An industrial-chic setting under railway arches, together with noodles that are made in-house, boost this ramen joint’s allure.
In 2012 a horde of noodlemeisters moved into central London with one thing on their mind: ramen. From rowdily flavoured bowls at Bone Daddies to the more traditional at Shoryu, ramen was undoubtedly one of the big trends of last year. And now at the end of 2013 it just got bigger. How so? One of the early pioneers of the movement has headed east.
Joining the colonisation project happening under the arches in Haggerston – an area fast becoming an eating-out destination – the second branch of Tonkotsu is much bigger than its Soho sibling. In full view at the back of the cavern-like space, an industrious worker churns out noodles with a piece of kit not unlike a giant pasta machine.
Like the bare-brick look, the menu is minimal with a handful of side dishes and four types of ramen (for now at least). A dish of dipping ramen (tsukemen) came with thick-cut noodles topped with rolled pork slices, half a soft-boiled egg and a bowl of thick, deep pork-bone broth. The balance of sweet and savoury in a vegetarian mushroom and miso ramen was less successful. But the noodles in each were impeccable.
For a big bowl of comfort food in east London, this noodle joint definitely fills more than just a hole in the wall.
1a Dunston Street
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Average User Rating
3.1 / 5
- 5 star:2
- 4 star:2
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:2
Really can't understand the 1 star reviews. I think they do a decent bowl of ramen. Noodles fresh. Service was friendly.
Bloody awful. Another pretentious, unauthentic, poor excuse for a Japanese restaurant. Above all else, the food is not good - in fact I could only stomach a mouthful of the stodgy mass of egg noodles I was presented with. My girlfriend's meal didn't fair any better - turkey slices and gravy (I can only assume they ran out of the grub I've read about in bizarrely good reviews, and starting warming up Bernard Matthew's ready meals instead). Despite the fact that there seemed to be more staff than guests at the time we ordered, it took a long time to get served and our food arrived before our drinks (took half an hour).
Bad on all counts - we made a complaint and, to be fair, got an apology - but no reduction to the bill despite the fact we obviously hadn't eaten more than a couple of mouthfuls. Our complaint also prompted conversation with neighbouring tables with similar complaints, including some ladies who had been served raw chicken.
Either we had the misfortune to arrive on a day where it all was going wrong or this is another emperor's new clothes restaurant. I'm certainly convinced it's the latter.
All the wrongs of false Japanese joints in London.
Sad excuse for front of house who does little to make folks welcome, keeping seating order over visitors feeling welcome and their business valued.
A little more authentic than Wagamama et al, but joins others like Okko in peddling a bland and lazy interpretation of Japanese dishes. Gets a point for being palatable, or maybe for the handsome bartender. It's up for grabs.
Stay tuned for Ucci in Hackney.
This one's nah.
I've visited haggerston branch several times and was pleased by arrival of another but had a bad experience. The front door was kept open because of recent paint job on a very cold day, so our ramen got cold before we cd eat it ( in our overcoats). But worse still, the toilet was disgusting - someone had thrown up all over the place - not recently - and it hadn't been cleaned up. I had to take my toddler in there - it really ruined lunch. I don't want to get too graphic, but it had been there long enough to get crusty. The ramen is good, but not great, and very pricey. I've lived in tokyo and may be too discerning. And I lost my appetite after the toilet experience.
I cannot fault the dining experience we had here. The food and drink was delicious and the staff were professional and friendly.