"Ramen bars are the new “in” thing, but that’s not why you should go"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
Ramen bars are the new “in” thing, and if you weren’t aware of this a quick glance inside the crowded Bone Daddies, with its minimal décor, high stools and rock’n’roll soundtrack will soon make this clear.
This wasn’t the first ramen bar to open, as that honour goes to Tonkotsu, another cramped, buzzy venue just moments away on Dean Street (we’re purposefully leaving Wagamama out of the equation), however Bone Daddies benefits from the expertise of chef Ross Shonhan, who’s worked at Nobu in Dallas and Zuma in London.
There are eight ramen dishes on the menu, priced between £8 and £10. The T22’s “cock scratchings” are moreish crispy bits of chicken skin and fat, which float alongside pieces of tender chicken and boiled egg. The chicken bone broth has plentiful noodles, soy sauce and wakame seaweed, making it filling and delicious. The same goes for the tonkotsu ramen, where pork belly has been stewed for 20 hours to give the liquid its rich, creamy flavour, and spring onion and ginger add freshness.
It’s not just the ramen bowls that are great. A whole boiled artichoke, halved in two, is served with a buttery dressing with citrusy yuzu and a fiery aftertaste. Four pieces of soft shell crab have such fierce-looking claws it makes biting into their crisp fleshiness all the more satisfying. The crab is wonderful dipped into an intense chilli ginger sauce, which has hints of lemongrass and lime.
Bone Daddies is the first restaurant outside Japan to serve Asahi “Super Creamy Head”, which as the name suggests, has plenty of froth. We also try one of their selection of shochu, the Kirijima Black Koji made from sweet potato; it smells lethal, but the taste is clean and smooth.
It’s easy to see why the place is packed, and opening till midnight means they may get a few extra post-pub punters. There are no reservations naturally, as if further proof of hip-dom were needed, but forget about trends and just go, because it’s really really good.
Leila reviewed Bone Daddies on Fri 23 Nov 2012