This Japanese noodle in broth dish is so popular in Japan that there are a whopping 24 museums dedicated to the stuff and any number of blogs, apps and even pop songs about it. The New York food scene has been onto it for some time, but up until last year it was pretty hard to get a decent bowl in London. Thanks to a spate of decent openings, though, it’s fair to say that ramen was one of the hot trends of 2012, and it’s not over yet. One of our favourites, Shoryu, which specialises in the long-simmered bone broth variety known as tonkotsu has just opened not one, but two new branches in central London. Shoryu Express is a temporary (open until September), self-service affair on the former site of the Japan Centre’s Toku restaurant, while Shoryu Soho is a permanent spot with a more restaurant-y feel than the canteen-like original. In the Soho branch you can expect the same range of flavoursome noodle soups, steamed hirata buns stuffed with juicy pork slices, plus a range of cold summer noodle dishes with cooling gingered broths and perfectly al dente noodles.
Also worth watching out for this summer are the second branch of Tonkotsu which will be opening in E8 in the next few weeks, and the second opening by Ross Shonhan and the team at rockster ramen joint Bone Daddies – Flesh and Buns – which opens in Covent Garden on August 8.
As for the long awaited Nanban from MasterChef 2011 winner Tim Andersen, we’re still waiting for news, but in the meantime you can find out about all of his pop-up activity on twitter – @NanbanLondon.