When you think of Japanese food more often or not images of sushi, sashimi and other raw fishy delights tend to come to mind. However, this is not all that the Japanese specialise in… Alongside the well-known and Western favourite of Katsu Curry, Japan has imported an array of flavour in the form of a delicious warm noodle hugging broth known as Ramen.
Shoryu Ramen arrived in Manchester a few months ago due to expansion after the popularity of its London branches. The headliner of the menu is the Tonkatsu (rich 12-hour pork broth ramen topped with char siu barbecue pork belly, nitamago egg, kikurage mushrooms, spring onion, sesame, ginger, nori seaweed). They also offer different varieties and even a fully vegetarian Tofu version with a Konbu and Shitake broth.
Now the prospect of trying this Ramen already excited me enough but after seeing the variety of sides; including pork buns, mixed tempura and Yakitori skewers I was even more eager for my visit.
Greeted by friendly staff, an eclectic dong from the small gong by the front entrance and community enhancing seating in which there were long high tables for many different groups to sit at, I knew i would be in for a nice experience.
Now, I do admit that I am a slight ramen novice; so I went with my friend who is somewhat of a mini expert on Asian cuisine. We opted for the Shoryu buns to start; melt in your mouth pork and crispy fried chicken sandwiched within the softest buns we had ever eaten. Followed by a big steamy bowl of ramen each. I opted for the Kimchi Seafood Tonkotsu and my friend chose the Karaka Tan Tan Tonkotsu. Both were delicious and incredibly filling, in fact they may have defeated us slightly as we could not manage the whole bowl (but boy did we try….). The seafood was obviously good quality but in this setting it did not blow me away; so when I return, I will definitely opt for the original pork version, especially after sampling it in the buns and I would add an extra nitamago egg, as this was simply amazing.
Overall, we were both impressed. We enjoyed a reasonably priced and satisfying lunch and experienced friendly service in a well positioned location in Piccadilly gardens. If you want to try something a little bit different, in a relaxed environment, I would recommend trying Shoryu (they are even nice enough to provide you with a very fashionable bib in case of an chopstick fiasco’s…).
Website – https://www.shoryuramen.com/
Location – 1 Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester, M1 1RG