Shoryu pips its tonkotsu-touting West End rivals for texture and stock, even though Bone Daddies stands out for extra fat and lashings of rock ’n’ roll. As well as Hakata-style ramen (noodles in a rich, boiled-down, pork-bone broth), speed is of the essence here: within months of opening in 2012, this original branch started a standing-only service; in July 2013, Shoryu Express opened a few doors down, proclaiming itself ‘a rapid, self-service-style prototype ramen bar… for those in a rush’. Both help ease the hassle of no-bookings dining. Dracula tonkotsu (Van Helsing would be a more apt name) – with caramelised garlic oil, balsamic vinegar and garlic chips– packs a flavoursome punch. Extra toppings such as bamboo shoots and boiled egg are to be expected, but kaedama (plain refill noodles) are a godsend for anyone sharing soup stock between small children or bumping up the volume for a voracious teen. A varied choice of good sides, sakés and sweets can really make a meal of your visit. And Shoryu has broadened its horizons with a pop-up (Shoryu Soho) that became a fully fledged saké bar in 2013.