Shoryu | Buns and Ramen

Situated in a quiet street in Soho, near Chinatown, lies Shoryu Ramen – now one of six London locations. A chain of Japenese restaurants who aim to bring the more hearty tonkotsu to London. The menu here is inspired by the cuisines in the south of Japan, and mainly focused around Hakata tonkotsu ramen – a thick, rich, white pork soup served with thin ramen noodles.

I’d heard a lot of great thing about Shoryu before Serena and I went, and their set menu definitely persuaded me to book here instead of other ramen joints in the West-End (two couses and a cocktail for £22).

To start, the buns. A chicken karaage for me, and a Halloumi and shimeji mushroom for Serena. The ratio of filling to pillowy goodness was spot on, and when fried chicken is never not delicious!?

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Just as we finished devouring our buns, steaming bowls of noodles arrived in front of us. We both opted for their famous tonkotsu, which is a 12-hour pork broth, topped with char siu barbecue pork belly, nitamago egg, kikurago mushrooms, spring onions, seasame seeds, ginger and nori seaweed. Neither of us had any problems inhaling it… the broth was rich and creamy, the noodles al dente, and the pork tender and juicy.

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Two buns, two bowls of ramen, and two hour laters we rolled out of Shoryu feeling extremely full but very satisfied. It’s comfort food at it’s best, more please.

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Shoryu Ramen, 3 Denman St, Soho, London W1D 7HA

 

We almost escaped the Escape Rooms

I booked the Escape Rooms back in September for Scott’s birthday (that’s the problem with December birthdays as it means you have to book months in advance). It’s a five minute walk from London Bridge station, and it’s a real-life escape game where you’re locked inside a themed room where you and your team need to solve a series of puzzles, riddles and hints in order to escape within 60 minutes.

They recommend Room 33 for four people, yet Scott and I felt up to the challenge. I can honestly say we were gutted when we found out that we were only 30 seconds over the time limit. After reading reviews afterwards, most said this room was for more experienced players, so I’m really chuffed at our time and effort.

All the rooms are themed: Room 33 is set in 1675 China, and you’re lost one of the emperor’s prized processions, a golden vase. You and your team stumble upon a time machine where you’ll travel to Room 33 of the British Museum and you’ll need to find the vase and bring it back to the emperor.

I found it odd that one of the tasks is a physical one (you have to avoid lasers and if you hit them you’ll receive a time penalty), and a smaller group definitely helps with this.

I cannot express how much fun we had, Scott and I are dying to go back and try the Pharaoh’s Chamber!

 

Brunch in London | Where to Find the Best Brunches

I seriously love brunch – ask me what I’m doing on the weekend and I can guarantee you I can be found in a café or restaurant eating eggs benedict or avocado toast, sipping on a cappuccino (or a glass of prosecco).

This was a hard post to put together and I’ve been planning something like this for months. I’ve spilt the post up into areas to help make scouting out the top brunch places in London a little easier.

Central London

Ever since Scott took me to Roka for my birthday, I’ve been dying to head back to try their brunch menu. Now, don’t be expecting traditional brunch dishes and the menu is generally considered rather expensive. But their bottomless brunch is mad good value for money at £39 for 12 courses or £55 for unlimited Proesecco. It also runs until 8pm on the weekend so it’s not even strictly brunch….

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Finding decent pancakes in London is difficult – i’m not talking about crepes, I’m talking about delicious mounds of buttermilk covered in maple syrup. Luckily, Granger and Co nail it. They’re not called pancakes, but referred to as hotcakes (but they’re basically the same thing). They’re fluffy and light, and served with ricotta which undercuts the sugaryness of maple syrup and honeycomb butter. Sod your waistline and order yourself a plate of these.

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I’ve only recently found out at Ping Pong’s Lazy Sunday Brunches and it’s only £25 for unlimited dim sum and bottomless bellinis. For me, the best dish on the menu is the char sui bun which are soft, fluffy buns filled with a sticky honey barbecued pork.

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North London

As a North Londoner narrowing down this section has been seriously difficult. There’s so many good places to choose from. I’m going to start this part by mentioning Fink’s Salt and Sweet. It’s a little bit out of the way for your average punter, a 10 minute stroll from Finsbury Park station, but I promise you, it’s worth it. Their avocado toast is some of the best I’ve had and it’s such good value for money.

finks brunch

Now, you can’t write a best brunch post without mentioning Caravan. There are no reservations and if this were any other restaurant, I wouldn’t bother, but for this quality of coffee and food, I’ll definitely wait. On my last visit I opted for the sweet potato and cumin waffle. The cucumber raita was brilliantly whipped and the mango and coconut added that desired sweetness.

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Most of the places I’ve featured so far have mentioned high calorie dishes. If you’re wanting something a bit lighter then The Grain Store needs to be on your hit list. It’s mainly a vegetarian restaurant and has some vegan options too.

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East London

Broadgate Circle has now turned into a hub for foodies and if you’re looking for a very special brunch, try Beany Green. They showcase bold, healthy food. Think: coconut, quinoa, chia and flaxseed porridge served with fresh berries and gluten-free broccoli and corn fritters served with avocado, eggs and and home-made chilli pesto. My favourite is the avocado toast served on fermented activated charcoal sourdough.

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For an Indian inspired brunch, try Dishoom. Get the egg naan roll, where the naan comes wrapped around two fired eggs, chilli jam, cream cheese and spicy green herbs. Plus, their chai tea is bottomless!

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The city can be eerily quiet on the weekend, but at The Modern Pantry it’s a different story. The brunch menu includes dishes like a coconut and cassava waffle served with a rhubarb & lemongrass compote. You won’t regret ordering the tea smoked salmon with two poached eggs, english muffins, yuzu hollandaise and hazelnut and macadamia dukkah.

Modern pantry

South London

My knowledge of anything south of the river is a little rusty but after a few taste tests, I think I’ve managed to come up with a good selection. Now, a disused carpark might not sound the most glamorous place to go for brunch, but the Bermondsey Yard Cafe is the perfect spot for Sunday brunch. I can’t resist ordering their avocado and teriyaki salmon with picked chilli on sourdough.

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Brickwood in Clapham offers a brunch menu with refreshing tweaks to old classics. Their corn fitters are served with a beetroot creme fraiche and roasted vegetables. If you’re wanting to indulge try their warm, homemade banana bread topped with a whipped espresso. butter.

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Foxlow holds its own among Balham’s many brunch spot. It’s the sister restaurant of Hawksmoor so it’s unsurprising that brunch here is comforting and meaty. Get the fried chicken which for brunch it’s served with an egg and croissant waffle.

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West London

Since Scott moved to West London, I’ve been dying to check out The Parlour in Kensal Green. We’re finally heading there for dinner this week, and it’s decorated in what I can only describe it as ‘homely-industrial’ furnishings. You get free reign on yesterdays bread station so I can guarantee you that you’ll walk out of here happy.

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The Good Life Eatery is exactly was it says on the tin. Think: Acai bowls and poached eggs served with quinoa, kale, sweet potatoes and cashew cream.  This place proves that eating healthy can actually be damn tasty too.

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Farm Girl is a all-day breakfast cafe on Portobello Road. I’ve  been following them on Instagram for a while now, and their berry pancakes and rose lattes look good enough to make anyone drool.

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I hope this post has introduced you to or helped you plan any future brunch visits to London. There’s a lot of choice so sadly I couldn’t squeeze them all in (in fear of making it too jam packed), but please so pop your suggestions down below.