The Handbook
The Handbook

Japanese food is up there with my favourite cuisines but having never ventured to this particular establishment before I was intrigued to see what they would have to offer. The restaurant looks quite unassuming from the outside but inside it takes on the appearance of a cosy Japanese Ramen bar. It’s cosily lit, dark walls and wooden detailing. We were sat at the front of the restaurant in a reasonably narrow space but go out the back and it opens out into a sizeable area, even with a private dining room downstairs.

We started by meeting Mimi, restaurant manager and Sake sommelier (of which there are only a handful in Britain) who was really lovely and helpful; clearly passionate about, and hugely knowledgeable of, the food they were serving. Seeing as it was a Friday I thought it was only right to celebrate the upcoming weekend with a cocktail and so ordered their twist on a classic cocktail – Yoku Mojito – which was everything you’d want from a mojito with the added bonus of freshly muddled strawberries and a dash of a citrusy Plum liqueur. We also got to sample their Kirin Frozen, which was somewhat like a beer slushie and would certainly be the perfect cooler for a warm summer’s afternoon (but even when it’s cold outside it’s warm in there and so it’s pretty perfect whatever the weather).

We ordered the Hakata Tetsunabe Gyoza to start, along with a plate of edamame beans and a barbeque char siu pork belly filled Shoryu Bun to share. The shoryu bun was light and fluffy with the tender pork belly perfectly complimented by the fresh and crunchy cucumber, lettuce and spring onion. The Gyoza were lovely and crispy and the seasoning on the Edamame beans made them incredibly moreish. For mains we had their signature ganso ramen (Kotteri Hakata Tonkotsu) that boasts a richer broth than their signature ramen as well as their Karaka Tantan Tonkotsu that was a deeply flavourful, spicy dish with fried minced pork. To finish we had their raspberry milk chocolate Truffle Mochi which reminded me of an inside out strawberry cream Quality Street – the jury’s still out on that one.

We left feeling satiated and strangely gleeful over our (albeit somewhat late to the game) discovery of this wonderful Ramen chain. In an area that’s home to just about every eatery imaginable, as it turns out, they need to do a lot to stand out, but stand out they do. Boasting 3 locations in central London and with takeout options from their fourth, Shoyru Go spot, they’re a wonderful option for a quick lunch or a lazy dinner; I’m already planning my next visit. 

Shoryu Ramen Soho is open from 11:15am daily, till midnight Monday-Saturday and 10:30pm on Sunday.