"Finding a decent bowl of ramen in London is impossible", the menu at Tsuru Ramen read. I couldn’t agree more, even the most decent place in London wouldn’t come anywhere close to the quality of those from Japan. Tokyo alone has over 3,957 shops (according to Tsuru) all serving excellent ramen. Owners Kensuke Yamada and Emma Reynolds attempted to solve this shortage by travelling to Japan to research the secret ingredients behind each authentic recipe. See their blog for the details of the trip.
Update: Tonkotsu ramen is now open at soho, see the post here.
The key of a great bowl of ramen relies on both noodle and broth, which many places in London lack in one or both. The noodles tend to taste more doughy and plastic, and the broth seem to always lack in flavour. Like the owners of Tsuru had thought, it can’t be that difficult if there are over 34,488 ramen shops in Japan?
Tsuru Ramen hasn’t opened officially (their name is not finalised either) as they are running a few testing events to perfect their recipes while looking for a suitable venue. For details and bookings, follow this link. We came for the tonkotsu (pork bone broth) ramen originated from Kyushu (southwest of Japan). The emphasis was on the milky pork broth as well as the noodles. Apart from ramen, a few delicious starters were also available to order.
Cucumber and wakame salad
This seaweed salad had the same flavour of sushi rice, possibly from the mix of sugar and Japanese vinegar dressing.
These dumplings were executed well, a thin but crispy skin and the pork filling was full of juice.
I’ve not tried tonkotsu ramen before but judging from the flavoursome broth and the bouncy noodles, it looked very promising. The broth was packed with pork flavours, like ten pig trotters and its bones had been simmered for a week, intense enough even the noodles and the runny egg were injected with a full dose. The noodles were bouncy and firm, one that required a few bites to chew compared to the floury ones that just sticks together. It was a decent bowl of ramen that resembled the flavours of those from Japan but somehow lacked the wow factor. Even so, it’s probably the best ramen you’ll find in London.
After those authentic udon noodles from Koya, London has been crying for a decent ramen place and so far Tsuru Ramen looks promising to fill this gap. The broth was clear but full of authentic flavours, the noodles were bouncy like those freshly made on the day. I can’t wait for it to open for good, else I’ll have to book more of its weekend events, which only billed us £13 for two people including two ramen, one salad, dumplings, tea and sake. Bargain!
63 Dean Street