Tonkotsu has been the hot place for London bloggers since it opened last summer – it has received a whopping 51 reviews. As is the trend these days, they take no reservations and have a stripped down menu that concentrates on ramen and gyoza (Japanese dumplings). Ramen is a Japanese broth which uses pork stock as a base (Tonkotsu apparently means “pork bones” in Japanese) then adding noodles and lots of other bits and bobs like bamboo shoots, egg or pak choi. There are 5 Ramen on the menu (£9-11) with one cold, chicken, tomato, pea and pea shoot based dish that can be transformed into a veggie dish on request.
I opted for the Tonkotsu which included pork belly, egg, bamboo shoots and bean sprouts. The pork belly was of varying quality and a bit too fatty, however the noodles were fantastic – light, sticky and certainly hand-pulled. The quality of the stock has been discussed on quite a few blogs and I would tend to agree with most of the comments I have read: the stock was a tad thin and tasted as if it had been watered down with chicken stock. Good pork stock should be thick and gelatinous, but the Tonkotsu broth was weak and runny.
Service: The waiting staff were mostly antipodean on our visit; they were a tad brusque but generally efficient.
Atmosphere: It isn’t a very warm or comfortable setting and is not really a place to linger after your meal.
Verdict: Great noodles but their pork stock needs some work.