Given the volume of PATPF in the house, word is clearly out. This is a serious ramen joint. Some may ask why its taken London so long?
The truth is whilst Wagamama’s maybe a bit passé now, they were churning this stuff out in the 90’s. We have Alan Yau’s original to thank for the ‘shared tables noodle joint’ (though am sure someone will correct me on that if I’m wrong).
It is not as serene, authentic or indeed as Japanese as nearby Koya, but its fun, lively and pretty delicious. The room is packed, windows sweat, hipsters swoon and Bruce Springsteen booms through the room. Most evenings they are queuing down the street for this joint.
So to kick off, the “Pig bones”, are of course ribs by another name. Falling off the bone, sweet and mildly spicy though nothing that will blow your head off (there’s plenty of time for that yet). These are easily some of my favourite ribs in London.
The soft shell crab too is good and the usual suspects of edamame beans and yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno and yuzu feature also.
There are several variations and of course you can add extras as you see fit. Including a fat pipette and the infamous cock scratchings (in case you hadn’t realised the double entendre abounds here). Now, I’m no stranger to the joys of the lipids but given the depth of the broth, that pipette would be strictly for the stouter amongst us or at least those with an iron constitution.
The tantanmen is apparently our waitress favourite. Its easy to see why. A generous bowl of ramen noodles heaving with rich chicken ‘bone (sic) broth’, minced pork, sliced pork, pulled chicken and topped with a soft boiled clarence court egg. Yours for £11.
Its very rich and I’d say for some perhaps too rich. Moreover, depending on the day the spicing gets turned up to max and gives the whole quite a punch. Some will like that searing heat, others less so. Dave felt it a little too rangey (his words not mine) by which I took it to mean “too rich and a touch too spicy”. A fair comment on reflection. The spice can muscle out the subtleties of flavour in what is surely a well made broth. That said he’s a delicate soul, so those not averse to the higher reaches of the scoville scale may well be in their oils here.
Its worth mentioning the pickles – all home made and an excellent counterpoint to all this richness for £3 they are an essential order. Don’t like pickles? Try these they will convert you. Well ok maybe not the pear which I was nonplussed about. But the kimchi, carrot cucumber and daikon? V good.
There is a hip and interesting drinks menu with some outre beers, a good sake list and a wide selection of shochu.
Is is better than the recently opened Shoryu ? Its hard to say. Its broth is richer and I prefer the vibe. Ultimately though that might just be a moot question.
Its good honest, dirty fun nonethless and it won’t break the bank. You will leave quite simply stuffed.
£20 a head with drinks
Bone Daddies, 31 Peter Street, (the bottom of Berwick St), Soho, London.
No Booking. Bring your skinny jeans and baseball cap.