30-31 Peter Street, W1F OAR
In the heart of Soho, opposite Supreme. Easy to access at all hours – a good thing since it’s open ‘til late from Tuesday to Saturday.
Wholeheartedly casual (which is refreshing, as head chef Ross Shonhan is ex-Zuma and Nobu), this feels very much like a neighbourhood hang for those in-the-know. Music and décor is exclusively ‘50s rockabilly and prices are great. It feels like the kind of place where a Murakami protagonist would hang out, Asahi in hand.
The menu’s simplicity is attractive. Order your ramen (which comes with noodles, bamboo, bean sprouts and the imperative “half-hard-boiled” egg) and add extras if you so wish, like corn, bok choi, chili ground pork/chicken and the “fat pipette” for extra flavour (though you don’t need it). We had the Tonkotsu – cha siu pork and spring onion in a 20-hour pork bone broth – and the Tantanmen, a sesame, chilli, pork mince and bok choy mix in pork broth. Both were heavier than anticipated, which is just what we needed on a cold night, and full of intricate flavourings. The Tantanmen’s spiciness was a slow burner and the Tonkotsu’s sweet and salty combo was very moreish. Check out the snack section for a few classic faves: we tried the yellowtail sashimi, which was fresh and cutting, and the soft-shell crab with a spicy lime sauce. We were also tempted by the fried chicken (points for on-trendiness). Stick to the Asahi Super Creamy Head for drinks, or go for something harder like a sake, shochu or cocktail. The Maiken-Me (shochu, ume shu, watermelon and salt) also looked delicious.
Relaxed and effortless. People eat around high tables on stools, walls are covered in a Japanese rock ‘n’ roll collage and shelves display vintage sake bottles and pickles in jars. We especially liked the ramen kits on every table, including extra garlic (and crusher), a sesame seed cruncher and soy.
Late night noodle love with a pinch of rock ‘n’ roll for the Soho set.