Kanada-Ya, London

11.25.2014

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

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