Specialising in authentic tonkotsu ramen, the 24-cover restaurant prepares the Japanese soup by boiling meticulously washed pork bones and constantly skimming the soup during cooking.
Noodles will be made on site with a machine imported from Japan, which uses a specific brand of flour enriched with protein and alkaline salts for a bouncy, firm noodle that ‘stands up’ to the broth.
Customers will be able to request how firm they like their noodles, and the menu will include Kanada-Ya’s signature ramen of hand-made noodles, tonkotsu broth, secret sauce (imported from the original restaurant, and hand-made by founder Kanada Kazuhiro), wood ear fungus mushroom (kikurage), finely sliced spring onion, charsiu pork belly and a sheet of nori.
Variations will include a Moyashi ramen with blanched beansprouts, and Charsiu-men ramen, which replaces the standard charsiu pork belly with large slices of charsiu pork collar. Regular ramen will be priced at £10, with a little premium for the two variations.
The menu will initially stick to ramen, but a gyoza recipe is in development and will be added to the mix in the future. However, the offering will remain simple to reflect the original Japanese concept.
Aaron Burgess-Smith, the restaurant’s UK director, explained to BigHospitality how the venue will differentiate itself from the ever-growing number of ramen shops in London.
“We are very authentic. When we’re trying to translate what’s happening in Japan and moving it to Hong Kong and London, nothing’s changed at all. The guy who founded the original restaurant spent a long time developing a different, very labour-intensive technique.
“He approached various ramen places in Japan to learn, but they’re all very secretive about the process so he basically started from scratch, researching what he thought was the perfect ramen, with a more subtle and delicate taste than the others.”
Kanada-Ya London will be the restaurant’s third venue worldwide, but the UK director is hoping to expand further across the capital and Europe.
“Once we’ve built a brand around this first shop, we’re hoping to expand, particularly in London, and then hopefully further, taking it to the continent. We’d like to aim for about five shops here before we move to France or Barcelona. We’re also thinking about doing some pop-ups in Manchester and Leeds to see how people respond to it and go from there,” Burgess-Smith added.