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[LONDON] Great Ramen @ Cocoro Bloomsbury

Know what you mean about being disappointed by London ramen in general. give it a go though. Be curious to hear what you think. I think the Takumi guy is relatively new.

Apr 11, 2014
foreignmuck in U.K./Ireland

[LONDON] Great Ramen @ Cocoro Bloomsbury

Yep, 25 Coptic street. interested to hear your thoughts..

Apr 11, 2014
foreignmuck in U.K./Ireland

[LONDON] Great Ramen @ Cocoro Bloomsbury

The ever evolving London ramen scene has seen a steady growth over the the past few years, but the quality in my opinion has ranged from dire (Cocoro Marylebone, Tonkoksu East) to mediocre (Ittenbari, Nagomi) to nearly there (Bone Daddies).. Nothing has quite yet hit the spot. The relatively new Cocoro in Bloomsbury (sister restaurant to Cocoro Marylebone) focuses on Ramen and curry rice at weekends, with a wider menu during the week. It was the nearest I’ve had to ‘real’ Japanese ramen in London to date, with a talented chef who has allegedly come over from Takumi in Dusseldorf, renowned by aficionados to be one of the best ‘serious’ ramen restaurants in Europe.

The Tonkotsu ramen (£10.80) was available in regular, light or kotteri (thick/rich) formats. I opted for the regular. The bowl appeared in a few minutes and had all the hallmarks of a quality bowl:

- Piping hot broth : Many restaurants fall down at the crucial first hurdle and serve lukewarm soup which brings down the satisfaction levels a few notches.
- Noodle texture : Perfectly cooked springy noodles - firm but not al-dente. Super satisfying .
- Oil : The soup was insulated by an oil slick of Exxon Valdez proportions. No-one can claim that ramen is a health food, but the wonderful garlic flavoured oil coats the noodles as you slurp, giving you unparalleled comfort and satisfaction. This is why it tastes so damned good!
- Depth of soup : a complex rich, porky broth was a cut above many competitors. Some serious care and attention has obviously gone into its preparation.
- Well made toppings including a ‘hanjuku’ boiled egg (glistening, gelatinous yolk) and lovely soft slices on char-shu belly pork along with nori, kikurage (wood ear fungus) and sweetcorn.

My wife had the miso ramen which was also pork based but had less of an oil slick and a full bodied, almost tangy taste from the fermented miso. There was also an Ume-shio which looked interesting too. (Japanese plum/salt ramen)

We were there about 4pm on a Sunday afternoon and the place was dead, which was a shame. It’s a purist, no frills kind of a place with very plain décor and clearly lacks the buzz of somewhere like Koya or Bone Daddies which seems more engineered to suit the London market. Hopefully the food alone is good enough to attract customers.

All in all, Cocoro (Bloomsbury, not Marylebone) can certainly put up a good fight against some of the higher ranking places in Japan, and it is without doubt a cut above many of its peers in London. Will be interesting to see how it compares with the daddy of them all – Ippudo, which is set to land on our shores imminently.

Apr 06, 2014
foreignmuck in U.K./Ireland

Dry fried beef strips @ Crystal China, Tower Bridge Road/Southwark, London

Wow - just got back from a visit to this place. Not far from work so popped in for dinner.

The Dry fried beef was probably the most intense Ma-La experience i've ever had. Even more so than the fish hot pot dish at Number 10. The fried squid with BBQ sauce was beautiful with slices of celery and and a spicy, cumin flavour. Salted Egg Yolk prawns were a steal (from the 1/2 price seafood menu) a good dozen fried prawns lightly coated in salted egg and crispily fried. We were going to order the lobster w/ ginger and spring onion, but the waitress suggested against it as the lobster was frozen and portions small. good call. The intensity of the Szechuan pepper in the dry fried beef however made everything else taste extremely salty to me. incredible how this tricks your tastebuds. Be good to get advice on what would best counter act this.

This was an outstanding meal - no messing around. A mix of western folks (mainly eating the standard fayre), and loads of chinese mostly tucking into the dry hotpot, which we have to try next time.

Prices not expensive but not particularly cheap. £50 for 2 with 4 beers and service.

Mar 14, 2014
foreignmuck in U.K./Ireland

Hammersmith - Baron/Earl's Court - London

No, i haven't been to Jin Kichi recently. Last time was a good few years back. Was pretty decent if I recall. would you recommend it now?

Feb 06, 2014
foreignmuck in U.K./Ireland

Hammersmith - Baron/Earl's Court - London

Went to Tosa a few months ago - seemed to have gone massively downhill unfortunately. Pork and Shiso kushi used to be really lovely but now a lot smaller and just a bit rank tasting. other yakitori items lacked the charred tastiness. Shame, as that place used to be pretty good for a UK yakitori bar. (or maybe they had an off day)..

Feb 05, 2014
foreignmuck in U.K./Ireland

Budget Recs for Lewisham, South East London

no exactly Indian, but Mezze Mangal on lewisham way deserves a mention - Great turkish food...

By the time you get here, Maddy's Fish bar should be open, in New Cross. A brand new fish and chips venutre, which i'm sure will be great....just near New Cross station, next to an (also great) cafe called The London Particular. Not too far from Lewisham.

Feb 03, 2014
foreignmuck in U.K./Ireland

Tenner a head in London

Someone mentioned FM Mangal.

Silk Road over the road in Camberwell is absolutely killer and dirt cheap too!

you can't go wrong.

Nov 26, 2013
foreignmuck in U.K./Ireland

Ibiza recs?

Es Caliu is well worth a visit - amazing steak / grill restaurant with a charming garden, on the St Joan Road (about km13.5 if i remember correctly - look out for the windmill.. the bbq ed ox is amazing! (not on the menu!)

most of the beach restaurants on the east of the island (cala mastella, cala boix etc all do decent seafood ..

Aug 18, 2013
foreignmuck in Spain/Portugal

Dorset in early August

Not sure if you've made a mistake but Blandford Forum is nowhere near Highclere Castle.. Highclere is near Newbury in Berkshire.

Are you getting mixed up with Highcliffe Castle (in Dorset, but not too near Blandford Forum either)

Jul 25, 2013
foreignmuck in U.K./Ireland

dish of the month - feb 2013

What was the name of the place, do you know? And where? I grew up in the New Forest area and sometimes down there.


Mar 09, 2013
foreignmuck in U.K./Ireland

Lucky Fried Chicken at the Grafton Pub (Kentish Town, London)

Was really looking forward to this - im a big fried chicken fan but this was pretty disappointed unfortunately.

The Chicken itself was nice but the batter (the most important bit!) although it tasted good lacked any sort of crunch or substance. Was just a thin and soggy mess.

Mashed potatoes were cold, but the coleslaw was decent.

I'm surprised they sent it out to be honest. Maybe a bad day

Mar 06, 2013
foreignmuck in U.K./Ireland

Help: 'gourmet' ice cream van's (London)

We had Sorbitium ices at our wedding last year. They do great seasonal flavours to order and are lovely folks too. We had super premium Chocolate, salted caramel, and a damson and cobnut cream - all superb. Check them out. http://www.sorbitiumices.com/

ps - dont think petra does chocstar any more since she's stated doing Eat Street and now Kerb.....

Jan 15, 2013
foreignmuck in U.K./Ireland

Dish of the month - December 2012

Was that the Botan ebi tempura by any chance, limster (one of the specials)? Had it the other week. Was really great, especially the cruchy head! :)

Everything we had at Kikuchi was great, I thought.

Dec 22, 2012
foreignmuck in U.K./Ireland

Brixton Market...

Yet to go myself , but this place has just opened and promises to be great. Run by Nick Balfe, an ex Moro, Brunswick House and Ten Bells chef..


Dec 05, 2012
foreignmuck in U.K./Ireland

Moving to London - Looking for a Foodie Neighborhood

Really depends on your personality, budget, how central you want to be and where you need to be near. Also consider how ok you would be in an "edgy" neighbourhood. Brixton, for example has a rather rough reputation, although it's a great area for food, especially since the arrival of the famous Brixton village. I lived in Brixton for 10 years without any major incidents, and loved it there. Nearby Herne Hill might suit some folks better, is a lot more gentile, and had a decent weekly market. Some might however find it a bit far out of town (even though it's only 15 mins from Brixton to Oxford Circus on the Victoria Line).

Nov 10, 2012
foreignmuck in U.K./Ireland

Dining recs needed for London trip

the pho @chung viet near deptford station is banging.

Oct 16, 2012
foreignmuck in U.K./Ireland

Buying Chinese Vegetables in London

plenty of places - really depends where you are. The Chinese supermarkets in Gerrard Street (Chinatown) are your best bet. There are also chinese/vietnamese stores in Brixton, Peckham, Deptford markets if you live South. Also in Hackey (Mare Street). Sure there are plenty more./.

Oct 14, 2012
foreignmuck in U.K./Ireland

Dukes Brew & Que [London]

Limster, i've never been to Bukowski grill. Do you rate it? WiIl have to check it out next time!

Sep 25, 2012
foreignmuck in U.K./Ireland

Dukes Brew & Que [London]

Have to say i agree. went there a few weeks back. Atmosphere was nice. Service was quite good. Beef ribs were tough and definitely needed a few more hours of 'slow and low' cooking. Flavours were average. Think they must have been rushing to meet demand. The Mac N Cheese was disappointed. could have done much better at home. I'm a big Pitt Cue Co fan, and those guys win hands down.

Sep 22, 2012
foreignmuck in U.K./Ireland

Bethnal Green / general East End recoomendations?

hey there..

3 suggestions:

If Viajante is a bit out of your budget range, why not try the Corner Room - where you can get Nuno Mendez' cooking at a lot more affordable prices.

If good Northern Chinese (Dongbei, i believe) cuisine is your thing, be sure to try Gourmet San on Bethnal Green road. Very reasonable. Haven't been recently but the lamb kebabs are great, as are the crabs with Szechuan pepper..

Lots of places to try at Broadway Market, but 2 places to try are "Yum Bun" pork bun stall (in the schoolyard) , as is the Bahn Mi (on the main strip). Saturdays only.

Jul 23, 2012
foreignmuck in U.K./Ireland

Places opening soon in Brixton Market, London

i was pretty disappointed when i tried prima donna.

Chicken was very dry and felt like it had been sat around for a while.. Really nothing special.
the salad was pretty good, agreed.

Jun 11, 2012
foreignmuck in U.K./Ireland

Options near Paddington Station

Bonda Cafe - A great, cheap Malaysian joint on corner of Sussex Gardens and Spring Street.

Jan 12, 2012
foreignmuck in U.K./Ireland

late dinner near wilton's music hall

If a decent curry in a rather boisterous environment would fit the bill, both Tayyabs and Needo Grill are fairly nearby...

Nov 20, 2011
foreignmuck in U.K./Ireland

Mexican tacos de pastor in London?

No, Boho Mexica is definitely NOT worth a try. Ranks as probably one of the most disappointing meals of the year - and because someone else chose it, i went without expectations.

flautas de barbacoa - tasteless pappy lukewarm meat .
Guacamole - no tang, no flavour.
The vibe - pretentious end of 'trendy'.. ugh.
The staff - slow a pretty clueless. we were a big party and orders got mixed up / forgotten.
Cocktails were pretty decent though, so i guess that's something.

I don't usually like slagging off restaurants on here for the sake of it, but Limster you gave me the opportunity.. :)

Boho Mexica
151 - 153 Commercial Street, London E1 6BJ, GB

Nov 20, 2011
foreignmuck in U.K./Ireland

Where is the best fried chicken?

Could be a onto a winner here... Yet to try but if Yanni's other products could be anything to go by, i'm hopeful...


Nov 09, 2011
foreignmuck in U.K./Ireland

The Young Turks [London]

indeed went to the Clove Club a year or so ago, when they did them in their Dalston flat. Isaac's food is sensational. Well worth a visit..

Oct 14, 2011
foreignmuck in U.K./Ireland

[London] - Ducksoup, Soho

Taking over the narrow space that was the vegetarian Zilli retaurant on Dean Street (next door to Cay Tre), Ducksoup quite literally exploded onto the scene a few weeks ago. Run by ex Staff from Hix, the place was positively buzzing when we arrived, and despite the no reservations policy we luckily managed to nab a table in the narrow bar/dining room.

There is so much I want to love about this place. Very bare, casual décor (think Morito meets St John). The hand scrawled menus the waitress hands you add a personal touch. A short selection of small and larger plates that all sound very appetizing. A broad list of well sourced biodynamic and organic wines, along with a lager called ‘F**king Hell’! . Cool, knowledgeable staff that at the same time are completely unpretentious and super friendly. The patrons are sophisticated to match. I was trying all throughout my meal work out if it was hip because of the food, or hip because it’s hip…

The food that came out was competent. I won’t go as far as to say it was mindblowing, but with all things considered, it was a very positive experience. We start with a selection of starters – fried baby squid in fennel seed and salt. A small portion, which was slightly under seasoned, rustically fried in a slightly greasy batter. Thinly sliced courgettes again encased in a robust batter, served with a very tasty tahini and yoghurt dip – very Turkish/Mediterranean tasting with a lemon zing. Excellent smoked anchovies –something that I’ve never had before, served on top of slices of beautiful beef tomatoes garnished with onions. A generous serving of foie gras on top of a thin slice of toast – very reminiscent of the version at St John B&W and equally tasty, although I do find the thicker toast at St John more satisfying.

Mains (all at £14) came in the form of a Frito Misto – decently fried pieces of mackerel (boy do I love mackerel and this was fantastic) Sea Bass (I think), squid and artichokes along with a home made mayonnaise. Nothing to write home about but it was simply a selection of very decent quality fresh ingredients on a plate. The other dish we chose was slow roast lamb served with braised fennel and salsa verde. Good flavours all round, heavy on the capers and the strong flavour of decent olive oil worked pretty well with the tender yet satisfying lamb. Dessert was a crème brulee – which sadly came as a disappointment . If we’re talking in tofu terms, a good crème brulee should in my mind be akin to the silken type. This was slightly overcooked and was more in the form of ‘firm’ variety. A slightly tough skin over the top sadly made it a flawed dessert.

This place is fast becoming one of the hottest joints in town right now, and it has all the elements for it to be a roaring success. A lot of thought has gone into all aspects of the concept, and I’m sure multiple visits will prove rewarding as the menus change daily.

Oct 12, 2011
foreignmuck in U.K./Ireland

Compiling a list of ethnic enclaves in London

Turkish - Green Lanes and Dalston?

Sep 24, 2011
foreignmuck in U.K./Ireland

Moqueca @ Barraco, Kilburn, London

ah, never seen a Moqueca in London. i had some cracking ones in Bahia...
might have to give it go!

also enjoyed the thicker but similar bobo de camarao too! did you notice that on the menu by any chance?

Sep 20, 2011
foreignmuck in U.K./Ireland