So I have been looking for a new West End noodle shop for a while now. I used to get my fix at the late lamented Ramen Seto of Kingly St. You couldn't call it pretty inside but it did sell huge bowls of delicious ramen soups, tasty gyoza and it was extremely reasonable. It was shut by a big rent rise so I have been bereft of noodle soup in my life since. I tried the uber trendy Bone Daddies which everyone raved about and found it underwhelming. The luke warm noodle soup was one of the least pleasant dishes I have eaten. However my interest was piqued by news that noted purveyors of noodles Shoryu were opening an outpost in Kingly court which is within range of the office. Kingly Court itself is a mish mash of small shops and eateries some like Wright Brothers are very good others like Cha Cha Moon most certainly aren't. Shoryu is tucked away in a corner on the ground floor. The space is spread out like a corridor with the open kitchen and bar on one side with a mix of seats along the wall and a few bigger shared tables. The décor is best described as ‘pine' which does give it a light airy feel.
I ended up going twice, the first time was the day they opened so service was a little chaotic though the manageress took me in hand and found me a seat in front of the kitchen where I could see what was going on. The menu is obviously largely based around their tonkotsu noodle soups. I had this both times and it was very tasty indeed. It was hot and nourishing, the broth had a good depth of flavour, the charsui pork was nicely roasted and I liked all the other bits that I am too culturally unaware to know the name of. The serving is not overgenerous, we are talking Wagamama portions, but it was filling. On my first visit I had a side of gyoza which were very nice and a nice touch was serving them in a little cast iron skillet. The second time I had a Hirata bun which are a bit like a sandwich made from the rice coating of a char sui bun. Mine had pork belly in the middle but the addition of lettuce gave it a fresh taste. My first visit I had a cold draught Kirin but today had some perfectly nice green tea.
As you can tell I did like it, despite a 5-10 minute wait for a seat I was served quickly once I was in. On the second visit the service was much more assured and the place had a nice buzz to it. If you want a quick meal up in the West End this is a good option. My main reservation is that it's not cheap, both visits came to about £20 a head which is toppy for quick fairly simple food. If you hit their cocktail list you could really rack up a bill. I was also surprised that on my second visit where I paid by card the reader prompted me to add a tip when service had already been added, this should be changed. I've heard of a couple of other places in Soho doing this and it is a cynical attempt to catch out tourists. This time I sat at the a big shared table and noticed it was already marked after only a week of being open, maybe corners had been cut on the fit out. All in all it's a good place and I will return, it's been busy both times I went which is borne out by the very tasty food they serve. It's not Ramen Seto but nowhere ever will be!
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8
Very Happy to say they stopped the double charging for service and I go regularly. If you want a cheap, quick, tasty bowl of ramen it is pretty much unbeatable. The staff are nice as well. Great place