In Japan, the perfect end to a boozy night out is a steaming bowl of noodle soup filled with roast pork slices, marinated soft-boiled eggs, bean sprouts and spring onions. It might sound healthy, but it ain’t – most ramen contains a hefty shot of animal fat.
This noodle dish’s status as the Japanese version of greasy, late-night kebabs isn’t lost on Bone Daddies’ chef-proprietor Ross Shonhan. The ramen at his new diner is big and bad, but in the best possible way. Owing as much to New York’s ramen craze as it does to Japan, Bone Daddies exudes a gutsy, rock ‘n’ roll machismo – echoing the Big Apple’s noodle soup trend, which was largely sparked by David Chang‘s acclaimed restaurantMomofuku Noodle Bar.
Tonkotsu, a variety of ramen made with long-simmered bone broth (20 hours in this case), had a flavour so intense it was reminiscent of a Sunday roast marbled with lip-smacking pork fat. You can request an extra pipette-full of fat for 50p if you want it, but that’s definitely not for the faint hearted.
Testament to this soup’s Chinese – not Japanese – roots, Bone Daddies also serves sesame-rich tantanmen, or dan dan noodles as the Sichuanese version is known, topped with a slick of chilli oil, a healthy portion of fried minced pork and pork slices.
The dishes here may be seriously butch, but not without refinement. While the noodles give a nod to New York, Shonhan’s time at Nobu and Zuma also seems to have had an influence on the East-meets-West style of the dishes. For example, a ‘snack’ of boiled European globe artichokes came with a mayonnaise dip infused with yuzukosho (a Japanese citrus and chilli pepper condiment), while the deep-fried softshell crab is served with a punchy green chilli sauce.
The drinks list includes a decent range of shochu (traditional Japanese ‘vodkas’) and Japanese whiskies, as well as sakes and oriental cocktails.
The flavours are bold; the dining room is tightly packed; the staff are friendly – Bone Daddies is a whole lot of fun as long as you don’t mind shouting over the blaring rock music on the sound system.