Saturday, 8 October 2016

New opening: Tonkotsu

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.

So, I'm sure it's good ramen but ramen is not for me. I do wish I had gone for the Prawn Katsu Curry or even just some Katsu Prawns on their own. The prawns were huge and looked perfectly battered.

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. 


Sophie said...

Ah I Love Ramen but your boyfriend is of the same opinion as you. I've yet to try the London branch of Tonkotsu.
A Story of a Girl

Kezzie said...

I'm so surprised that you hadn't tried Ramen. I do know what you mean about the blandness although I do like Ramen. The chicken looks amazing!!

Christopher Woods said...

Did they offer free second helpings of ramen? That's a pretty standard practise for good ramen joints and lets you make the most of your soup - shame on them if not.

Helen said...

Hi Chris,
I'm not sure but I wasn't particularly interested in having more- it's just not for me.