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!?

shoryu ramen

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

 

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Gousto | Recipe subscription box review

As much as I love cooking, I hate coming up with a meal plan for the week. I’m a creature of habit and every week I’ll eat risotto, a quinoa salad with salmon, and a pad thai. So last week I decided to trial Gousto.

Imagine having someone else sort out your weekly shop and deliver it right to your door, and all you have to do is cook it! There’s tonnes of recipe box subscription services out there – and that’s hardly surprising as they’re such a great concept because they’re perfect for busy people who still want to eat well. AND they’ll get you out of your cooking rut in no time.  So what makes Gousto different?

  • You can choose up to four unique recipes
  • There’s a new menu every week (and there’s tonnes of recipes online)
  • The menu is spilt into: quick & easy, discover, veggie, low calorie and family friendly
  • You can pick the delivery date and how frequently you’d like it
  • The vegetables are organic and seasonal, and the meat and fish are responsibly sourced

gousto

My Gousto box arrived last Monday morning with plenty of ice packs to keep the food chilled along with a list of the ingredients and three meal cards. The meals are all written up on colourful recipe cards with a photographs to help guide you.

I shared the meals with my mum and we opted for all Asian inspired dishes…

Chicken katsu curry

Indonesian veggie nasi goreng

Thai crab rice

gousto katsu curry 2

So, all the meals I choose all included rice and only the katsu curry came with wholegrain rice. Personally I would love it if you could pick your ‘carb’ type as I would have opted for wholegrain for all my meals. The same goes with their pasta dishes, as in the past I’ve had their spicy haddock linguine and if I could have picked wholegrain pasta, I would have. My only other small niggle with Gousto is that the timings can be off as it does not take 8 minutes to pan fry a plump chicken breast.

All my meals came with plenty of veggies and I also loved that on the recipe cards they had the calorie breakdowns. Which is so handy for me as I could  easily add them to My Fitness Pal.

gousto crab rice 2

All the recipes I tested were delicious and packed full of flavour (they don’t skimp on herbs, spices and other seasonings) – and not to mention that they were dead easy to make. All your past recipes can be found on the MyGousto section on their website. Even if you don’t want to sign up to Gousto, you can get a handful of their recipes online.

I won’t lie, it’s expensive, but you’re paying for the convenience and to many people, myself included, value that a lot. Gousto may not be the best option for veggies as you pay the same as meat eaters. My vegetarian meal  however went so much further than the ones with meat or fish, the portion was huge in comparison, so it may not be quite such bad value as it sounds.

gousto nasi goreng

If you want to order a box from Gousto click here, where you’ll get a £25 off your first order if you use my code ANNA221576. If you opt for the 3 meal box it will only cost £9.99! Mad value for money.

 

 

Oodles of Noodles at Bone Daddies

Ramen, it’s basically soup on  steroids. And ramen bars in London are 10 a penny with Bone Daddies spawning like rabbits. It’s a unstoppable trend and I for one am welcoming with open arms. Sometimes all you need is a huge, comforting bowl of soup filled to the brim with noodles, a delicious homemade broth and topped with a tender joint of meat.

Bone Daddies are the type of place which plays old school rock ‘n’ roll whilst you slurp on oodles of noodles. I headed to their outpost in Old Street with a couple of girl friends after work one evening. It’s got a killer vibe; the decor is sleek and diners sit along high communal tables.

Bone Daddies2

Pots of the usual ramen accompaniments litter the tables – garlic, sesame seeds, vinegar and chilli paste. Oh, and there’s also the not so usual like a jar crammed full of hairbands and plastic bibs. How thoughtful, because to really enjoy the sexy bowls of ramen that Bone Daddies serve, you need to slurp.

Bone Daddies

I dived into the Tonkotsu ramen  and the broth used is made by extracting pork essence for over 20 hours. It also comes with pork belly, thin noodles, spring onions, bamboo, beansprouts and an soy egg. A word of advice? Only come here on an empty stomach.

Bone Daddies3

That said, I couldn’t resist some mochi, which are tiny mounds of ice-cream with a shell of rice flour. We opted for a selection of salted caramel, banana, chocolate and green tea. The majority of these little balls were too sweet for my taste, but I thoroughly enjoyed the flavour which was packed in the green tea mochi – it had that bitter matcha taste which I adore.

Bone Daddies4

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Bone Daddies, The Bower, 211 Old St, London EC1V 9NV

Poké and Matcha at Tombo, Soho

A while ago I visited Tombo in South Kensington (and you can read my review here). I’ve been eagerly awaiting for their second branch in Soho to open.

It’s a Poké and Matcha Bar – they’ve combined two of my favourite things so stepping into their cafe last week was like stepping into a little piece of paradise.

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To get you up to speed, poké is a raw fish salad from Hawaii and it’s being described like sushi in a bowl. The bar serves a range of poké made from salmon, tuna, prawn, chicken, avocado, and edamame, served over black and white rice or courgette noodles. You can order straight from the menu or customise it.

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I opted for their Salmon Avo Lux bowl with rice, and Scott went for Chicken Teriyaki with Courgette Noodles – both delicious! It’s the perfect place to grab a healthy lunch.

If you want to add a hint of naughtiness they also offer matcha brownies, matcha soft serve, and other matcha themed desserts.

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Tombo, 28 D’Arblay St, London W1F 8EW

tombo soho

I’m feeling twenty-two: Birthday Celebrations at Roka Aldwych

This week I celebrated my Taylor Swift birthday, and Scott treated me to such a lovely day out in London – we pretty much spent the whole day eating, exploring and drinking.

 

I’m incredibility lucky to get a bonus ‘holi-birthday’ from work (one of the many perks of working at Goodman Masson). We started my day at my family home and my mum had made my favourite brunch, avocado toast – and of course cake. After all, calories don’t count of your birthday right?

 

scott and i

 

Scott and I headed into London and hit the Leicester Square box office, scoring ourselves tickets for a matinee performance of Kinky Boots.
It’s one of my all time favourite movies and the performance did not disappoint. It’s all about accepting people for who they are and not making judgement about people before you get to know them – A message that everyone needs to encompass.

 

kinky boots

 

After the show Scott and I went to Roka in Aldywch. If you’re anything like me and adore Japanese food then you absolutely must go. Everything is perfectly executed, including the rustic yet contemporary interior – it’s definitely a special occasion sort of place.

 

roka

 

We went for one of their tasting menus, which is comprised of small plates and is perfect for sharing. I love this concept as it means you can have a bit of everything and you don’t need to be as decisive.

 

sushi

 

Each plate came on at a time, meaning we could really appreciate them. The sashimi was incredible and it was served on a bed of ice – it melted in your mouth and was sliced so finely.

 

dumplings

 

Now, I’m a HUGE fan of dumplings and we were served the black cod, crab and crayfish dumplings which were delicious.

 

salad
maki

 

The main course options are in no way budget items. Scott and I choice the pork lion and the black cod marinated in miso. Both were delightful in their own ways – though the fish was incredibility hard to eat with chopsticks.

 

pork
cod

 

It’s not often that I have dessert, I’m much more of a savoury/starter type-of-girl. I can’t remember what I ordered but it came with green-tea meringue and a sesame seed ice-cream.

 

birthday cake

 

I honestly can’t remember Roka Alydwch enough – if you’re wanting to treat that speical someone, take them here.

 

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Roka Alydwch, 71 Aldwych, London WC2B 4HN

 

cheesecake

 

Tombo: Sushi and Matcha Cafe

Japanese food is definitely one of my favourite cuisines, so when Serena presented me with the opportunity presented to visit Tombo, I jumped at the chance.

It’s situated in South Kensington and tucked away from the hustle and bustle from the tube station. It labels itself as ‘London’s first authentic Japanese cafe and delicatessen’ and offers a Japanese twist on traditional European delicatessen dishes (and the majority have the addition of Matcha). Tombo is incredibility sleek  and welcoming, and you can choose to either sit by the large front window and watch the world go by, or dine in the more relaxed restaurant at the rear of the cafe.

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They pride themselves on creating healthy dishes using top quality ingredients. They do this through their healthy six which comprises of seaweed, miso, tofu, multigrain rice, seasame seeds and matcha. It’s perfect for someone who doesn’t want to feel guilty for over-indulging in this food paradise.

You can’t really go wrong with what you order. Serena ordered a eclectic mix of salmon avocado maki, prawn tempura temaki, and a hijiki seaweed salad, whereas I went for the salmon sashimi don. My dish was served in a bowl and at the bottom was a combined of rice and mixed black rice, and then it was topped with salmon sashimi, salmon tartare, salmon roe and avocado. We washed our dishes down with a iced matcha latte.

tombo food 2

Now you can’t go to Tombo and not get desert – their menu is an incredible, and it’s the sort of the menu which makes it hard to decide what to have. We ended up going to the Matcha soft-serve and the flavours were perfect with an earthy-sweetness. If you ever visit Tombo, make sure you leave room for pudding because it’s definitely a highlight.

food icecream

I was overjoyed when I discovered a second Tombo is opening in Soho this summer as I no longer have to trek to the other side of London to get my matcha fix.

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Tombo, 29 Thurloe Pl, London SW7 2HQ, nearest tube South Kensington