I don’t know when it was when ramen became trendy. Big bowls of soupy goodness filled with noodles, veg and enough ginger and chilli to cure any London cold. Also, incidentally, the worst first date food, and never to be eaten while wearing white. From Bone Daddies to Tonkotsu, I can safely push any of these down the list to Shoryu (despite having no point of comparison – yes my neck is on the line here).
Shoryu means to bring good fortune and seeing as I was gifted free ramen the first few times I went, the meaning certainly seems to work for me. The locations I’ve visited have a combination of high sharing tables, bar counters and individual tables. It’s relatively pared back, though feels authentically decorated and is relatively quick on the go eating. My favourite site is within Kingly Court during autumn where you can sit under the central canopied courtyard with the fairy lights twinkling and the soft sounds of slurping noodles to warm your evening.
The menu is extensive but not overwhelming. Their signature ramens are derived from a pork broth that takes over 12 hours to mature, while there are also vegetarian and vegan options on the menu. My exploration of the menu has hardly been extensive – in fact I’ve only ever tried one of the ramens, however friends have tried others and none seem to be a bad choice. My personal favourite, since you asked, is the Dracula Tonkotsu. Made using the sweeter black garlic and filled with garlic chips, this certainly isn’t date night food but boy is it tasty. There’s nothing more attractive than lifting the bowl to your face to drink the very last drops – a necessity that’s making me salivate just thinking about it. I’ve also tried their Char Siu buns which aren’t cheap at £4.50 a piece but as heavenly clouds of soft pork go, they’re up there with the best. There is also an extensive list of wines, sake, Japanese delicacies and cocktails to choose from.
With six sites around Soho and the city, there’s no reason for you not to be slurping away pretty soon.
Shoryu Ramen, London & Manchester.