The Best Ramen Restaurants In London

It's Japan's favourite dish - these restaurants and it'll be yours, too

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When it comes to ramen, we British have been slow burners, taking our time to come to terms with a cuisine that is considered high culinary art in its native Japan - where chefs dedicate their lives in noble pursuit of the perfect bowl.

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Simple, sociable and full of variety, a fresh wave of London ramen bars are now indulging our appetite for handmade noodles, slow cooked broth and that inimitable Umami sensation (sweet, salty and delicious... or something like that).

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In honour of your (and our) latest dining-out obsession, we've rounded up the city's best ramen shops; each promising their own time-honoured take on Japan's national dish.

Oishī!*

*That means delicious in Japanese.

Anyway...

Kanada-Ya

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A cult ramen stop that has worshippers queueing out the door on a daily basis (of course you can't book a table!), Kanada-Ya is brightly-lit, tightly-packed and famous for its signature Tonkotusu (pork bone broth) ramen.

How is it made you ask? Well, here we go: pork bones are left to simmer for 18 hours to create a smooth, savoury broth, which is then the base for wheat noodles, cooked to your preference, topped off with slices of pork belly, beansprouts and a soft boiled egg.

You won't regret the queue, is what we're saying.

Kanada-Ya, 64 St Giles High St, WC2H 8LE

Koi Ramen Bar

A very modern (and fashionable) success story, Koi began its life as a humble Brixton pop-up, before being forced to move to more permanent surrounding at Pop Brixton thanks its wildly popular take on Tonkotsu ramen.

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Beautiful in its simplicity, Koi offers you just two options: pork, or veggie, both executed to clean perfection and with enough confidence that you won't even begin to question the minuscule menu.

Koi Ramen Bar, 49 Brixton Station Rd, Brixton, SW9 8PQ

Shoryu Ramen

Shoryu Ramen

Specialising in Hakata Tonkotsu, a style that originated on the southern island of Kyushu, Shoryu's thick pork broth is broiled for at least 12 hours and the ramen noodles are thin, straight and very, very tasty.

As well as ramen, Shoryu offers up homemade steamed hirata buns stuffed with pork and chili. And there's even a Sake sommelier on hand, in case you want to dabble with Japan's signature grain alcohol.

Just be careful, that stuff is strong.

Shoryu Ramen, 9 Regent St, St. James', SW1Y 4LR

Tonkotsu East

Tonkotsu

One of the first ramen joints to make its way east, Tonkotsu's Haggerston outpost is a trendy, exposed-brick and white-tiled emporium of delicious Japanese cuisine and good 'vibes' (they say stuff like that over in east London).

Fiercely proud of their recipe, Tonkotsu's ramen-making machine stands at the back of the restaurant in full, glorious view. A testament to their love and obsession when it comes to the noodle.

Go for the ramen; stay for the whisky bar that features more than 60 varieties.

Tonkotsu, 1a Dunston St, E8 4EB

Nanban

A 'Japanese soul food' spot opened by former Masterchef winner Tim Anderson, Nanban doesn't just deal in ramen - with small plates, Asian fried chicken and tripe stir fry (don't be scared) all on the menu - a point that doesn't detract from its take on bone broth and noodles.

Opt for the Tsukemen: a deconstructed ramen, if you will, where the noodles and toppings are served separately from the broth, allowing you to dip and pick as you please.

Nanban, 426 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, SW9 8LF