It was a bit painful to be craving for ramen while I was in Edinburgh and all that people could recommend was Wagamama. Thankfully, London delivers on most food wishes and cravings, and as I was walking about in Soho, I discovered Kanada-Ya, a little gem on St Giles High Street that specializes in tonkotsu ramen.
Brightly lit on the corner of St Giles High Street, this place is hard to miss. Signs were good from afar – there was an open kitchen, the restaurant was packed, and a (manageable) queue was outside the door. The menu is simple, essentially just three types of ramen, some extra topping options and three types of onigiri. With these signs I quickly joined the queue and in just ten minutes I had sat down, ordered, and in another five minutes my food came.
It was beautiful -- a big bowl of milky broth topped with thinly sliced charsiu pork, nori and vegetables. The noodles are cooked to your liking and the pork is deliciously sweet and tender and crispy around the edges. The broth is the key to a good tonkotsu and this “18 hour pork bone broth”, as stated on the menu, really delivered. It was milky, fatty, salty, umami, sweet and just many, many layers of flavors. You can taste the pork bones that had been roasted and simmered slowly for hours until they disintegrated with all the flavors seeped into the broth. The level of depth and bliss that was in that bowl was astounding, and I definitely recommend some extra charsiu pork. This is true soul food that's rich but not heavy, and they range from only £10-£12.50 without any extra toppings.
The onigiri, while I'm no expert, was also fantastic as the nori was
crisp, the rice was fragrant and the ume was tart. Very simple, clean
flavors that made them incredibly delicious. And again, very reasonably priced.
It's a heartwarming and comforting meal that leaves you genuinely satisfied at the end. Check it out.
54 St Giles High Street
0207 240 0232
Mon-Sat : 12:00-15:00 & 17:00-22:00