Tonkotsu, Dean Street

Another day, another bowl of ramen.

Last week was an introduction to ramen for Jim. He’s had it before apparently – at Wagamammas. Now, I’ve never had a ramen at Wagamammas, and this may be a bit unfair but I can’t see it being the real deal. Cloudy, porky yumminess and all. And the egg? Do they do the egg?!?

The idea was to get to Bonedaddies early and queue for a short time, show him the wonders of a good ramen and toddle off home. On a Thursday night at around 8pm, what could go wrong….. The queue was along the entire front of the outside of the restaurant. I’m not great at queuing at the best of times, and Jim, let’s just say he’s not a fan either. So I panicked; made him walk around Soho for a few streets with I attempted to clear the mind blank of where to eat that had of course set in. And there is was, staring me in the face, quite literally. That warm Aglow and steamy windows of Tonkotsu. I crossed all fingers and toes and walked in hoping that I could renew my coolness in Jim’s eyes and that the queue would be under half an hour. 10 merciful minutes later we were seated at one of the tables in the back and I was back to my confident self telling him how much he was going to like proper ramen!

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We had a portion of Gyoza and the crab korroke as well as two bowls of Tonkotsu.
First came the crab korokke things which were good, not what I expected, the menu described them as croquettes, but I suppose I didn’t really expect actual Barrafina style croquettes. The Gyoza were of course great, light and flavourful with perfect little crispy bottoms – probably about the only time one is please about a crispy bottom.

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Then the main event, what I’ve been telling Jim he “really must try” for nearly 2 years. As with the Gyoza, of course it was delicious. Hot, cloudy and gloriously rich. Ramen is a dish that I can’t help but wolf down, I want to eat more slowly and savour it more but I can’t. I don’t know what it is about it but once I’ve had my first mouthful (regardless of how painfully hot it is) I am basically unable to have any form of conversation until I have either a) finished the bowl or b) noticed that the person I’m dining with is giving me the weirdest look as if it ask why the hell I am eating like some half starved animal.
I know I waffle about ramen a lot. I know it’s been around and been cool for ages, honestly, I know. But if you haven’t tried it, you must, it’s wonderful stuff. Dinner for two of us cost just shy of £50 for two starters, two bowls of tonkotsu and a carafe of white wine, worth every penny.

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