点張より、Tonkotsuの方が好きなのだ。

Tonkotsuは、ロンドンのミニ寿司チェーン・Tsuru(創業者3人のうち1人が日本人らしい名前)が今夏にオープンさせたラーメン店。あまり広くない店内は、木製の家具と日本の着物生地がかけられた黄土色の壁と、シンプルかつセンス良くまとめられている。メニューは、3種のラーメンと餃子、数種の小皿料理があるだけ。看板の豚骨ラーメンは、ちょっとヘビーだけれどなかなかコクがあって美味しい。ただし値段は£11(約1400円)と、日本の約2倍。しかしここは外国、しかも物価の高いロンドン、1000円以下でラーメンは食べられないのだ。

味は一点張の方が美味しいけれど、日本人以外の友人とちょっとお洒落にラーメンを楽しみたい場合に。Wagamamaよりはお薦めです。

Thanks to the popularity of Japanese cuisine and Wagamama, the British Asian restaurant chain, Japanese well-liked street food, ‘ramen‘ noodle has been more recognised in London than before. There are more restaurants serving decent ramen, and Tonkotsu is one of them. Among Japanese living in UK, Ittenbari on Brewer street (London’s “Little Japan”), receiving supervision from popular ramen restaurant “Ryukishin” in Osaka, is definitely more favored. However, M, who cares not only taste but also ambience of the place, prefers Tonkotsu, rather than a “hole in the wall” Ittenbari.

Tonkotsu is the latest venue of the Tsuru mini sushi bar chain, dedicated to ramen, just like the ones in Japan – ramen restaurants would never serve sushi or tempura, for your reference to distinguish authentic ramen restaurants from others. Tonkotsu is small, but its simple and modern decor with light wood furniture and earthy light brown wall with hanging gorgeous Kimono textiles is what we like about the place. Their simple menu lists only three kinds of ramen + and few side dishes, including Japanese style fried dumplings ‘gyoza‘ (it is quite common to eat gyoza together with ramen in Japan. See the photo at the bottom). This kind of simple menu is a normal practice in Japan as well. It seems that one of the three founders of Tsuru is Japanese, so he wouldn’t do any no-nos here. Their signature dish ‘tonkotsu (it means pork bones in Japanese)’ ramen was dense and a bit heavy, but it was quite nice and authentic. The tonkotsu ramen costs £11, which is more than double the average price of ramen in Japan, but we are in London and I am afraid it can’t come cheap.

The taste of ramen may be better at Ittenbari, but if you are on a date, go for Tonkotsu for better atmosphere. Ittenbari is a typical Japanese ramen restaurant, who care only about the taste but nothing else, like chippies in UK.

豚骨ラーメン £11(上はM用大盛り)/ Tonkotsu ramen £11 (the one above is the large portion for M)

豚餃子(£5=約630円)。味は普通だけど、値段の割に少なすぎ / pork ‘gyoza’ dumplings £5. Just average, and it is too small for its price for Japanese standard