Review of 'Kanada-Ya London'

When I visited Ippudo London last year as I was leaving I noticed a queue at another shop across the road - Kanada-Ya. Being again in the area I decided to visit the smaller brother. The tiny restaurant on the corner has very tight seating for only 20 people, at shared tables, with a small open kitchen visible at the back where two chefs are cooking their hearts out. I was lucky when I visited in that there was a queue but because I was by myself I only had to wait a few minutes before they squeezed me in at a table with seven others…none of which seemed to speaking English. Hurray!

I was given a menu to look at, only a few pages - One with food consisting largely of ramen (a style of wheat noodles normally found in square freeze-dried packets in supermarkets…these are a step WAY above those) with a few side dishes, only, really - there was some sushi but, honestly, give that a miss…you come here for ramen, and another page with drink that included soft drinks, tea and a couple of Japanese beers. Ramen is what you come here for so I had the Tonkatsu special (“8-hour pork bone broth, secret sauce, hand pulled noodles, chashu, pork, wood ear fungus, nori and spring onion”) at £10.50. You are asked what “hardness” you want the noodles (indicating how long they are cooked), I chose “hard” but there is also “very hard”, “regular” or “soft”. The broth was absolutely incredible, so rich and full it was like drinking liquid pork (ok, a bit trite, but true!). The three slices of pork on the side were gorgeously tender almost overwhelmed by the full flavour of the broth. I was happy to find “Genmaicha” tea on the menu (£2.20) which I find a lot nicer than the grassy matcha green tea, Genmaicha being lighter and almost wheat-y.

Seeing what people were eating around me (it was hard NOT to see them!) I also ordered the chicken kara-age (£4) - Chicken marinaded in sake then deep fried in small pieces and served with mayonaise. This was a bit disappointed with the lack of flavour that I would normally expect. This was just fried chicken with mayo. It needs the strong sweet hit of the sake…

If you are looking for amazingly authentic, quality, ramen, look no further than Kanada-Ya. It is not fancy and has only very limited options but I will most definitely be back. Be prepared to queue…but it is worth it!

Rating:

Review Date: 2016-09-17


Cuisine: Japanese (Noodle Bar)

Address: 64 St. Giles High Street, London WC2H 8LE ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE Tottenham Court Road

Location: London (England) - Soho

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Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7240 0232

URL: http://www.kanada-ya.com/