March 20th, 2015
63 Dean Street
If you like a big bowl of ramen, you’re in for a treat at Tonkotsu. Serving four types of ramen: Shoyu, Miso, Shio and Tonkotsu along with delicious sides such as Salt & Sansho peppered squid and Japanese curry chicken wings, you will not leave hungry! The ramen bowls are big and near impossible to finish the generous helping of broth along with the tender slices of meat or Tofu and the marinated gooey-yolked egg.
The signature ‘Tonkotsu’ is a creamy ramen with a rich flavour as a result of cooking pork bones for up to 18 hours. Bone broth has long been considered a nutritional health food. As the bones cook in the water, nutrients and minerals including calcium, silicon, sulphur and magnesium leach from the bones. Rich in gelatin, a good source of supplementary protein and beneficial for digestive and gut related problems such as IBS or Crohn's disease. So no wonder chicken noodle soup is a go-to for my family when illness strikes. I now crave a big bowl of ramen as soon as I feel a cold coming on and a visit to Tonkotsu over the winter nursed me right back to health.
Their homemade noodles are soaked in specially filtered alkaline-salted water as opposed to London’s hard, pH- neutral water to give them the bouncy elasticity expected of ramen noodles. With the delicious array of condiments, chilli paste and fresh garlic and garlic crushers provided at each table to add to the mix, you will not be short of flavours. The only downside is they do not offer doggy bags to take away if you don’t manage to finish your meal. It’s also normally pretty packed and they don't take reservations, though I do always seem to be seated within 15 minutes of arriving and the atmosphere is always lively with a real Soho buzz. The restaurant is cosy with the kitchen situated at the front right by the entrance wafting smells of ramen all around to entice onlookers in.
From the broth to the slow-cooked meat, the noodles and the condiments every attention to detail is considered, resulting in a wholesome, satisfying and potentially healing bowl of ramen.