Finally, a place dedicated to ramen in East London! Now there is no need to go all the way into Soho for a quick bowl. If the past year was about testing the market for ramen the coming year will be about expansion beyond central London and Tonkotsu East is the first one of the few that are all based in Soho to take the step. This also means that ramen is here to stay.
I have been to Tonkotsu (the main branch) before and remember it as a tight space serving good ramen. Space is something that the Tonkotsu East branch has plenty of though, in one of the railway arches close to Haggerston Overground station. The ramen machine has been moved here as well from Soho and is standing proudly in the ‘showroom’.
The pumpkin mash inside the balls was quite nice and straightforward. The tartar sauce definitely lifted the dish.
The fried squid is definitely one of the best ones I’ve had this year. The light touch of salt and Sansho pepper was simply delightful. The squid didn’t feel dry or over-fried either. Compared with Flesh & Bun’s fried squid this one has just about the right amount of salt and you won’t feel tired of eating it.
Now the main reason to come here, the ramen. Tonkotsu, the name of the restaurant, is a type of ramen using pork broth sometimes with some chicken stock added to it. Since this is what they’re known for I ordered a bowl of Tonkotsu. Like last time I was not disappointed. The thin noodles were firm but could be a bit more bouncy. The broth is rich and is from what I can remember better balanced compared to last time. The egg was well cooked with half runny yolk with the right amount of saltiness.
I think I still prefer Bone Daddies because of two reasons, more concentrated broth and bouncier noodles. Bone Daddies also offered two egg halves instead of one, but they were too salty compared with Tonkotsu East.
Today neither of us were hungry enough for dessert after food and beer. Of what we had I would say that Tonkotsu East serves some wonderful bowls of ramen which are worth a small trip for those living around Dalston/Haggerston/Shoreditch. It definitely raises the bar for food in the area and adds to the diversity. Thumbs up!
For more photos from Tonkotsu East, please visit my Flickr set.
Arch 334, 1a Dunston Street
London E8 4EB
Tel. +44 (0)20 7254 2478