Okan Brixton East
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Sister to Okan Brixton Village, specialising in ramen.
Okan Brixton East is the younger, bigger sibling of Okan Brixton Village. While the tiny original restaurant serves Osaka-style okonomiyaki pancakes and yakisoba, this one focuses on ramen noodles, rice donburi and Japanese snacks including bao, gyoza and dim sum. It’s a great spot if you’ve got special dietary requirements, as it dishes out vegan ramen, wheat-free noodles and more.
A starter of takoyaki was a shareable portion of four soft, oozing balls of octopus, similar to croquettes. True to the Osaka street food original, the balls were chock-full of octopus and topped with fluttering bonito fish flakes, spring onion and tangy mayonnaise. Meanwhile, a special of spicy kimchi seafood ramen had generous amounts of tender squid and shell-on prawns in a satisfying, creamy sauce.
But there were disappointments. The pulled pork and kimchi bao may have been good value at £4.50, but it came filled with sliced instead of the promised pulled pork. The signature Tokyo shoyu ramen delivered on extra spice (as requested), but its chicken broth base was low on the umami scale, while the thin sliced pork was lacklustre compared with the succulent, thick meat often found in ramen.
There’s plenty of competition for good ramen in Brixton, but Okan delivers on friendly, fast service, good-value food and a quirky interior, making it a decent spot for a low-key, midweek slurp.
338 Coldharbour Lane
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £75|
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