By Mersa Auda
Ramen specialists Tonkotsu have added their name to the long list of exciting eateries in Shoreditch with their eleventh London branch, located just off the main high street. The chain has been steadily growing in popularity since it first opened in Soho in 2012. Making their own fresh noodles and preparing their stocks daily from scratch has set them apart from their direct competitors, thus turning them into a reliable name for a good quality casual meal.
The most popular starters are the steamed prawn gyozas and the crispy fried chicken karaage. They make for a good introduction to the menu which has tradition at its heart, spiced up with a touch of fusion. The signature dish is the Tonkotsu Ramen, a rich pork and lardo broth topped with roast pork belly, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, spring onion, burnt garlic oil, thin-cut noodles and a seasoned egg. The menu now also features a spicy version enriched with a generous amount of scotch bonnet chilli mash, a nice deviation but not for every palate! Another recent addition is the Yasai Curry, a konbu and shiitake broth topped with king oyster mushrooms and vegetables, with slices of crispy lotus root on top.
The drinks menu is well curated, with an original selection of their own cocktail mixes (standouts include the Cherry Smoked Negroni and the Whisky, Yuzu & Sesame Sour), and a sake made especially for them at the Tsuji Brewery in Okayama. The most pleasing aspect is the friendly service, with staff members happy to offer genuine recommendations. While dining here may not feel like a unique experience, Tonkotsu Shoreditch epitomises the chain’s strengths, which include a continued endeavour to take care of every detail and a laid-back atmosphere that makes the restaurant feel warm and welcoming.
1 Anning St, Hackney, London EC2A 3LQ