Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Ramen Mondays @ Roka's Shochu Lounge

For those of you waiting for a write-up on Tsuru Ramen, I'm afraid you'll just have to hang on a bit longer. I've tried their shoyu ramen, but I'm waiting to check out the tonkotsu ramen before blogging about my experiences. In the meantime, here's a quick write-up about the other ramen du jour.

Roka's subterranean Shochu Lounge is the venue for Ramen Mondays, where two ramen options are available: miso or shoyu. I plumped for the latter, which is served with Japanese-style cha siu pork (this is different in style to the Chinese original).

I'm not the biggest fan of shoyu, as I've never understood why soy sauce is added to the broth, but this was decent enough as shoyu goes. The cha siu was tender and flavoursome, and there was a fair bit of it too.

I also liked the other toppings of spring onion, nori (dried seaweed), menma (fermented bamboo shoots), mange tout and shoyu-marinated boiled egg. The noodles were well sourced, and within acceptable realms of springiness. Although to suit my personal taste, I would've preferred my ramen with a bit more bite.

Good ramen is hard to find in London, and I think you'll be hard pushed to match the quality found here. It's just a shame that it's only available on Monday lunchtimes, and that Roka is just a bit too far away for me to get to from the office (I had Monday off, last week).

And at £8.60, I think it's pretty good value, especially when compared to the udon at Koya (although I accept it isn't a direct comparison). With green tea and 13.5% service, the bill came to £12.71 (note to Roka, buy a till that rounds down to the nearest 10p).

Shochu Lounge on Urbanspoon

Roka Shochu Lounge, 37 Charlotte St, London W1T 1RR 
Nearest stations: Goodge St, Tottenham Court Road

Ramen is served only on Mondays (12-2pm) downstairs in the Shochu Lounge (no bookings).


  1. I never knew these guys did ramen. I see they only do it on Monday so guess it is a recent fad... Perhaps this is the start of the joyous ramen explosion in London...

  2. Was lovely running into you at Roka and geeking out about noodles from across the bar! I really do hope Tsuru and Roka light the fuse on London's as of now very dormant ramen scene. See you at tonkotsu Saturday!


  3. Oh, this reminds me, do you want to borrow my copy of the first issue of Lucky Peach? It's all about ramen.

  4. Damn, I only ever went to Shochu for drinks! Never occurred to me to go for lunch - least of all ramen - and to think it was that close to my house!

  5. Tom - ramen is SO underrepresented in London. I, too, am hoping Roka (along with Tsuru) will kick start a long overdue ramen revolution in 2012!

    Wen - couldn't agree more. So looking forward to tonkotsu on Sat!

    Kake - thanks for the offer. Must catch up soon, as it's been a while.

    Catty - if it's any consolation, I think Ramen Mondays is a new thing that started after you returned to Oz. I picked up on it after seeing a small feature about it in Metro in Nov.

  6. Hurrah for a ramen revolution! Long may it continue. I'd be interested as to why you chose shoyu over miso if Shoyu isn't your fave?

    See you Saturday ;)

  7. Lizzie - when it comes to ramen, imho tonkotsu > shoyu = miso! I also wanted to compare Roka's shoyu to Tsuru's version. Madly excited about Tsuru tonkotsu on Sat.