Ha, we wait ages for decent ramen, then two opened in the same month and both around Piccadilly Circus. Here is the round up on which has the best tonkotsu ramen.
Bone Daddies - opened by ex Nobu and Zuma chef Ross Shonhan.
Shoryu ramen - previously serving ramen at Japan Center, specialises in Hakata tonkotsu (white pork broth) ramen created using Kanji Furukawa’s recipe.
The space - I prefer Shoryu
Bone Daddies - it’s a very compact space and queues do form pretty quickly. Shaped by long tables where everyone sit next to each other if not very close. The space between each table is very narrow so waiters do have to push through to deliver ramens (got pushed a couple times on the back while eating ramen).
Shoryu ramen - it’s bigger than Bone Daddies and arranged loosely with individual tables of 2 and 4 so you won’t be sitting next to strangers. Also expect a long queue here (depends on the day and time).
It’s hard to say which place has better ramen, Bone Daddies is like the concentrated version with intense and strong flavours. The pork belly has tons of fat, the white broth was one of the creamist I’ve come across in London and the egg was perfectly oozy and soy marinated. Both ramen places use the same white, thin noodles compared to the ultra yellow ones at Ittenbari.
However, because it’s such a rich bowl of ramen, you get this oily aftertaste that requires some green tea to wash down. In essence, dirty bowl of ramen that’s very heavy.
Shoryu’s Hakata tonkotsu is the diluted down version of Bone Daddies’ mega rich broth. The large ramen bowl was filled all the way up with a milder broth, less salt and lots of vegetables. The menu has many options for toppings, piri piri for spicy, tan tan for mince etc. I’ve also tried the takana tonkotsu, which was really delicious to eat. For those who dislike the rich broth at Bone Daddies, Shoryu would be the better choice.
Since the opening, they have listened constantly for feedbacks and adjusted each weakness straightaway. The egg, though still pale was much better, the pork was no longer lean and dry but has a good proportion of belly fat. Also nice to have lots of vegetable toppings like seaweed and sprouts. They do give a lot of noodles so it can be difficult to finish a full bowl here.
Shoryu also has many side dishes as well as Japanese desserts. From my last visit, the green tea chestnut tart was really good.
Soho is becoming a dense area for good ramen, the best four are Ittenbari, Tonkotsu, Bone Daddies and Shoryu. It’s hard to say which one is the best since it depends a lot on your preference, such as how creamy the broth should get, how salty the egg should be and how fatty the pork belly should be etc. For me, I love Ittenbari’s ultra yellow ramen (but their broth is not good and very salty), Bone Daddies’s toppings and Shoryu’s freshness. Best way is to try all of them and decide which one is your personal favourite!
Bone Daddies Ramen
Tube: Piccadiliy Circus
30-31 Peter St
020 7287 8581
Tube: Piccadiliy Circus
9 Regent Street