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: ★★★★★

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Feng Sushi – South Bank

Reviewed on September 27th, 2015 by Dina

A beautiful blue flower painted wall grabs the attention at Feng Sushi. Along with this, there are two fish tanks that contribute to the calming atmosphere. High wooden stools, tables and chairs make up the small dining area. There is some outdoor seating as well. Additional stools are placed by the bar area.

A cold day required some hearty hot food. Feng Sushi primarily does sushi so the hot dishes are fairly limited to a few soups, udon noodle soups, tempura and curries.

The original Fish Katsu Curry comes with prawns, hake and sea bass. It is great that the staff allowed the prawns to be changed for salmon. Big pieces of succulent fish were lightly breaded. The fish was cooked perfectly. Under the fish, there was plenty of rice to go with the mild curry sauce.

Fish, curry sauce and rice made for a complete, filling and satisfying meal. It was not until the end of the meal that the realisation kicked in that the fish were watching us eating fish!

The staff at Feng Sushi were friendly and gave good service. We were glad that we were able to change tables, away from the draft of the door, even though the restaurant was busy with reservations.

Feng Sushi provides quick service with no compromise on the quality of the food.

Feng Sushi, Unit 9, Festival Terrace, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

Rating: ★★★★☆

Feng Sushi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoSquare Meal

Yo Yo Bar & Restaurant – Shipley

Reviewed on July 29th, 2014 by Dina

Asian fusion cuisine can be a bit of a hit or miss situation. But Yo Yo had nothing at all to worry about with the taste and quality of their food.

As Yo Yo is a bar and restaurant, the restaurant area is on the raised level which overlooks the bar area. The dining area is spacious and has high backed chairs, wooden tables and a beige and brown decor.

Soup and fried delights were the start of this family feast! The Tom Yam Soup had the perfect balance of sweet, sour and tangy flavours. Sliced carrots, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, mange tout and spring onions were the vegetables in this clear soup.

The Vegetarian Combo was a good variety of items which included dim sum, samosas, tempura and salad. The vegetable tempura were aubergine slices, peppers and courgette. They were all really tasty; not just the vegetables but also the batter. Filo pastry filled with spiced vegetables were the samosas. The dim sum were pan fried and stuffed generously with the vegetable filling. The dipping sauces were mint yogurt raita and tempura sauce. All of the starters dishes were satisfying and had a good flavour to them.

Yo Yo Tom Yam SoupYo Yo Yo Yo Vegetable ComboYo Yo Massaman CurryYo Yo Stir Fried Vegetable MedleyYo Yo Thai Red CurryYo Yo Baked Lemon CheesecakeYo Yo Ice Cream SurpriseYo Yo Sticky Toffee PuddingYo Yo InteriorYo Yo Interior 2Yo Yo Bar Area

Thai influenced dishes were chosen for the mains. Even though the Yo Yo menu did not give the option for the curries to be vegetarian, the staff were more than happy to make them without the meat.

The Massaman curry had big cubes of tofu, potatoes, onion, cauliflower, mushrooms and carrots. The creamy coconut curry had a richness to it and the tastes of the tamarind and ginger came through.

The Vegetable Thai Red Curry was slightly lighter and was made with similar vegetables to the Massaman curry. Instead of tofu and potatoes though, this curry had broccoli and peppers. Both of the curries were mild and were served with jasmine rice. A medley of colourful stir fried vegetables were also had as side dish.

The portion size of the food at Yo Yo is fairly big. But there is always room for dessert! Our selection included the hot pudding of the day, baked lemon cheesecake and the ice cream surprise.

Sweet sticky toffee pudding with custard is a classic hot pudding. This particular one had to be a personal favourite out of the desserts. It was sweet, sticky, rich and delicious; everything that is expected from such a pudding. It was the first time that I had baked cheesecake and it was not as nice as a normal cheesecake. The lemon cheesecake was tangy but the texture was slightly dense for my liking. The ice cream surprise was served in a sundae glass with scoops of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream. It was topped with chocolate sauce and a wafer.

The Yo Yo staff were lovely, friendly and gave good service. Even though the kitchen was soon to close, they gave us time to decide on our order and also gave us a chance for dessert.

Yo Yo is a great place to go to for some variety to your meal selection. From starters, to mains right through to dessert, you won’t be disappointed. The only problem you may have is what to choose from the different Asian dishes!

Yo Yo, Rosse Street, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 3SW

Rating: ★★★★☆

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