Wednesday 11 July 2012


Before Tonkotsu came into fruition the proprietors have already done their R&D and the ‘guinea pig thing’ with friends and bloggers. The general consensus, especially the latter, suggested that Tonkotsu are on to a winner! So, no excuses for any teething problems I’d say.

My thoughts-
Chicken Karaage 

Greasy chicken pieces callously fried with the blandest coating imaginable. If Tonkotsu were using free-range birds then they’ve obviously mastered the art of how to make any chicken taste resolutely like the battery variety. It was Frank Chickens frankly poor and unnecessarily expensive
Oinky Gyoza

Woefully under seasoned and in need of immediate troubleshooting.

Have you ever wondered why pork remains pink when presented before your eyes?

a) When it is undercooked.
b) When it is Iberico pork, because God said it was ok.
c) When it is cooked from frozen.

The answer for the above pic is c.

Tonkotsu fell short with their Karaage and Gyoza, they need to take a leaf out of the below-

If one’s not too fussed about food being reheated in microwave ovens then Arigato (the Japanese supermarket on Brewer Street) knows a thing or two about dishing out tasty snacks at bargain prices. £2.40 for 5 pieces of deep-fried chicken (always brown meat and never the sacrilegious white) and likewise for a pack of the most passable pork dumplings (and never served pink). 
Rank amateurs, they are certainly not.

The ramen-

 The Tokyo Spicy.
I think it’s fair to say that we’ve all accepted that Japanese curries are devoid of any red-hot chillies. The above bowl of noodles, faithful to the said curry, possessed a similar Scoville rating of nearly no significant heat either. The condiment of chilli oil provided was toddler fodder and hopelessly mild as well.
That said, the ramen itself was rather good (i.e. the bite was there) and the stock was seriously well concocted.

The Tonkotsu
Like the Tokyo Spicy, these guys have perfected the soup stock. The entire bowl tasted quite delicious and that included vacuuming the last julienne of shinachiku (bamboo shoot). 
But my qualm lies with its price. Eleven quid for a not substantial bowl of noodles is taking the proverbial p*ss!

Whereas, MSG withstanding, this generous bowl of noodle heaven was only £5.50!

Or put the scrooge hat on-

Get yourself a 39p packet of instant noodles…

 …garnish at will and reap the rewards. 
The above serving was only a fifth of the cost of what Tonkotsu charges for their effort.

So thumbs down for Tonkotsu and besides, if I'm hankering after better bowl of ramen in London, I would come here instead.

63 Dean Street
London W1D 4QG


Anonymous said...

Hey, Sorry you didn't enjoy it. From the pics it looks like a while since you went and we've been working to perfect things.
For the record, our gyoza have never been frozen. Under-seasoned maybe (this has been dealt with), but not frozen.

Mzungu said...


It sounds as if you went during their first week, when they were doing a soft opening, as the normal bowl of noodles is £11.
They had major problems that week and the food was pretty naff to say the least, am going to give it a few more weeks before I go back to see how they are fairing now.
Agree with you on Ittenbari.

arthurmauk said...

I went during the soft opening and everything was so bad that I didn't bother coming back, even with the 50% off. I didn't even think the ramen was passable as you did.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog but showing instant ramen made me gag! Surely it's not that bad!? I have fear of instant ramen from my roommate in NY cooking them inside my kettle! Hehe...