Hit the Right Note @ Shoryu Ramen, Broadgate Circle

29 Nov 2018

Music has always been an important part of my life. I grew up listening to records with my Dad and I’d spend all my hard-earned pocket money in HMV and Virgin Megastore.

During my moodiest teenage years, my favourite pastime (apart from slamming doors, sulking and being angry at my parents for breathing too loudly) was listening to ‘Emo’ bands like Taking Back Sunday, Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance. Although these bands were great at the time – because they ‘knew exactly what I was going through’ – I didn’t plan to listen to them ever again, especially not during dinner.

However, I had a blast from music past during my time in Shoryu, Liverpool Street a few weeks ago. For a restaurant which specialises in traditional Hakata tonkotsu ramen, I wouldn’t expect the Fall Out Boy album to be the go-to soundtrack to my dinner, but it was.

Even though the music was a little off key the white natural vegetarian ramen noodles (£12.90) were not. They tasted like a sweet melody, served in a huge bowl, complete with a wooden spoon. The tonyu soy milk, miso, kombu and shiitake broth was pleasingly creamy, salty and light with lashings of fried tofu, seaweed, mushrooms and bamboo shoots swimming in the beige coloured broth.

As a side, there was soft shell crab tempura (£9.90), but it was no heavy baseline; the batter was too thick, disguising the flavour of the delicate crab it encased. It came with an orange vinegary-looking dipping sauce, but this added moisture only, no extra flavour to compete with the pillow of batter.

In contrast, the black sesame tofu (£7), a strange block of jet black jelly-like substance deserved a round of applause and its own merchandise. The cold jelly was like eating a dessert, drizzled with a sticky miso sauce I wanted on everything. I don’t imagine it’s a dish for everyone, but I’d certainly buy the second album and sign up for the fan club.

The main from the specials menu: the tofu mango noodle salad (£10) was as great as a catchy chorus I just can’t stop singing. There was an obscene amount of chilled noodles hiding lashings of tofu, mango, nuts and chilli, covered in a wonderful plum sauce.

The atmosphere in Shoyru is bizarre. There is a sense of chaos, with running waiting staff banging on drums, a busy bar overlooking tables and seating leaking out onto the ever-populated Broadgate Circle. There is warm lighting, light-coloured wood and branches wrapped around pillars with rope.

There was a great fluffy and light yuzu cheesecake (£6.90) for dessert, but the dizzying taste came from the chocolate miso and sesame flavoured ice creams (£4.50). It was so good I wanted to follow it home and get it to sign the menu. The two scoops went incredibly well together, creating an album full of flavour from the salty sesame and the rich chocolate miso.

Just like a great pop song, Shoyru put me in a good mood and I was definitely thinking about some of its dishes for the rest of the week. But if there is anyone out there who knows the cure to get Fall Out Boy out of my head then please, I beg you, come and find me, I’ll be the crazy girl humming it in the street.


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