Shoryu Ramen was launched in November 2012 by the team at Japan Centre and Shoryu have quickly gained a following for their ramen. They now have locations spread across Carnaby, Regent St and Soho. If ramen wasn’t enough, they also dish up the very popular hirata buns, sushi, sashimi and yakitori as part of their sides menu. Recommended in the Michelin Guide 2014 and 2015, Shoryu have come head to head with the likes of Bone Daddies and Tonkostu Ramen. These are the three amigos that are dominating the Soho food scene with their ramen. What makes Shoryu really special is that they specialise in the Hakata style tonkotsu ramen from the Hakata district of Fukuoka city of Japan. They promise that this is a bonafide tonkotsu ramen which you will rarely find outside of Japan. Thanks to Executive Chef Kanji Furukawa, who was born and raised from the region. Londoners can now enjoy the Hakata style ramen made with a thick, rich, white pork soup and thin, straight ramen noodles. This style of ramen is my absolute favourite, so I am really looking forward to see what Shoryu has to offer.

barbeque char siu pork hirata buns

With Erin from Island Bell (Food, Beauty and Travel blogger), we arrive to a casual, cosy and lively atmosphere at the Soho, Denman Street location. The venue is modern, simple and Japanese inspired.

We hit up the hirata buns, a Taiwanese street food made famous by David Chang’s US restaurant chain Momofuku (Read my Sydney review here). A fluffy, bun-y pillow-y morsel that is stuffed with glorious saucy fillings.

Pork is an obvious choice of filling, with its char siu barbeque pork belly squeezing its way into those buns and so is the deep fried chicken, a soy marinated chicken karaage. Altogether 2 pieces are £7.50.

The texture of the bun itself was slightly dense and tough which added more bite and chew. The pork filling is thick and generous. It is a delicious piece of meat but it was heavily doused in the thick barbeque sauce. While flavouful, the sauce was slightly overpowering.

soy marinated chicken karaage

The chicken karaage in the hirata bun was like having deep fried chicken in a bun. Simple stuff. But simple is always good and the karaage had a lovely crunch and was very good. Perfect with the tang and creaminess of the kewpie mayo laced on top.

ginger salmon tatsutage hirata buns gluten free

Erin is gluten intolerant and opts for the gluten free buns with ginger salmon. She offers a taste, I take a bite and usually gluten free tastes gluten free, especially in the carb variety. But this  doesn’t and gets my tick of approval. The fish filling was actually quite tasty.

The signature ramen – Shoryu Ganso Tonkostu (£11.00), arrives with a rich tonkotsu pork broth, barbeque pork, nitamago egg, kikurage mushrooms, spring onions, sesame, ginger, nori and maru (caramelised black garlic oil).

shoryu ganso tonkostu ramen

As ramen rituals go, I always go in for a slurp of the broth first. We all know, it all comes down to the broth. The broth is tasty, full of umami and earthy notes but lacks in the richness and boldness from your typical tonkotsu pork broth. The triple act of barbeque pork was delicious, gleaming with its gorgeous fatty glow. The texture of the ramen was bouncy and chewy but I was particularly disappointed by the execution of the nitamago egg. The centre was overcooked rather than an expectant runny filling and I always like my eggs runny. I also found that the caramelised black garlic oil was rather subtle.

truffle mochi & raspberry milk chocolate mochi

For dessert, we had to try the truffle mochi (£4.5 each). The tiramisu (GF) was decent and tasted like a tiramisu with the texture of a mochi rice cake. However, it was the raspberry with milk chocolate (GF) that stole our hearts. It was tart and tangy from the raspberry which juxtaposed beautifully with the rich and sweet chocolate flavour. If you have to pick one flavour of mochi to try, it has to be raspberry with milk chocolate.

Overall, I am sad to say that the ramen did not live up to my expectations of the Hakata style tonkostu ramen. I was hoping for something more unctuous and bolder when it comes to the broth, the broth being the building blocks of a great ramen. Service was prompt and efficient and for the cost and experience of the meal, Shoryu Soho stands to be reasonable when you take into consideration all of the other tasty dishes on offer but unfortunately it isn’t the best tonkostu ramen I’ve ever had.

To read Erin’s gluten free post at Shoryu Soho, click here.

Summary Information:
Food rating: 3/5
Service rating: 4/5
Value for money: 3/5

Prices: Approx £15 to £25 for a bowl of ramen and one side, excludes drinks and service.

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  1. Nessy Eater says:

    Truffle and tiramisu mochi?! Yeah kidding me right? I wouldn’t mind giving that dessert a go, sounds awesome.

  2. milkteaxx says:

    tiramisu mochi? ooh interesting!

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