Tonkotsu – Southwark

Reviewed on May 1st, 2016 by Dina

London is a city where diners are spoilt for choice. Whatever cuisine is fancied, it can be found. Ramen restaurants have been popping up all over, but this was the first time that I had the chance to try it. This was out of pure chance as originally my friend and I had decided to meet at Leon.

Just next door to Leon, Tonkotsu was spotted. It intrigued us with its sign of ramen. As there was no menu displayed on the outside, we had to venture inside to see what the food choices were.

The restaurant was empty and the staff did not mind us taking a few minutes to check out the menu. It was a no brainer decision to stay and have a ramen dinner.

Tonkotsu had enough lighting and had a minimalistic feeling to it. The restaurant was over two levels. Dark wooden furniture, long tables and tables by the window made up the spacious restaurant. A bar was at one end close to the kitchen.

With Tonkotsu and ramen, it’s all about the slow cooked broth and the homemade noodles. There are not many items on the menu but that makes it slightly easier to choose. After placing the order for the vegetarian mushroom ramen, a more interesting soup caught my eye. This was the braised pork belly Tokyo Ramen.

A big bowl of Tokyo Ramen was topped with spring onions. The thin noodles were homemade. Plenty of thick sliced pork belly and noodles with the chicken stock broth made it so moreish. The dish also came with seasoned egg and bamboo shoots. The sweet and salty flavours worked so well.

The classic and famous Tonkotsu Ramen was equally satisfying. The base for this dish was a 16 hour pork broth which was enriched with lardo. Roast pork belly, seasoned egg, noodles, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts and spring onions made up the hearty bowl of ramen. The Tonkotsu Ramen had a creamier broth due to the lardo.

Even though Tonkotsu got busier as the evening went on, it was not noisy. There remained a soft hum of happy diners having bowlfuls of ramen. The atmosphere was tranquil and the staff were not overpowering. They were friendly and attentive.

The opportunity for dessert meant that the Moochi Ice Cream Little Moons was had. Ice cream was encased in a glutinous rice flour coating. All of the flavours, Matcha Green Tea, Mango and Hazelnut, were delicious. The creamy ice cream interior is a contrast to the chewy shell of the moochi.

The ramen dinner at Tonkotsu was really enjoyable. The ramen is on a similar line to Vietnamese Pho but it has its differences. It was wonderful to try out another new cuisine and one that will be had again!

Tonkotsu, 4 Canvey Street, London, SE1 9AN

Rating: ★★★★★

Tonkotsu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoSquare Meal
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Mediterraneo – Kings Cross

Reviewed on March 29th, 2016 by Dina

A weekday evening, a group of friends and a place was already in mind for the evening meal. Unfortunately the Japanese Vegan restaurant that we were going to go to had closed by the time we got there. Luckily for us, just across the road was Mediterraneo and with its lights on, it looked far from closed.

Mediterraneo gave us freshly cooked food. The baked pasta dish of Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni was served piping hot. There was lots of flavour with the spinach and ricotta filling together with a wonderful tomato sauce. It was a heavy but comforting dish.

The staff welcomed us into the restaurant and gave us good service. The dining area was quite big with its wooden tables and a big colourful canvas painting along the back wall. Even though it was late, we were not rushed. Plenty of customers were still coming into the restaurant while we were having our meal.

Mediterraneo, 112 King’s Cross Road, Kings Cross, London, WC1X 9DS

Rating: ★★★½☆

Mediterraneo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Jaz & Jul’s Chocolate House – Angel

Reviewed on February 21st, 2016 by Dina

Head right to the top of Chapel Market, past all the market traders and just when you think you have come to the end, there is Jaz & Jul’s Chocolate House. As it is called a Chocolate House, the expectation was there for it to have a rich sumptuous interior. The inside of this cafe is different to this.

On entering, there were a couple of wooden chairs and tables, a seating area against the back of the shop and a counter displaying the cakes on offer. Unfortunately, even though the cookies and marshmallows were in sealed jars, the cakes, tarts and brownies were all on open display, right by where the customers were queuing to order. There was the quirky chocolate brick wall counter. The music started off low but then got a bit too loud and overpowering.

Onto the hot chocolates, they are made from shavings of chocolate and come as plain or flavoured. Initially, the Orangeytang took my fancy but I was told that they had run out of this one. On recommendation from the friendly staff, the Cinnamon Rose was chosen. It felt like an adventurous choice and I was not sure whether I should have gone for the safe original Madagascar 61% chocolate.

The Cinnamon Rose hot chocolate was divine. It was like a liquid “Turkish Delight”. The rose flavour was delicate, just to my liking and the chocolate was 61% dark chocolate. Instead of soya milk, Jaz & Jul’s Chocolate House serves almond milk. The almond milk worked really well with the rose and cinnamon flavours. The hot chocolate was smooth, very moreish and not heavy. There is also the option of having coconut whipped cream.

There are some interesting twists to the hot chocolates on the menu. The Caramelicious has a lime twist; the Raspberry Dream has lavender with the berries; the Quite White has peppercorns with white chocolate. The drinking chocolates are available in boxes to purchase to take home.

Jaz & Jul’s Chocolate House was lovely in terms of the hot chocolate but it would be nice if there were cosy sofas and light music to make the atmosphere more relaxing.

Jaz & Jul’s Chocolate House, 1 Chapel Market, London, N1 9EZ

Rating: ★★★½☆

Jaz & Jul's Chocolate House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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