Yamagoya

Restaurants, Japanese Southwark
3 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)
1/4
2/4
 (Stuart Matthews)
3/4
Stuart Matthews
 (Photographer Paul Winch-Furness)
4/4
Photographer Paul Winch-Furness

The first London outpost of a global ramen chain.

If you don’t count a six-month Chinatown pop-up, this is the first outpost of international ramen chain Yamagoya to hit London. And yes, the front dining area of this small site, with its pale woods and stocks of traditional condiments, has a simple charm. That is, until you approach the counter: then things get a little fast-foody, right down to drinks in the chiller and the buzzers to tell you your meal is ready for collection.

The food is decent. From the short menu, the best option is, unsurprisingly, the signature Yamagoya ramen. While there are thicker, creamier bone broths in town, it had both good flavour and depth. Likewise, the noodles could have been more springy, but when you factor in the deliciously fatty slices of pork and half a soft-cooked soy-marinated egg resting on its surface, this is £8.90 well spent. Just steer clear of the yuzukara ramen – its citrus flavour is overbearing.

Also good were juicy chicken karaage and generously filled (if slightly oily) pork and herb gyoza. For comfort food, the chicken chashu don (mellow meat, rice and pickles) ticks all the boxes. And yes, they still do a £3 raindrop cake – a clear, flavourless, traditional jelly, popular with Insta-pilgrims – though only if you’re ordering a main course too.

By: Tania Ballantine

Posted:

Venue name: Yamagoya
Contact:
Address: 49 The Cut
London
SE1 8LF
Transport: Tube: Waterloo
Price: Dinner for two with drinks: around £50.
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tastemaker

I tried Yamagoya when it was just a pop up on Shaftesbury Avenue; however they’ve now got their own bricks and mortar in Southwark so I decided to pop down for a quick lunch. It’s a small venue and seats do fill out so make sure you beat the lunch rush. They have a lunch deal for around £6 - £7 for a standard ramen or katsu curry; which is what we went for. The portion sizes aren’t like their standard bowls of ramen; however it could be a blessing in disguise as at least it means you won’t feel heavy and fall asleep at your desk afterwards; and it also means that you have room for their raindrop cake for dessert! The ramen at Yamagoya is okay, the noodles in my case were slightly overdone, and you will need to order extra topping as there are only two slices of Chashu and no soft boiled egg. However there is wood ear mushroom and bamboo shoots. The curry has good flavour and comes with pickles but the chicken was a little dry and again, some will find the rice and sauce portion sizes a little small. Unfortunately for them, Kanada-ya is very hard to beat and is still my favourite ramen shop in London; however if you’re looking for a quick meal and have a hankering for ramen or curry this little joint isn’t too bad and will definitely scratch that itch much better than your other standard chain store versions and all for under a tenner.


Tip: get in early to beat the lunch rush for their lunch special.


Good For: cheap and cheerful, quick meal, take away, small groups