I love phở (Vietnamese noodle soup) and I know what you’re thinking, that’s not a picture of phở. But it’s an important part of my journey with food.
I had never really clicked with ramen, certainly not as much as I had with phở – a deliciously light and fragrant, herby broth soup typically made with beef bones and flat rice noodles. Now I think I might even like it more than phở.
Ramen is quite different, whilst there are many different variations of ramen depending on the originating region, tonkotsu (pictured above) is a complex meaty broth made with pork bones. A Japanese dish of Chinese-style wheat noodles served in a broth, with soy sauce and miso with an array of toppings, such as: sliced pork, nori, mushrooms and spring onions. Nearly every region in Japan has its own variation.
So where do I go for ramen? I’m glad you asked!
You may know the name Bone Daddies, they have a few restaurants in London. You might even know their latest restaurant adventure: Flesh and Buns; but do you know about the Bone Daddies Development Kitchen?
Here they have a menu featuring a few favourites from the main menu of the other restaurants, as well as a changing selection of their latest creations.
I prefer this branch because it’s a little off the beaten track, I’ve queued for the branch in Soho and walked out when I was given the seat next to the door – having had person after person bump into me to wait in the queue.
I also like this branch because it’s nice to try new things; I think we are all so used to ordering our usual choices at our favourite restaurants and it’s nice to be presented with other options. Also the manager of this restaurant is lovely and always extra attentive.
I like the tonkotsu (pictured above) and it’s always ever so slightly different on each visit. If you’ve ever wondered why ramen might taste different from one bowl to another, or if you just love ramen then you must watch Ramen Heads. It is a beautiful documentary revealing every single step Osamu Tomita takes to create the perfect soup and noodles. I learnt so much about what it takes to make the broth, how to dress the bowl and even how to eat it.
Whilst you’re here, you may also like to know that I think Cafe East serves the best steaming hot bowl of phở in London. I order as I’m seated and I can be back on my way home 20-25 minutes later, I’m only there for the phở and I want to be in and out quickly.