What is Ramen?
Ramen originally came from China to Japan, but now it's completely localised and developed within Japan. In every town in Japan, you can easily find a ramen restaurant. It's almost impossible to find a place without ramen restaurant in Japan. As such, ramen is what all Japanese think it's soul food for the Japanese.
If you want to know why ramen so popular in Japan, please check this blog.
This noodle dish is simple and cheap. You can get it for between 600 - 1000 yen in Japan. Possibly, ramen restaurant is the most popular kind of restaurant in Japan and you can easily find them and just eat & go.
Normally, the Japanese people are staying at a ramen restaurant no more than 20 minutes. This is because ramen is generally considered fast food in Japan. So, you'd better vacate your seat when you finish especially if it's busy lunchtime.
Well, Japanese people love noodle dishes. Other than ramen, there's udon, soba and we all love these (note these noodles are also considered fast foods in Japan). But, I can tell you that ramen is 'by far' more popular than other noodles.
Japanese Ramen in London
Back in 2009 (10 years ago from today), ramen was a cult food among Japanese food lovers who ever been (or have lived) in Japan and local Japanese in London. At that time, only a few Japanese restaurants offer ramen and often it was a 'hidden' menu and you can get it only when they offer.
In such a situation, Japanese locals in London share information about which restaurant offers a secret ramen set and it was something special to eat authentic tasty ramen in London.
Ten years later, ramen possibly gained its popularity almost as same as sushi and London became the capital of ramen restaurants in Europe.
Today, it's so easy to eat real ramen in this capital and this is so great. TD blog introduce top 5 restaurants to eat Japanese ramen in London!
Japanese Ramen in London - Top 5 Choices from Tokyo Direct
1. Ippudo （一風堂）
The most popular and common type of ramen in London is 'tonkotsu' ramen. I'm not so sure why this tangy soup of pork bone broth (tonkotsu means pork bone in Japanese) is so popular here, but Londoners are crazy about tonkotsu ramen.
Of course, it is very popular in Japan as well, but the Japanese love different ramen as well. Normally, tonkotsu is widely loved in Kyushu district (southern part of Japan). Other types of ramen are more popular in other regions of Japan (for example, Miso ramen in Hokkaido, Shoyu ramen in Tokyo).
Ippudo is originally from Hakata, Kyushu and one of the most popular tonkotsu ramen chain restaurants in Japan.
2. Shoryu (昇竜)
Produced by Japan centre group which operates the largest Japanese supermarket in London, Shoryu started 'ramen war' in London. After Shoryu introduced authentic tonkotsu ramen to London, many other restaurants open, but Shoryu is still one of busiest restaurants and its taste is widely loved by ramen lovers in London.
Shoryu delivered authentic Hakata (kyushu- southern part of Japan) style tonkotsu ramen to London and they're definitely a pioneer. As this restaurant chain is the UK local, it's unknown to people in Japan. Havings said that its taste is truly real stuff and constant.
Tonkotsu should be one of the most successful ramen restaurants in the UK. They have more branches than any other ramen restaurants in London. Tonkotsu ramen they offer is decent and very standard one like served in Japan.
Here you can have tonkotsu ramen for 11 pounds (a bowl of ramen is priced at this level in all other restaurants). Don't forget to order Eat the Bits, which is homemade chilli. You can add this chilli to your ramen or just eat as it is also very nice.
4. Bone Daddies
This restaurant started by a British tonkotsu lover is a real contender for Japanese ramen restaurants in London. The 20-hour cooking pork bone broth they use makes their ramen decent and crisp. Slightly arranged to modern western (British) style is also nice. You can crash the whole garlic on the table. My favourite way to eat is always to add garlic as much as possible. In this way, your tonkotsu ramen will be more fantastic!
Originally, a local ramen restaurant in Hakata, Kyushu which is a hometown of tonkotsu ramen. So, Kanada-Ya is not familiar to people in Tokyo and other areas of Japan, but this restaurant has been ranked the best ramen restaurant in Kyushu area and one of the best 'local' ramen restaurants in Japan.
Since its opening, Kanada-Ya is famous for its long queue. It was completely normal to wait 30-60 minutes to get in before (it's much better, though).
Kanada-Ya's tonkotsu ramen possibly has the tangiest soup in London and normally such ramen is preferred in Japan (note: healthy minded people avoid tonkotsu in the first place).
Now you feel like going to eat Japanese ramen in London? If you're unlucky, you may not be in this capital of tonkotsu ramen in Europe. In that case, Tokyo Direct has a wonderful collection of Japanese tonkotsu ramen. Please check it out!
Thank you for reading!