Ready for a very bold statement that I may never be able to take back?
I think I have found the best ramen place in London.
I know, it's a risky thing to say, but I'm still convinced - plus, it got a unanimous vote from both E and myself. Serious stamps of approval right there.
Shoryu first popped up on my radar on twitter I think - although I'm not very good at using twitter regularly, it is definitely a good way to follow the updates of your favourite restaurants and any newcomers that are just getting the word out.
Anyway, somehow I discovered it, and I suggested to E that this could be our next treat meal of the weekend after our usual long Sunday run (currently 12K for him, 8K for me). The man is smart enough to never say no to noodles, so off we headed to their Carnaby Street branch.
We went to this branch because they have started doing 25% off nearly all ramen on Sundays, which is pretty good - but this particular one was also located in the sweet little square of Kingly Court and I love the location.
Now, being Japanese, I've obviously had my fair share of excellent ramen. So I am fairly critical when it comes to such matters, and although I really like both Bone Daddies and Tonkotsu and would never say no to either, they aren't quite the authentic version that I'm looking for.
Having not heard any reviews about Shoryu from friends or foodie blogs, I didn't really know what to expect - but maybe that was a good thing, since I found the taste of Tokyo here and it was amazing!
We both went for the regular tonkotsu ramen, which were topped with perfectly boiled egg, fried shallots, nori seaweed, picked ginger and kikurage mushroom.
They had an array of extra toppings that you could help yourself to, which we did - chilli oil, ground sesame, pepper, and for us garlic lovers, raw garlic that you crush yourself.
We also decided to try their Hirata buns with pork belly - those fluffy white things that we can never resist.
Although it looks quite plain, they were surprisingly delicious - there was a little spice mixed with Japanese mayo inside which gave it the best kind of "junk food" flavour.
Apparently, running really opens up your appetite since we polished this off and still had room for dessert (a Ben's cookie, no less). I think I should buy one of those T-shirts that says "Will Run For Noodles"...
If you couldn't tell already, Shoryu has won me over and I will definitely be going back there as soon as is reasonable- I think next time I will take my girlfriends there as they are equally fond of ramen as I am!
I also love that the decor reminded me of an upscale, slick version of a typical ramen joint in Japan - and they even invite you in as you arrive with a cheery "Irashaimase!" (meaning "Welcome!" - a phrase used in shops and restaurants) which totally gets you in the mood.
Although let's be honest, when am I ever not in the mood for food like this?!