I haven't ever eaten in the Selfridge's Food Hall for some reason. There's a couple of places I always mean to go to but just never have, probably because I'm not generally in the area at lunch or dinner.
My first opportunity came when I went to try new opening Tonkotsu. It's a London Ramen bar that has just set up shop in Birmingham. It transpired that they've opened in the location of something very similar, so all the way through the meal I could hear customers asking for things that aren't on the menu and the staff patiently explaining, "it's a different restaurant now."
Naturally, Hitachino Nest was the drinks order, alongside some tap water.
Although Tonkotsu is famous for its ramen, I'd heard amazing things about the Chicken Karrage. A tasty fried chicken dish, perfect to share. I squeezed the lemon all over it and added Tonsotsu's 'Eat the bits' chilli dressing. I loved this and wish I'd tried some more sides too.
Onto the Ramen. I had the Tonkotsu (pork stock and slices of pork belly) while Edd chose the Tokyo ramen (soy sauce stock and marinaded pork belly).
I've never had ramen before, nor has Edd. It was an interesting experience. The stock was an interesting silky texture. I preferred the stock in Edd's ramen but I enjoyed my meat more. We both loved the tea stained egg.
I'll be honest, I'm not won over by ramen. Once I'd got through the tasty meat and egg I was left with masses of noodles and soup. Tasty noodles and soup but it got a bit boring. I did enjoy dipping my chicken into the broth though. I felt I wanted some crunch from some more vegetables.
I'm glad I've had the experience and now know ramen is not a dish I enjoy (just as I tend to avoid creamy pasta dishes). I enjoyed sitting at the counter and everything else I saw looked delicious. I'd certainly go back for chicken and prawns! I felt the price was average for the style of food (around £11 for ramen, side dishes around £5) and it's certainly proving to be very popular.
Tonkotsu, Selfridges, Birmingham
Photos by Helen and Edd
Food and drink were complimentary for review purposes.