London's best ramen restaurants

We unravel the best of the Japanese noodle-in-broth joints

©Rob Greig
From Kyushu-style tonkotsu made with long-simmered pork bone broth, to simple soy sauce based soup, we've seen a spate of ramen joints open in London. Here's out pick of where to grab a steaming bowl of thin wheat noodles in broth. Do you agree with the choices? Use the comments box below or tweet your suggestions.

Ippudo

The speciality here is tonkotsu with pork loin slices, crunchy kikurage (cloud ear mushroom) and thin, own-made noodles (in the dish called Shiromaru Hakata Classic). Vegetarians are not left out at Ippudo: there’s a seaweed and mushroom broth-based version that’s topped with fried tofu. Sadly, this is another no-bookings restaurant, and despite running to 80 covers, queues have been enormous so far.

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Covent Garden

Kanada-Ya

Venue says: Now open until 10.30pm on weekdays, 11pm on Saturdays and noon-8.30pm on Sundays.

Founded in Japan in 2009, this award-winning tonkotsu specialist arrived in London in September 2014. Small, brightly lit and minimal, it is not the place for a leisurely meal. And it has a serious downside: lengthy mealtime queues outside its doors. But this is exceptional ramen, using smooth, rich, seriously savoury tonkotsu broth – one of the best we’ve tried in London.

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Covent Garden

Bone Daddies

The flavours are bold; the dining room is tightly packed; the staff are friendly. Bone Daddies is a gusty New York-style ramen bar with blaring rock music and a range of seriously rich ramen dishes.

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Soho

Sasuke

In Tokyo there’s a whole, maze-like restaurant devoted to ninjas with stealthy staff dressed the part. Now London also has its own ninja-inspired venue, named after the fictional Edo period warrior Sarutobi Sasuke. But you won’t find any trick doors or throwing stars at this Soho ramen bar. As for the ramen, our miso version was hearty enough to fuel any covert mission.

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Soho

Seto

There are just a handful of varieties on offer at Seto, like soya sauce (shoyu), miso and Korean pickled cabbage (kimchi). All are made with an earthy chicken and pork bone broth and filled with pleasingly chewy noodles. Another ramen shop staple, pork gyoza dumplings, make a good choice too with crisp bottoms and bouncy wrappers.

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Camden

Shoryu Ramen

Run by the same people as the Japan Centre across the road, Shoryu mix authentic Japanese flavours with a little bit of innovation. Specialising in tonkotsu ramen, made with a long-simmered pork bone broth, the bowls are filled with bouncy noodles and include a choice of unusual toppings like wasabi stalks and spicy-pickled mustard leaves. There's a second branch in Soho.

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St James's

Tonkotsu

Another champion of the long-simmered pork bone broth variety of noodles in soup stock, Tonkotsu serve theirs topped with slices of tender pork, beansprouts and half a marinated soft-boiled egg. They also offer a veggie noodle soup here - something you don't see so often at ramen joints. There's a second branch in Haggerston.

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Chinatown

Comments

5 comments
Yoko T
Yoko T

Tonkotsu: Soup noodle dishes are quite nice, trying to imitate Japanese style, but their poor service is far from Japanese style, they never greet customers when people come in and out, you get ignored, wait for 20 minutes at your table before you can order, wait another 20 minutes to get a bowl of noodle, you have to ask for a glass of water 3 times before you get it, miserable rude staff, I never feel welcome there and I will never go there again. No matter what time of the day or what day of the week I go, they are extremely slow and unpleasant even when they are not busy.  


Bone Daddies: Very  similar taste and style of soup noodle to Tonkotus, staff and service are a bit better than Tonkotsu, but extremely noisy with loud music which is not appropriate for eating atmosphere.  I cannot eat with noise like that.  

Shoryu: Soup is not as tasty as Tonkotsu and Bone Daddies. Staff and service are rather miserable and slow although it's not as bad as Tonkotus. 


Wagaomama: Absolutely disgusting food.  Soup has no taste, no stock.  Service is not too slow, but staff are unfriendly and unpleasant, don't seem to care about serving disgusting food.  


Stuart
Stuart

To review something as culturally significant as ramen it helps to know a bit about what makes a good bowl. If you can't get to Japan, go to Paris, go to Naritake, eat a proper bowl of ramen, watch Tampopo, speak to Japanese people about it, and then come back and review London's offerings. For all the fanfare, ramen in London is sadly lacking.

DAIKICHI  SAITO
DAIKICHI SAITO

I am doing RAMEN in UK !! @ Sushi des Artistes It is 20 ramens / day only !! Because I am international Cusine chef at my place . but I would like to make best Ramen in Town . so Please try to come my ramen !! " Tonkotsu Syo yu RAMEN "" with Big Pork Belly !!