Who’s The (New) Daddy? | Bone Daddies, The Bower, Old Street
So there’s a new Bone Daddies in town, set just behind Old Street station in a newly discovered complex (for us) called The Bower. There are loads of other restaurants in this spot too but I won’t mention them as this is about Bone Daddies and Bones Daddies only.
Ade and I are big fans of whatever the sister restaurants of Bone Daddies do, from Flesh & Buns to Shackfuyu. Knowing this I should have come more prepared, in other words, looser fitting clothes. I swapped Ade for a Bone Daddies virgin – a good friend, who not realising what she was embarking on, naively ate a chicken curry for lunch.
Don’t be fooled by Bone Daddies‘ modern and somewhat formal exterior, inside is a lot more casual and relaxed, although the music gets quite rocky, nice blast from the past when The Longpigs came on. Scores of oriental paper lanterns hang from the ceiling giving a warm cozy glow to the rows and rows high communal tables and stools.
Now I am probably in the minority here (as usual) but having bouts of sciatica, I find sitting on a raised stool the most uncomfortable way in the world to eat, especially one without any padding. That said I’m happy to painfully perch on these stools if it means eating Japanese comfort food of Bone Daddies‘ standard.
In typical girl fashion, we were too busy catching up to decide what to eat, that’s where our waiter came in. Not only did he point us in the right direction food-wise but towards some fab cocktails too. We kicked off with a Turbinado for her with umeshu, salted cucumber juice and Prosecco and a gin-based Three Prizes? (£9) for me (the ‘?’ drew me to it.) Mine looked pretty but was a tad too thin and watery, it’s amazing how good conversation can distract you from being bothered about such things.
We shared a couple of snacks – the delicate Salmon tartar lime wasabi ponzu (£6) with a syringe type implement to administer the sauce. I’d tried Kushikatsu skewers for the first time a couple of nights previously at the launch party and knew we had to have at least one, there’s eight options to choose from, just to make life harder for us. We went for Chilli chicken and spring onion (£4) and Prawn and braised shiitake (£4) – bloody amazing and the best kind of canapé ever, add a dipping sauce and you have heaven.
As we were chatting away, another waiter bought over a portion of Sweet spicy pig bones with sweet chilli, soy and sesame (£8) by mistake. Of course we told him that they didn’t belong to us and off he went looking for the correct table. But what we’d seen couldn’t be undone, especially as the next table were sharing a portion also.
When our ever patient waiter returned to take our ramen orders we mentioned the pig bones that our next neighbours were busy devouring. They looked at us like crazed animals whilst trying to get every last scrap of flesh of those bones, that couldn’t be ignored, we had to order them.
They were messy, meaty and extremely tasty, with a serving of three I thought I’d take the third home for Ade who’d probably only had a bowl of Shreddies for dinner. I tried to pretend I hadn’t spotted the Korean fried chicken wings (£6) on the menu which are equally as good as the pork bones. So we’d gone from the idea of not ordering much to wanting it all.
Our ramen turned up about ten seconds after, we are overloaded with plates and suddenly felt overwhelmingly full. I’d gone for the new Crispy duck aburamen (£13) – a brothless ramen with pickled padron peppers, roast corn and duck fat that, again, I sampled a couple of nights before. As much as I love a bowl of wet ramen, it’s not the easiest thing to eat when you’re trying to conduct a conversation. This new dish is so robust and the little morsels of duck confit are good enough to eat on their own.
Our waiter steered my friend in the direction of a lighter Ramen – the T22 soy ramen (£10) with chicken, cock scratchings™, onion and nori. We gave up halfway through our food, our bellies couldn’t take any more and we were conscious of the 50% off soft launch queue draping around the corner outside. We thought we better get a bit of a move on and get out (not that any of the staff seemed to be pushing us in the direction of the door.)
When asked if we were finished I asked if I could take the lone pork bone home for the husband but as they were newly opened and wern’t yet set up with Deliveroo (they are now), they had nothing to wrap it up in, not even measly foil.
Devastated, I found myself looking around the table for something to use, would one of their plastic bibs work? Napkin? It was no good, I watched with sorrow as he took it away for the bin, I cannot bear wasted food, especially when it’s this good.
Only one thing for it – a Frozen yuzu margarita (£9), I’d sunk a fair few of these earlier in the week, potent but very tasty and refreshing. Having raved to my friend about them we ordered a couple for the road. When asked if we wanted salt around the rim (stop sniggering at the back), we said yes, when in Rome and all that.
But the quantity of salt was, let’s just say, a little generous and must have crumbled into the drink itself and up through our straws – which gave us a bit of a shock. Yes, we could have said something but it became a bit of a laugh getting through it and watching each others gurning – we have that kind of friendship.
Salvation was found in mochi. Although full, we’ve all got a spare belly set aside for pudding and the mochi list attached to the front of the menu hadn’t gone unnoticed. Not wanting to look bad for not finishing our mains and pigging out now, we only ordered three balls to share. A big mistake, they’re one of my favourite sweet things to eat and I basically only had one and a half when i could have quite easily eaten all 9 flavour varieties.
So it was a meal of both joy and slight regret. Joy for the amazing food and those marvellous bones but regret for not turning up hungry enough, choosing salt for our slushy margaritas or bringing my own Tupperware to takeaway our leftovers.
The Bower, 211 Old St, London EC1V 9NV
Telephone: 020 3019 6300
Opening hours: Mon-Wed – 12-10pm
Thurs-Sat – 12-11pm
Sun – 12-9pm
Nearest station: Old Street (2 mins walk)
We ate as guests of Bone Daddies, this does not affect our review in any way. We always write with complete honesty.