Shoryu (Soho, London, UK)

The next day in London, we decided to go on a walking tour of the London Underground from London Walks, which was a rather insightful romp through Baker Street, King’s Cross, Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Embankment, and Westminster Tube stations, and one I highly recommend. But at the end of our tour, we found ourselves by Piccadilly Circus and hungry for lunch. With the fond memories of our trip to Bone Daddies still fresh in our head, we were again hungry for Ramen. This time we checked out Shoryu, who has one location a short walk from the Circus.

Shoryu is on Denman Street, about a block and a half off of Picadilly, just around the corner from Jamie’s Diner (the odd upscale diner concept from Jamie Oliver, that at least smelled like a diner…). It’s an odd space, kind of nestled into two adjacent store fronts, and I later found out the reason for this, in that this location of Shoryu started as a pop-up, but has lingered and is now more-or-less permanent (oh, given a bit of a budget, I could write a rather lengthy piece for one of the London papers on the phenomenon of the “Permanent Pop-Up”). And here the focus is on their sake bar, which did have a rather impressive array of sakes available for consumption.

In any case, Shoryu is basically a ramen shop, just like Bone Daddies, although having a more simplistic menu, and no weird Japanese Rockabilly Bike Club photos on the wall. But they do have a reasonably good menu, with items ranging from their house signature Shoryu Ganso Tonkotsu (hosomen noodles with miso and spinach) to more elaborate dishes like the Hokkaido Curry Ramen with medium chumen noodles or thick futomen noodles. There’s not a lot of funky dishes here, just a wide variety of decent ramen bowls.

We ended up both going for the Shoryu Ganso Tonkotsu, and this was a rather enjoyable and filling bowl of ramen. The noodles were flavorful and toothsome without being doughy or starchy, and the broth was a thick and rich bone-based broth, and the soup was richly appointed with bbq pork, an egg, mushrooms, beansprouts, spring onion, sesame, ginger, and nori. The ingredients were all flavorful, and while the egg wasn’t as perfectly done as the one at Bone Daddies, it was still a very pleasantly executed egg with a yolk just starting to firm up. A dash of sesame from the shaker on the table, and this was a thoroughly pleasant lunch.

If I hadn’t been to Bone Daddies less than a week before, I’d say that Shoryu was a top-notch ramen place, and, indeed, there was nothing sub-par about our ramen bowls; Shoryu is dishing out some seriously good ramen. But, to give credit where credit is due, I’m not sure they make my revisit list, with the much richer and flavorful product of Bone Daddies a few blocks away. Well, having multiple options for good ramen in a city is always a good problem to have.

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