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These funky (and noisy) ‘rock ’n’ roll ramen’ bars shook up the capital’s Japanese fast-food scene when the first outlet opened in Soho 11 years ago, spawning a small group now reaching as far as Richmond. Their “super ramen” is served with 20-hour pork bone broth cooked these days at a kitchen on Bermondsey’s ‘beer mile’. But the business has not been immune to the industry’s difficulties: a Putney spin-off only lasted a year before closing, and a long-touted outlet in the old Eurostar terminal at Waterloo has yet to eventuate.
This ten-year-old rock ’n’ roll ramen concept is in expansion mode at the moment, having pushed into the southwestern suburbs with openings in Richmond and Putney in recent years, followed by High Street Ken and the former Eurostar terminal at Waterloo station in 2022. They “still do a very fine bowl of tonkotsu”, and the classic rock soundtrack stays the same.
“Super ramen” constitutes “a top meal at a great price” at these Japanese-style fast-food bars. In early 2021, the brand opened on Putney High Street in a former branch of Byron and later announced ‘Wing Daddies’ (a virtual chicken wing delivery option at all its London stores).
“Incredibly filling bowls of ramen” – backed up by “interesting menus of delicious food, served quickly with a smile” – attract an enthusiastic crowd to this small chain of hip Japanese-style fast-food bars, although feedback supports the view that “the original in Soho is by far the best”. The founder, Aussie-born, Nobu-trained chef Ross Shonhan, has spun off a series of “Asian-fusion” concepts – Flesh & Buns, Shack-Fuyu and his latest, Poke-Don.
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