Note: In June 2015, Koi Ramen moved location to become a permanent part of Pop Brixton.
The Time Out Eating and Drinking Editors
Koi might be the word for carp in Japanese, but as any sushi master will know there’s more than one way to fillet a fish, so here it means something completely different. The owners of this street stall in Brixton are convinced the UK is about to fall head over heels for the Japanese version of noodles in soup, so they named their stall ‘in love’. But that’s enough carping on about names, let's talk noodles.
There are just two options on the menu – classic tonkotsu (12-hour-simmered pork bone broth) ramen, served with tender, char-grilled pork belly slices, bouncy noodles and crunchy kikurage (cloud ear) mushrooms. And a vegan ‘mellow miso’ version with fried tofu, shredded carrot and spring onion.
The milky white tonkotsu broth was a perfect balance of creamy and savoury flavours with a hint of sweetness – just as you’d find in Japan. True to the owners's predictions, I’m hooked. This is ramen as it should be.