• Ittenbari, Soho
A very impressive shio (salt broth) ramen. The broth is clear, with a well rounded savoury flavour that is mellow and sustained without being heavy or intense. Noodles are curly and thick, with a good amount of springiness and chew, cooked just right. The slices of cha shu/pork carry a good meaty flavour with a pleasant shade of porky pungency.
Gyoza are also excellent, as was the case with the former Ryo Ramen, with crisp pan fried bases and delicate thin skins. Tasty chicken kara-age, good deep frying, but less of the ginger/soy marinate flavour than others that I've had.
• Tonkotsu, Soho
A very rich tonkotsu broth, thick and a bit sticky from long simmering of pork bones. Enjoyable, but I confess to preferring a more milky textured version. Noodles are also high quality, similar to the ones from Ittenbari. Cha shu is also roughly of similar quality. Nice bamboo shoots/menma.
A vegetarian (mushroom filled) gyoza was pretty good, but the skins a step down from Ittenari's version.
• Bento Ramen, Camden
Ramen seen through a Chinese lens. Better than I would have thought, but not as good as the other two above. The tonkotsu broth was pleasantly savoury, with a good load of oiliness on the surface, the thickish noodles were a touch on the soft side. Cha shu was unctuous, rich and soft and sticky, which I enjoyed.
Shishito peppers stuffed with minced chicken and deep fried was rather greasy and probably just ok.
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