The missing child is hardly an unfamiliar motif in crime drama. But it’s still an odd coincidence that tomorrow’s second episode of BBC1’s five-part thriller (it runs every night at 9pm until Thursday), addressing about the impact of an apparent abduction on a small community, is up against ITV’s similarly themed ‘Broadchurch’. Happily, there’s enough to distinguish them, but also more than enough quality and intrigue to make both worth watching.
‘Mayday’ is all about the atmosphere: there’s a creeping unease underpinned by pagan imagery as the residents of a Sussex town respond to the disappearance of their May Queen. A search party is deployed and quickly gets out of control. A violent father locks a mysterious bin bag away from prying eyes. A local policeman’s jittery behaviour rouses the dormant investigative instincts of his wife, a former copper. It’s one of those shows where everyone’s a suspect, but ‘Mayday’ is far from genre-by-rote. The unsettling tone and high-calibre cast (Sophie Okonedo, Lesley Manville, Aidan Gillen) should keep you coming back all through the week.
Shoryu Ramen Carnaby
London food trends come and go, but if there’s one that deserves to ride out the zeitgeist, it’s ramen. There’s a reason Japan basically runs on this stuff: when it’s good, it’s comforting, deeply flavourful and effing delicious. And at Shoryu – one of London’s more ubiquitous ramen chains – it is good. What’s more, it’s a nice place to be. Tucked into Kingly Court, away from the bustle of Carnaby, the vibe here is ‘ryokan chic’ (that’s an antiquated Japanese inn). The room’s decked out in warm wood panelling, with a welcome gong by the door that you’ll hear bashed almost constantly. The menu is extensive: as well as a host of tonkotsu variations (that is, ramen with a fatty, collagen-laced pork bone broth), there are crowd-pleasing sundries like shellfish tempura, karage fried chicken, steamed shoryu buns (big fat bao, basically), even sashimi and sushi – plus trends-in-waiting like takoyaki octopus balls (we’re seeing them everywhere, honest!). The kotteri hakata tonkotsu, a sort of mildly pimped version of the house ramen, came with a heavier pork bone broth and a double helping (score!) of oozy-yolked, marinated eggs. Very good it was too – perhaps lacking the punishing, purist-pleasing richness of the ramen sold at city-best joints like Kanada-Ya, but moreish all the same. The char siu pork slices were yielding, the helpings of pickled ginger and chopped spring onions generous. A bowl of karaka tan tan – a ramen with white-miso-spiced minced pig in place of the slices
Venue says: “Get two-for-one Shoryu buns every Monday when purchasing any bowl of ramen.”