The 35-cover restaurant is currently in the soft launch stage, marking the latest in a spate of new venues in the West End which focus on ramen - a Japanese noodle dish often flavoured with soy sauce or miso.
First came London-based sustainable Japanese restaurant chain Tsuru Sushi, which recently opened Tonkotsuon Soho’s Dean Street. Ross Shonhan, ex-head chef of Zuma London and Nobu Dallas, has just opened ramen concept Bone Daddiesin Soho. And now also capitalising on the trend is YO! Sushi, which has launched its own ramen menu created by executive chef Mike Lewis (see video below).
But Tak Tokumine, chief executive of the Japan Centre group and owner of Shoryu Ramen, hopes this latest addition will offer its own unique take on ramen dishes. He told BigHospitality: “UK noodle culture has really become more sophisticated in recent years, especially in London where there are many east-Asian eateries vying for attention.
The real deal
“While places such as Wagamama made this type of noodle-soup bowl a familiar sight, the style was more hybrid, combining Chinese, Japanese and south-east Asian flavours. As the British market has become more accustomed to noodles, we're able to introduce very specific dishes, such as Hakata tonkotsu ramen, for those looking for the ‘real deal’.”
Ramen at Shoryu will be priced between £9 and £11, with head chef Kanji Furukawa (from Fukuoka city) preparing dishes using a pork-based thick white soup which includes wasabi, piri piri and their signature Shoryu varieties. Traditional sushi, sashimi and starter dishes will also be available along with a number of sides such as pork dumplings and takoyaki deep-fried octopus balls.
Shoryu Ramen is the latest addition to Japan Centre’s growing portfolio which includes their flagship supermarket, Toku restaurant, a sushi & sake bar in Westfield Stratford City and an online shop.
Outside of London
And Tokumine believes, given the current popularity of ramen restaurants in London, the ramen concept has the potential to grow outside of the capital.
“There's no reason ramen can't expand out of London,” he said. “Inside the capital there's certainly still plenty of room for growth for those of us wanting to bring authenticity to the market.
“The overwhelming response to Shoryu Ramen's soft launch has already proved there's big demand for ramen and in particular for ramen with passion behind it. I want to make sure everyone can experience real flavours, real dishes on their doorstep.”
Shoryu Ramen is set to officially open its doors at 9 Regent Street on 17 November.
VIDEO: YO! Sushi - Ramen vs Hunger
Meanwhile, YO! Sushi has launched their first multi-media advertising campaign for their new winter ramen menu. The below advert will appear during Channel 4 youth-oriented programmes such as Big Bang Theory and Man Vs Food. Press, digital outdoor and online activity as well as ads on Facebook will support the TV campaign.