Sunday, 9 December 2012

Cock Scratchings Anyone? - Bone Daddy Ramen Bar


There have been a lack of restaurant post from me recently. Too many night shifts over Christmas period and with hectic work schedule were to blame. But that is not to say that I haven't been dining well. As those who have follow my blog will know, I am a huge Ramen fan, especially when it comes to Tonkotsu. I have over the years trying to find a good bowl of this comforting noodle dish with little success. That is until now...

Bone Daddies Ramen Bar opened about a month ago.  I was there on the first day of soft opening and almost without any hesitation, I ordered a bowl of Tonkosu (£11) with an addition shot of fat pipette. So the verdict, it was rather good, rich and porky despite lacking the signature milky-white appearance. The fat pipette gave an added 'dirtiness' and aroma. The noodles were perfectly cook still with a light bounce to the bite. The toppings were of the most generous proportion compared to most ramen restaurants that I've been to. There were beautifully cooked soft-boiled seasoned eggs, a bunch of menma, two huge slices of melt-in-the mouth Chashu, fried garlic and bean sprouts. I happily slurped up the bowl of noodles. 

Tonkotsu (Before improvement):


Tonkotsu (After improvement and with cock scratchings):



So impressed I was with the effort that I've also asked for a second bowl of ramen, the T22 (£9), a chicken broth-based ramen. Yup, TWO bowls of ramen in one seating! It was deliciously rich with good depth of flavours. As for the toppings, along with the usual suspects of seasoned eggs, beansprouts etc, it also came with shredded chicken, nori and the wonderfully named 'cork scratchings'  a.k.a. crispy chicken skins. This gave the ramen a much added oomph. 

I went back the following week and once again, I had the Tonkotsu. This time round, it has the undeniably intense porky richness and a milky complexity that is Tonkotsu's signature. Even though I liked it, it did felt a bit heavy and thick. After speaking to the resident chef, Ross Shonhan, he explained that he wasn't entirely pleased with his first attempt and hence been working on improving the original recipe.

Since then, I have been back a few more times, and I must say, without a shadow of a doubt, I believe Ross has nailed it! Every time I was there, I was greeted by a hot, steaming bowl of milky Tonkotsu with that perfect 'dirty' richness. The noodles too, have since evolved into one that proved perfect match for this thick liquid umami. Be it that it might not be those thin, straight noodles that I'm used to for Tonkotsu, it still has that perfect bite and thickness that allows you to slurp up with just enough broth to coat it, thus no 'heavy' aftertaste. And I have also found the perfect way to enjoy this bowl of porky broth - additional cock scratchings! It complemented the Tonkotsu perfectly. This is not on the menu but do ask for it.

T22 Ramen:




Something else worthy of mention was the Tantanmen (£10). This modern ramen had the same rich chicken broth base as T22 but it had been spiced up with some sort of chilli paste which tasted like Chinese Toban Jang and accompanied with minced pork, bok choy, black sesame, menma, chashu and seasoned eggs toppings. It has a good kick to it and has a delicate sweetness. It reminded me of Laksa but without the same coconut richness, still delicious nonetheless.

Tantanmen:



There were also a good selection of snacks available on the menu. The fried chicken or karaage (£5) was my favourite, pieces of marinated juicy chicken bites with light greaseless crispy coating. Yellowtail sashimi (£9) too were served fresh and the Soft-shell crab (£8) along with the delicious green chilli ginger sauce was very moreish, especially the sauce.





Many new Ramen restaurants has pop up all over London recently promising the true Ramen experience, but failed to live up to expectations. It's rather refreshing to find premises like Bone Daddy, which actually deliver the goods. And after speaking to Ross on my numerous visits, I cannot but admires his passion for the perfect ramen. By his own admission, he is not here to make the most authentic ramen, he just want to make the best ramen in town. Although at times, I do feel that they needed a touch more broth although that can be easily fix (at an additional price) but to date, this is the best ramen, especially tonkotsu, I have had in London.

My quest has ended for my ramen holy grail.

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Square Meal

8 comments:

  1. I was wondering when you were gonna get round to blogging about these guys! My main complaint on the food front is that the tonkotsu should be thinned a little, be at a higher temperature and there should be more of it! Then it would be undisputed champ imho.

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  2. It did took me a while but I just want to go back a couple more time just to be sure. Agree with you regarding the broth. However, It's much thinner these days, although still need a touch more of it.

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  3. Milli @Milliskitchen18 December 2012 22:35

    The portions couldn't have been enough if you had to order 2 bowls in one sitting, after snacks. The only time I have achieved that milkiness was with a kit I bought back from Ippudo in Tokyo. I wish I had brought loads of it now!

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  4. I wrote a review earlier in the month right after your recommendation via Twitter. LOVED the Tonkotsu. The best I've ever had. The fried chicken, however, was so salty that I had to leave it. It was nearly inedible. I'll be back though because the ramen was THAT good.

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  5. The portion were generous, think I was just being greedy as I did struggled to finish the second bowl. But it was so good that it was definitely worth it!

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  6. Oh dear, did you feed that back to the chef? The chicken I had were not salty at all, possibly it was just a fluke but yes, the Tonkotsu is superb. Still the best in London for me.

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  7. You need to. It's really good.

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