Kanada-Ya, London


Last year, London experienced a burger revolution. This year, it's a ramen revolution. Kanada Ya, arguably the most authentic ramen restaurant in London. An award winning Raman restaurant from Yukuhashi, Japan opened in 2009 by Kanada Kazuhiro with another outpost in Hong Kong. Set up in Central St. Giles opposite to Ippudo (another larger ramen chain restaurant from Japan). I won't be comparing it to Ippudo as I have yet to dine there. I tried Ippudo in Hong Kong and I must admit, it was disappointing.

I came on a Friday evening with my friend around half past five, there wasn't a much of a queue then but it soon started forming. It's a small restaurant with 24 seats, seating arrangements are tight and not the place you want to linger to have a conversation after the meal. Greeted by "irasshaimase",  we were seated at the corner facing the window.

Moyashi Ramen

Sake (salmon) Onigiri

It is a small menu, only 3 choices of ramen and a small selection of onigiri. The chashu ramen had already sold out for the day, which I was gutted. We opted for the moyashi ramen which is the original ramen topped with blanched beansprouts. The only difference is the meat that is served where chashu men had the chasiu pork collar and original/moyashi ramen had the chasiu pork belly. Various toppings can also be added to the ramen, we chose the hanjuku egg. Different firmness of the noodle can be chosen - hard, medium and soft. I chose medium. 

What makes Kanada Ya tonkotsu broth different is that they wash all stock bones before boiling and continue to skim the soup during cooking to remove any impurities, given their ramen a clarity of taste and appearance. The noodle is made onsite using a very specific flour and alkaline salts to produce the bouncy firm noodle. 

The ramen is impressive, the broth is outstanding - tasty but not overly salty, meaty but not too greasy and just the right creaminess, so not too thick and not too watery. It doesn't feel like it is full of MSG, wanting to drink water all the time. A generous amount of meat, wood ear mushroom, spring onion and beansprouts. I grated loads of sesame to my ramen and I could have drank the whole broth. The noodle is bouncy but I would probably have preferred firm instead of medium. I was happy to see the hanjuku egg (soft boiled egg with the yolk remained molten marinated in a soy sauce mix) with the runny yolk. Beside the ramen, onigiri is uncommon to be on the menu. We had the salmon onigiri which was interestingly bland. It is made fresh as the rice was piping hot but it was like eating flavourless rice and salmon wrapped in nori (seaweed).

This is the best ramen I had yet on my ramen journey given that I have not been to Japan. Comparable to other ramen joints in London(bone daddies, shoyru, tonkotsu), they all have their own specialities and Kanada Ya deserve a place amongst the top flight. Very reasonable price, whether there's a queue or not it is worth the wait.

Score Rating: 4/5
Price: £10-15 for ramen + drinks
(We went during 50% off soft launch, £14.80 for 2 people)

Kanada-Ya on Urbanspoon

Dishoom King's Cross, London

It may had seemed like I have disappeared or even abandoned my blog. Guess what, I am back! I know I have been lazy and work have been forever hectic. Don't worry, there are a back log of restaurants for me to write and further more places for me to eat, be fat and bankrupt my purse (or Mr T's non-existent wallet).

Dishoom King's Cross is the third Dishoom cafe to open after successes in Covent Garden and Shoreditch. Inspired by the old-school Bombay cafes open from morning to night. Dishoom had been on my radar for a while but every time going past Covent Garden, there's always a long queue driving me away to eat somewhere else. When Mr T saw the queue at King's Cross, he already wanted to turn around and eat else where. Luckily we only waited for like 10-15 minutes.

Far Far

Lamb Samosas

Okra Fries


I didn't actually wanted to order the Far Far, I only asked the waiter what it was and he presumably thought I wanted it which was the first item that was served. It's sort of between a cracker and a crisp but bland. Okra Fries will turn your hatred of okra to a lover of okra. Many people dislike the slimy texture of okra, in the case of Dishoom; it's sliced lengthwise, lightly spiced and fried they taste fantastic. More places needs to serve okra fries, I want it! The lamb samosas are not the typical Punjabi shortcrust style, made in Gujarati style so thinner filo pastry tasting lighter. The calamari, tiny tender squid covered in crumbs and a drizzle of sweetness, a bit strange at first as we were used to eating salty calamari but nevertheless it was tasty.

Spicy Lamb Chops

Mahi Tikka
The lamb chops coated in a marinade of lime juice and jaggery, warm dark spices, ginger and garlic is finger licking good. It was moist, tender, juicy and spicy. I'm trying to find a recipe to recreate it at home, unfortunately I don't have a tandoori oven to recreate the same charred effect on the meat. The mahi tikka, Asian basa fillet in a subtle yoghurt marinade. The fish is moist but just need a bit more seasoning/spicing, well Mr T liked it. Accompanied by a garlic naan, irresistible to stop eating when served fresh and hot. For drinks, we had a pot of green Darjeeling and a pot of English breakfast Assam. Hard to resist ordering tea when both me and Mr T are tea drinkers. It wasn't the best tea on offer.  

Dishoom is different to your normal Indian restaurant, you won't find tikka masala or chicken korma. I wish I could have tried many more dishes, I am definitely up for a Bombay style brunch next time on the condition that I can wake up early.

Score Rating: 3.5/5
Price: £20-30/head (50% soft launch,~£27 between 2 people)

Dishoom King's Cross on Urbanspoon
Square Meal