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Yamagoya (CLOSED)

  • Restaurants
  • Shaftesbury Avenue

Time Out Says

Please note, this branch of Yamagoya has now closed. However, its other branch in Southwark is still open. Time Out Food editors, MARCH 2020. 

Founded in Fukuoka in 1969, Japanese ramen chef Masatoshi Ogata’s Yamagoya has come a long way since then: this Soho branch is his second permanent joint in London. Inside, the decor is simple (think stylish wooden panelling) and modern. The focus is on the ramen, which is bashed out quickly. Order at the till, then wait for an electronic buzzer to go off and collect your meal.

Some of the food was perfectly reasonable. A generous portion of gyukotsu ramen – a special – came with thin slices of seared beef and was a bargain for £9.90. The broth was well-seasoned and had ample amounts of spring onions and bamboo shoots. The soup clung to the noodles, which were springy and slurp-worthy. A rice bowl of chicken katsu curry was good too – the thick, gravy-like sauce was opulent and lip-smacking. Dessert was simple, consisting of the Insta-favourite raindrop cake – lower your expectations, it really does taste of nothing – or mochi ice cream, which was satisfying and moreish. But some dishes were poor, including a side of chicken karaage that was partly undercooked (some of it was inedible). Worse still, on a Wednesday night, there was no atmosphere in the room. The lighting was harsh, K-pop blared in the background, and the majority of Yamagoya’s few customers just sat staring silently at their phones. Staff were a bit gruff, too. Come to Yamagoya for wholesome noodles on the cheap, then move on.

Written by
Ella Braidwood


1st Floor of Shuang Shuang
64 Shaftesbury Avenue
Tube: Leicester Square
Dinner for two with drinks and service: £60.
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