This December, Yamagoya, the masters of traditional Japanese ramen, is opening the doors to a new home in London’s Soho.
Situated just off Wardour Street, founder Masatoshi Ogatahas created brand new dishes for the opening, where guests can opt to sit in for a bowl of warming broth, or order at the counter to grab and go.
The menu kicks off with classic Japanese small bites including fried pork gyoza, chicken kara-age with a yuzu mayo, and a wakame seaweed salad with edamame. For the main event, the kitchen ladles out steaming bowls of ramen, made to a meticulous recipe that Ogata has been perfecting for almost 50 years.
This includes the celebrated ‘Yamagoya’ - handmade noodles immersed in a rich tonkotsu broth, garnished with Japanese chashu pork belly, marinated bamboo shoot, Kikurage mushroom and nori; ‘Oyako’, a chicken bone broth with chicken chashu, marinated egg, wakame seaweed, bamboo shoot, and spring onion; as well as don rice bowls and hiyashi, or cold ramen salads.
The new dishes for Yamagoya Soho include a Roast Beef ramen topped with slices of rare locally sourced roast beef, leek, and spring onion; and a completely vegan Kakiage Curry Rice with fried vegetables, pickled greens, a house special curry and Japanese rice. Rounding off the menu, desserts include mocha ice creams in delicate flavours of mango, toasted sesame and green tea.
There will also be Yamagoya’s famous raindrop cake, which debuted in London for the first time last year. Made in the shape of a water droplet, the completely clear sweet is a challenge to the senses, melting into liquid form once in the mouth.
To drink, there are bottles of Asahi and Singha beer, and Shochikubaisake with notes of macadamia, chai and vanilla. Green tea lovers can opt for freshly-made matcha, as well as soft drinks including a sparkling water spiked with yuzu and bottles of milky Calico - a cult favourite imported directly from Japan.
The pared-back space, lined with pale slatted oak and hung with paper lanterns, takes inspiration from Tokyo’s ramen-yashops - visitors can perch on stools up at the window or at the kitchen counter to watch the chefs at work.
Co-founder Fah Sundravorakul said, “We’ve had such a warm welcome in London, so we’re looking forward to bringing Yamagoya’s ramen to Soho.”
Ogatahas added, “Soho is the perfect spot for Yamagoya and I’m proud that it has come such a long way from the humble start in Fukuoka to the heart of London.”