8 Oct 2014


London, UK

Tonkotsu East Bar & Ramen is the second to open in London, after the Soho spot, reviewed previously by the Food Grid. Unsurprisingly, the East branch is located beneath your typical railway arch, one block off Kingsland Road. It is simply and elegantly decorated, with huge, spherical lamp shades and timber furniture. Unlike its Soho counterpart, it is a very inviting space. At the end of the room there's a glass wall that displays their very own noodle-making machine. Around mealtimes there is a bit of a wait to get a table, but only about 15 minutes, so no Soho-style hour long waits. My first visit was on a Saturday at lunch time, and there was no wait at all. Once seated by the long table at the wall, we checked out the concise menu, and of course started with some gyozas. Out of the selection of pork, prawn and shiitake handmade gyozas, the prawn is the best in my opinion. All of them are pretty spectacular, but I don't think I would prioritise the mushroom one again. For the main ramen dish, we tried the Tonkotsu, a pork stock soup with pork belly and a soft boiled egg. In the menu, the meat is described as melt-in-the-mouth, and it truly does. Both the texture and flavours were delicious. We also checked out the vegetarian option, the Shimeji, Shiitake & Miso Ramen. I am a big fan of anything with mushrooms, but the miso-based soups always miss a bit of the punch of the meat based broths. The perfect situation is if you have a friend who is willing to share, so you get to taste the best of both worlds.  The portion size is more than enough to satisfy you, and along with a fried dumpling starter you will walk out very full and happy. 

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