A little birdie told us that Shoryu were due to open their 6th branch in London. So when we found out about it’s soft launch, we couldn’t not get ourselves down there to check it out! This newest location is in London’s Covent Garden and with such a central location, there was of course a queue to get inside.
Shoryu was created by the same team behind Japan Centre and specialises in Hakata tonkotsu ramen from the Hakata district of Fukuoka city on the southern island of Kyushu, Japan. The owner of Shoryu – Tak Tokumine, and the executive chef – Kanji Furukawa, are both from this region. They’re both very passionate about bringing the most authentic flavours from Hakata to us lucky Londoners!
To help with people who are new to the concept of ramen noodles, there are leaflets explaining the background of Shoryu, how to eat ramen and a description of some of the typical ingredients in a tonkotsu ramen.
After about an hour’s wait, we finally got inside. Here’s what we ordered:
Wagyu Shoryu Bun (£8.50) – being the pioneers of the bao, Shoryu have taken this humble little white fluffy bun to the next level by adding wagyu beef! Sadly though, there was just not enough of the beef inside out bun. We also felt it was a little overcooked 🙁 Having said that, the other ingredients accompanying the beef were more interesting. There was a sweet teriyaki sauce bringing everything together.The daikon radish was crunchy and added a touch of freshness. The shimeji mushroom had an earthy flavour and the shiso leaf added a touch of unique flavouring to the bun. Overall though, what was supposed to be a luxurious bun, just wasn’t very impressive at all. For what you get, it just doesn’t justify paying this price.
Hakata Tetsunabe Gyoza (4 pieces, £4.00) – In terms of presentation, this was done right. The gyozas were served on a cast-iron skillet and had a side dipping sauce of soy and wasabi. The flavours in the gyozas were very mild. The pork was tender and you could taste the freshness of the ingredients used. We really liked the use of spring onions and finely chopped ginger as the garnish on the gyozas, because it gave a refreshing look rather than just a few oily dumplings. The flavours could’ve been bolder but overall the gyozas weren’t bad and were worth the try.
Shoryu Ganso Tonkotsu (£11.00) – this is the signature ramen from Shoryu. Their rich pork broth is creamy and packed with flavours – this is the result of the 12 hour cooking time! You can choose how firm you want your noodles to be cooked. We opted for hard, so by the time it arrived and we’d let the noodles soak up the broth for a bit, the noodles were still al dente. The pork itself was thinly sliced and it was so tender that hardly any effort was needed to chew it – which is what you’d expect from a good bowl of tonkotsu ramen. The toppings included nitamago egg, kikurage mushrooms, spring onion, sesame, ginger, nori seaweed. This signature ramen had the addition of fried shallots too, which gave it that extra smokey fragrance and flavour. So good!
Curry Ramen (£11.90) – this ramen was an absolute joy to eat. It had the creaminess and thick consistency of the pork broth that Shoryu prides themselves in, yet still maintaining the rich flavours and spice of a Japanese curry. The chicken karaage pieces were a little dry, but once soaked up in the curry broth, it was really tender and flavourful. The toppings for this ramen included the usual nitamago egg (which was cooked to perfection), nori seaweed, bamboo shoots, naruto fish cake, spring onions, and ginger. The portion size was also very generous with lots of chicken, ramen and broth. A must try if you come to Shoryu!
There’s also a number of different toppings available on the table for you to add to your ramen:
In true Yummy Jubbly style, we had a dessert to end our meal. We opted for the Matcha Azuki Rolled Cake (£6.00). The cake itself was quite dense and not light and fluffy like Asian cakes are famous for. It was also a little too sweet for our liking and didn’t taste much of matcha at all – it was the sprinkling of matcha powder on top that saved the day. The filling inside was like a buttercream with sweet red beans mixed in. This was pretty expensive for what we were having, but it was still quite nice too eat.
Shoryu also offer a wide range of cocktails, both alcoholic and nonalcoholic. We ordered one of each to try – Kaoru Lavender (alcoholic £11.00) and Match Detox (non-alcoholic £7.50).
Overall we had a pretty good time during the soft launch night at the latest Shoryu in Covent Garden. The customer service was really good and we were really impressed with the ramen itself. The big let down was the wagyu bun which was overpriced and overcooked. But, we’re still giving Shoryu a total of 4 yums! 🙂 We had some great dishes, and some not so great. But we still enjoyed our time there and we’d recommend you go try it out soon too!
Address: 35 Great Queen Street WC2B 5AA
Opening Times: Monday to Saturday 11:30 – 23:30, Sunday 12:00 – 22:30