I recently went to see Sunset Boulevard at the London Coliseum in the heart of theatreland. It was a Tuesday evening and we needed a quick dinner before the show. A friend who knows the area well recommended I try Kanada-Ya for a bowl of ramen as it’s quick and easy and just around the corner.
The weather in April was just a little crazy wasn’t it? Hail and sunshine multiple times a day! So a big bowl of steaming ramen from Kanada-Ya sounded perfect. Situated just off Haymarket, this is a small and cosy spot to enjoy a quick bite to eat before heading back out into the bustle of the West End.
Kanada-Ya specialises in tonkostu (pork bone broth) ramen, where the broth is made from pork bones and cooked for 18 hours. It is said to be one of the best, if not the best place in London to enjoy tonkostu ramen.
We arrived just before 6pm so there were none of the queues I had read about. There were a couple of other people in the restaurant but there were still some tables free. As we were only a two they lead us to the only dud table in the place – a bench facing the wall with a thin table. My brother being quite tall couldn’t even sit with his legs straight! We asked if we could move to an actual table and as long as we were happy to share if it filled up then yes, which we were.
There is a slightly more extended menu at the Kanada-Ya off Haymarket. Here as well as the pork broth there is also the option of a chicken broth with pork collar and a vegetarian option of porcini-soya milk broth.
We both decided to order the Original Ramen. Hand-pulled noodles, pork belly chashu, wood ear mushroom, nori and fresh spring onion are served in the famous pork broth. The noodles are cooked to order: extra firm, firm, regular or soft. They recommend firm so that’s what we ordered. I had never really thought about the firmness of the noodles in ramen before but loved them firm! Often they a too soft.
You can personalise your ramen with extra toppings which include: ma-yu (a charred black garlic sauce), karamiso (a spicy red miso paste), extra nori or a hanjuku egg. We both added an egg which at £2 per egg we thought was a bit steep but we couldn’t resist!
The broth at Kanada-Ya is so silky. That’s the best way I can think to describe it. It is beautifully rich, intense and comforting and basically a hug in a bowl. The broth is moreish and whilst I was sad when I got to the end of my bowl I knew I couldn’t have another mouthful at the same time. I only ate half my egg because I favoured the broth so much and I just couldn’t fit it in.
We also ordered a side of Karaage, Japanese fried chicken served with house mayo. We did not need this at all with the big bowl of ramen but I’m so glad we did. The bite-size pieces of chicken were still moist inside whilst retaining the crispiest of coatings. A squeeze of lime and dip of mayo and we quickly made our way through them all!
This is definite comfort food. The broth here at Kanada-Ya is the silkiest and tastiest I have tried, but it is on the expensive side in my opinion. It cost just over £40 for two bowls of ramen, one side and two beers. In hindsight I definitely didn’t need the egg at £2 as the ramen is perfectly filling on it’s own. However, it is really very good tonkostu ramen. And the perfect spot to escape the bustle and enjoy a steaming bowl of ramen.
Where is your favourite place in London to enjoy a bowl of Ramen? Is there anywhere else I need to try!?
3 Panton Street