The 90s are back. Ramen is back. But this is post-Wagamama. These are the times of dedicated bars, for ramen is a craft. Of course, ramen migrated to Japan from China, but Bone Daddies comes via the influences of New York – Queen of late night hunger-satisfying pit stops before the long crawl of shame home. A bowl of ramen is the Japanese equivalent of a kebab. The rise in popularity is therefore befitting with the mushrooming of burgers, hot dogs and fried chicken.
When The Food Pot’s brother and his wife came to visit, we wanted to take them out for a meal reminiscent of their hedonistic student days in London. “Remember those 2-for-1 offers at Wagamama?” He said. “Remember when we’d all cram into those sharing benches after a hockey match?”
On that cold January evening we took them to Bone Daddies and the 6.30pm queue had already started. Luckily, we didn’t have to wait for a table to fit a hockey team, but it was a surprise it didn’t take too long for a table of 4, considering how achingly long queues had formed at nearby no-reservation places. It certainly was busy inside, slurp ‘n’ go is probably the ideal mantra to make staff lives easier here.
We started with edamame, fried chicken and soft shell crab, all of which were sound starters. The chicken was crisp and lightly spiced. The crab had a delicate light tempura-like batter and was served with a delicious zingy ginger and green chilli dipping sauce similar to that of a South Indian green chutney. Then we hit the ramen. We tried the Tonkotsu, T22 and the Sweet 3 Miso ramen.
The 20 hour tonkotsu broth was rich and porky as expected, a really thick liquid that swathed around each individual tastebud. In comparison to the tonkotsu that we tried at Tonkotsu London (photos here), as a personal preference, I would opt for the latter on the basis of the broth, but only marginally. Although the bamboo and crispy garlic slices adds more to the dish here and the portion size was more generous.
The Sweet 3 Miso, as the name suggests, was sweeter than the other two dishes. The butter added richness and a savoury note that helped counter the sweetness of the miso broth and corn.
The T22 was bold and flavoursome, not as rich and gelatinous as the tonkotsu, as it’s a soy chicken broth based ramen. The soy added a salty and umami depth of flavour, along with the cock scratchings and seaweed for extra flavour and texture.
With four thumbs up, we all enjoyed Bone Daddies. The portions were of a decent size, the eggs were perfectly cooked with a runny yolk, the toppings for each ramen complimented the base stock well, and best of all, you can adjust your ramen to your liking with soy sauce, freshly pressed garlic, sesame seeds and chilli oil on the table. Price-wise, due to the location and speciality of the ramen bar, unlike Wagamama, you’ll be paying premium for a bowl, however, it won’t put us off our next visit. We highly recommend a trip to Bone Daddies!
31 Peter Street
London W1F 0AR