63 Dean Street
© Heloise Bergman
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Mon Jul 2 2012
The Tsuru sushi bar chain have made a radical departure with their latest restaurant, a dedicated ramen-ya (noodle bar). Just like the ones in Japan, it has a typically restricted menu. Ramen is a wheat and egg-based noodle dish served in a bowl of stock. These noodles are extremely popular in Japan, where they are served in many different forms and locations, from station platforms to chic Ginza shopping malls.
You might have to wait outside in Dean Street for a table, not usually a problem, as you then get to watch the chefs working in the window.
The menu covers a short, yet impressive array of starters and sides.The tofu hiyayakko is a large chunk of creamy-textured fresh tofu garnished with spring onions and dried fish flakes bathed in a light soy sauce. The pork gyoza (pork dumplings, steam- fried) was also just right, with a crisp batter and moist ground meat inside.
A key factor in creating good ramen stock is the time put into it, with some cooked for more than 18 hours.The name ‘tonkotsu’ refers to the slow-simmered pork bone stock that is this ramen-ya’s signature dish. The noodles are thin, elastic and bouncy, just as they should be, making a slurpy combination with the stock.
Besides the tonkotsu stock there are other options, such as the ‘Tokyo Spicy’, spicy pork stock with combination of flavours including salt and chilli. There is also a vegetarian option of miso and shimeji mushroom ramen, and all ramen dishes come with onsen eggs (slow-cooked with molten yolks) and vegetables to vary the ingredients.
Tonkotsu has an unfinished industrial look, yet looks suitably Japanese with its simple combination of browns and greys. It’s not in the same league as udon (thick wheat flour noodle) specialist Koya in the neighbouring street, but it’s a must-visit for ramen fans.
Tonkotsu 63 Dean Street
020 7437 0071
- Opening hours:
Lunch served noon-3pm, dinner served 5-10.30pm Mon-Fri. Meals served noon-10.30pm Sat, Sun
Tube: Leicester Square or Tottenham Court Road tube
Main courses £9-£11. Meal for two with drinks and service: around £35
- 63 Dean Street
- 020 7437 0071
- 63 Dean Street
Food and drink