On my next stop in my culinary quest to find my favourite ramen bar in London, I visited Bone Daddies in well-heeled Kensington.
Bone Daddies has many branches in London. Conveniently, one was close to the museums so I had to visit.
In my excitement for the day ahead, I’d failed to eat anything all day before my visit. By the time I arrived, it was late afternoon and I was primed to demolish any dish that was put in front of me. A bowl of ramen wouldn’t stand a chance…or would it after all that had happened in the Battle at the Red Dog Saloon…
This particular branch of Bone Daddies is found on the first floor of Whole Foods market. It shares a floor space as opposed to having its own premise unlike its other branches in central London.
If Ippudo was 007 agent, Bone Daddies is a rockstar. Far from the sleeker settings of Ippudo, Bone Daddies has a rock’n’roll feel about it with splintery wood benches accompanied by an old-school rock’n’roll soundtrack beating in the background.
Eagerly scanning the menu, I settled on the relatively new Anchovy Tonkotsu ramen which promised fried pork, black pepper vinegar, anchovy, spring onion and eggs in a pool of pork bone broth that’s been simmering for 20 hours, plus a side of Gyoza dumplings.
I launched my assault on my gyoza. The five pieces of gyoza were good, not memorable, but done as it should everywhere else and I quickly dealt with that in world-record time before moving onto my ramen.
The first thing to note was this: the broth was ridiculously thick. Thicker than lava but so rich in flavour and depth that it could pass as a meal on its own. The pork cutlets were a thing of beauty. Thick, thick cuts of fried deliciousness, 5 pieces in all, and more than all Ippudo or Tonkotsu ever gave me, AND IT CAME WITH AN EGG! Ippudo and Tokotsu, take note. Many ramen joints charge extra for it.
Underneath the broth were mountains of noodles and some kale so it’s not all entirely unhealthy. I think it’s clear, I was loving it.
Halfway through a slurp, I realised to my horror, that I was starting to struggle and nightmarish memories of The Devastator reared up before me. The delicious, but thick as hell broth, was filling me quick.
Not one to waste any food (especially if I am paying) I finished off the rest of my meal, feeling very full but very satisfied.
Altogether, the bill would have come close to something like £18 including service charge. But as a Timeout Black cardholder, I was entitled to 50% off my bill. Win.
I’ve visited enough of these ramen bars to know that you’re better off spending an extra quid or two pimping up your ramen with extra toppings and. I have nothing against the sides (I am partial to good dumplings) but the toppings offer is just so more value for money. I’ve also learnt that starving yourself will never give you the upper hand when it comes to scoffing (or slurping in this case) large quantities of food
The service was quick, friendly and chatty. I don’t know if it was because Bone Daddies was quiet when I visited, but I got into a conversation with my waitress who was happy to tell me the best thing on the menu and what to have. It was good fun talking to her.
What Bone Daddies may lack in perhaps decor (it’s not for everyone) is made up massively by the ramen they conjure up. It’s my favourite by quite a distance. Quantity but with quality. I’ll be honest, I’ve been craving it since then, and I’m looking forward to my next bowl soon.