Published on September 5th, 2014 | by Gavin2
Summary: Fast, filling and fantastic value
Ramen; the Japanese equivalent of a good burger to us Brits. And the ramen restaurant phenom is creeping all over London with popular spots from the likes of Shoryu, Tonkotsu, and Bone Daddies sending us ramen crazy. The latest to hit the scene is Kanada-Ya, a Hong Kong based export that has decided to open its first venue outside of China in Soho, and it comes with a shimmering reputation.
The restaurant is a 5 minute walk from Tottenham Court Road station and when I arrive on the soft launch evening, the queue to be seated is about 15 people deep, thanks largely to the fact that the space only holds 24 diners. Being relatively fast food though, the turnaround is quick and most waiting are in within half an hour.
Inside, décor is minimal, however a mirrored ceiling gives the venue a larger feel and the open plan kitchen at the rear keeps with Japanese tradition. The menu is kept simple with only three ramen dishes with an option to add sides including Hanjuku egg, spicy miso, and black garlic sauce. You can also choose how you like your noodles from soft through to extra firm (I went for extra firm); and there are a variety of Japanese beverages including Ramune lemonade, which for some unknown reason comes with a marble in the bottle (Would you expect anything less from the Japanese?).
Less than 10 minutes later, our deceptively large bowl of brothy goodness arrives, complete with my Hanjuku egg plonked in the middle. Everything is well presented with slices of pork belly lying on a bed of seaweed with a pile of beansprouts and spring onion, and looking around at everyone else’s order, it seems like a pretty uniform process. I have opted for the Original ramen dish at £10 which includes the signature homemade 18 hour pork bone broth, chashu pork belly, wood ear fungus, and nori noodles.
I immediately get to sipping on the famous broth that I’ve read so much about from the reviews of the Hong Kong venue, and oh my, it’s good! The homemade touch adds a creamy dimension that any mass produced ramen simply can’t attain. As I got fuller, I noticed that the buttery nature made it harder to finish, and despite an almighty fight, even I had to concede defeat on this occasion. Handy tip: if, like me, you enjoy your noodles on the spicy side, I highly recommend paying the £1.50 extra for the miso to give a mild kick without overpowering the underlying flavours.
Kanada-Ya is walk in only, and judging by the popularity of the launch and the quality of food, the queues are unlikely to dye down anytime soon, so be prepared to wait. But it’s fast, filling and fantastic value; there’s little more you could ask for from a fast food outlet. I have a feeling my frequent trips for a quick burger may become a bit more sporadic…
Kanada-Ya, 64 St Giles High Street, WC2H 8LE.Share This Post