So, last Friday night my buddy Jamen and I made plans to finally try the ramen at Kanada Ya. But we were thwarted. When I arrived at 7pm they were closing their doors. When I asked why they were doing this at the start of dinner on a Friday evening I was simple told “we ran out of noodles”.
But having read Kentaro’s review of Kanada Ya I knew that a big name in the ramen business had just opened up across the road the week before. A place called Ippudo, which is a Japanese ramen chain. They opened their first international restaurant, New York, in 2008. Jamen had been to the NY place and said it was pretty good. So we walked across the road and waited for a table.
And we waited for a long time. The host said the wait would be around 90 minutes and we waited for all of it. Which is a long time to wait for ramen. We did find a seat at the bar and enjoyed the pretty excellent pork buns. Though I did feel they could have ditched the slightly slimy lettuce and added some pickles or something instead.
We also had some tako wasabi. Raw octopus with a wasabi dressing. Not much to say about it since it mainly tasted of wasabi powder.
The bar area where we waited was quite nice. But the table we sat at just felt blah. It was a big shared table. Communal. But so wide across that it didn’t feel like we were part of a shared dining experience. And because of the glass walls there is a sense that you’re just sitting in a fish bowl.
The image above was the Hakata Tonpu-Yaki, which Jamen shared before our ramen arrived. This was a very dry example of okonomiyaki. I think it had just been over cooked.
Then the main event! We both ordered the Shiromaru Hakata Classic with a poached egg and some pickled bamboo shoots. It was very good ramen. The noodles were bouncy and the broth had a good deep flavour. I just don’t know if they were worth waiting 90 minutes for when there are plenty of ramen places that I enjoy more around Soho. Especially because nothing else about the experience was very exciting. Maybe try checking it out in a few months when the queues have died down.