Bone Daddies, Soho, Emperors New Clothes

Sometimes you just want food that gives you a big hug and tells you everything is going to be OK. This is particularly needed up near work for those tricky days. For many years ‘Ramen Seto' was my go to place for a food hug. However rough I felt or fed up I was I could guarantee that a big steamy bowl of noodle soup would sort me out. In fact for a while I used to meet my lovely wife there for a quick restorative lunch. It was shabby inside but the food was great, good honest tasty generous fayre and it was always busy. However it shut after a big rent increase and I found other places for food hugs but a longing for noodle soups remained. I tried Wagamama's version but the smaller bean counter portion and western style seasoning wasn't a patch on Ramen Seto's bountiful soup with its fiery chilli flake oil. Then Ramen/noodle soups became the next big thing. The blogerati got very excited about various noodle shops that were falling over themselves to be the most authentic or the most quirky. One of these is Bone Daddies just off Berwick St market. I had wandered by it a few times and seen it was very busy with the Meejah crowd wondering if I would ever get to try it before the hype drifted off!

Thursday I really needed a food hug, a big hot bowl of noodles and somewhere warm out of the rain. It was tube strike day and I had pre-booked a meeting out of town. So far my day had meant cycling in the rain to work, then in more rain to Euston. When I got back to Euston mid afternoon it was still raining (but much harder) so I set off again on a bike . I quickly became p*ssed off and p*ssed on by the rain. Then the foodie in me took over and I headed on auto pilot to Berwick St market eventually finding a Boris bike bay that was free and headed to Bone Daddies. My reasoning was with it being a bit later and strike day the more popular spots would be less busy. As I got to Bone Daddies it appeared the lunch time rush was ebbing away though it was still 3/4 full. It's not a massive place and apart from a few central tables the seating is along the windows and wall. This was fine on a quiet Thursday but I imagine at peak time it could feel a bit Bubbledogish (unnecessarily cramped) . I had a scan of the menu and opted for a Tantanmen noodle soup with minced pork and chilli and a beer. Well the beer was nice.

Maybe I'm not up on my ramen noodle soups but I expected a big warm bowl of soup. What I got was a medium bowl that looked very pretty. The aesthetic stuff on top wasn't very warm, it also had a weird emulsion ingredient that wasn't terribly pleasant. The noodles on the bottom were hot though so I mixed it all together and it got a dish that was sort of hot. The waitress had warned me this was ‘hot' it really wasn't, I couldn't get much taste from the broth. It looked and tasted like a trendily assembled dish and I actually wanted something cooked with care and pride. I was hungry so I finished it but I was disappointed. Not a patch on the soup at Ramen Seto or even Wagamama if I'm honest, and at £11 expensive for what is a cheap dish. Service was fine though I was addressed as ‘mate' which is a particular hate of mine. So I left the into the rain hugless but less hungry. If a shabby stall on Berwick St like Bahn Mi 11 can knock out something tasty and filling for a fiver why bother with the hollow hipster temple like Bone Daddies? My search for a decent noodle soup continues!

Monday, February 10, 2014
Overall rating
Food 5 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 6

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