Ramen that’s fit for a King-ly Court | Shoryu Ramen, G3-5 Kingly Court, London W1B 5PJ
Sometimes only noodles will do, even a cheap packet of instant noodles for me can satisfy an urge that I guess must be down to a comfort thing. As I sat staring at the menu in bewilderment in Shoryu Ramen‘s new outpost, I realised there’s a lot more to this noodle lark – the menu is a minefield. Shoryu is for serious eaters, there’s even a bulb of garlic and crusher provided on the table. This branch, the fourth in the empire is in Kingly Court just off Carnaby Street, which has become a real food hub with restaurants such as Whyte & Brown and the Rum Kitchen. Kingly Court used to be an old haunt of mine, back in the day when a Saturday was for doing whatever I liked. My sister and I would go just to visit the now defunct Candy Cakes when the area was full of over-priced boutique shops that no one went in.
Luckily the chirpy staff helped us out with some recommendations, starting off, as always, with cocktails. My Golden Cherry Blossom £9 – Gekkeikan gold sake, Maraschino liqueur with a touch of cherry syrup was cordial light and deceptively non-alcoholic tasting. Keith loved his super refreshing Yuzu Mojito £9.50 with freshly muddled strawberries, white rum, yuzu citrus and Umeshu. The cool and sleek decor has been inspired by executive chef Kanji Furukawa and director Tak Tokumine’s home town of Fukuoka, where Hakata tonkotsu ramen was born. The place was buzzing, but the music was a tad too loud and club-like at times, it felt like it was about two in the morning.
I stole Keith’s first choice of Kuro Tan Tan £11.90 which came with a little ‘S’ for spicy warning alongside it on the menu. When they say spicy they really do mean it, so be warned. This has to be some of the punchiest ramen I’ve ever tasted, rich and robust spicy and barbecued minced pork in a beef and pork broth with sesame and spring onion, gorgeous. I spotted on the menu that when your bowl is empty of noodles you can order a top up for £1.50, how brilliant! I didn’t need to take them up on it though as I had tonnes.
Keith’s second choice was the signature dish of Shoryu Ganso Tonkotsu £11, a light broth of pork bones, collagen, fat, marrow that are boiled for 12 hours to create a creamy texture. Tonkotsu is a very gentle dish, the kind of food you crave when poorly and need a hug in a bowl, which suited Ade when we went to the another ramen restaurant, Tonkotsu up the road. However Keith wasn’t poorly or in need of a hug, I caught him glancing over at mine instead. Unfortunately ramen is pretty hard to share, especially with someone you’re not in a relationship with, although saying that, I did once share a bowl of soup between three people at Dishoom.
Everything comes at once here, we had a table full of Hirata Buns (1 for £4, 2 for £7) one with pork belly and the other crunchy chicken karaage. Monday is ‘Bun Monday’ by the way, so you get two for one. These steamed buns fill me with satisfaction with their pillowy soft squishy texture, not as tasty as the DIY ones in Flesh & Buns but still very good. Shishito £7 – deep-fried padron peppers with Hakata yuzu and sea salt were good to nibble in between everything else but Keith seemed perplexed by them, preferring them the Spanish way.
There was only one dessert for me, Tiramisu truffle mochi £4.50, another texture winner – glutinous and chewy with a soft and fluffy centre. I eat these whenever they appear on a menu and couldn’t resist this flavour, the only problem was you only get one and it was pretty small. Keith consulted the waitress in his decision making and had a combination of Matcha and sesame ice cream £6.50, my turn to suffer food envy, this was not your usual sweet ice cream, it was so very savory which got us onto talking about avocado ice cream for which I am trying to track down in a London restaurant.
The open ramen kitchen is the place to be at Shoryu, make sure you try to grab a seat at the counter to watch the chefs at work. Our table was around the other side so we missed this but had a good gawp as we left the restaurant followed by a ‘bong’ of the drum ringing in our ears and a huge smile from the waitress.
G3-5 Kingly Court, London W1B 5PJ
Opening hours: Monday – Saturday 11:30 – 23:00
Sunday & Bank Holidays 12:00 – 22:00
Last orders 30 minutes before closing time
Book a table here
Nearest station: Oxford Circus (5 mins walk) Piccadilly Circus (6 mins walk)
We ate at Shoryu as their guests, this does not affect our review in any way. We always write with complete honesty.