There comes a time when the weather starts to get dark and the cold starts to hit the faces of British folk across the land that there’s only one thing worth queuing for, a hot Japanese broth named ramen.
Not everyone is a fan of the deliciously fragrant yet intensely flavoured soup-like dish but those that are, have probably already visited one of the most popular eateries; Kanada-Ya. I hadn’t because truth be told, the constant queues because of the lack of a reservation policy just wasn’t worth my time. That is, until myself and my sister tried to venture to Bone Daddies, one of my other favourite ramen joints, to find that it was closed for refurbishment (it’s open now though FYI). I have no idea where I’ve been but I really should have known better.
So instead, we trekked through the streets of Soho with our stomachs growling and windswept hair to Kanada-Ya to then be confronted with a queue. Thankfully it was short and diners inside were finishing up at the same time; luck was finally on our side.
To start we decided to share onigiri; rice balls usually formed in a triangular shape, wrapped in nori (seaweed) with an inner filling. In which we opted for salmon.
The salmon onigiri was a little disappointing as the rice was a bit bland, slightly overcooked and although the salmon was soft and wonderfully flavoured, there wasn’t enough of it.
Ladies & gentlemen you probably didn’t hear it here first but I can in fact confirm all those pesky rumours – the ramen is in fact astounding. Everything is exactly how it should be; the runny hanjuku egg, the 20-hour pork broth with layers upon layers of flavour and the firm noodles which surprisingly are far from being bland. It’s a large bowl but somehow I managed to finish every last drop. If there’s any complaints to have, there wasn’t enough pork but I suppose if there had been, I might not finished the dish. Swings and roundabouts…
So yes there will be a queue, yes the restaurant is tiny and you will be cramped but my gosh every single problem you can think about having with Kanada-Ya before dining, melts away as soon as you taste the ramen. Heck if I had been waiting over an hour I still wouldn’t have complained, I’m just glad I didn’t have to.
– Kanada-Ya, Covent Garden