Located just off Oxford Street and Piccadilly Circus is Kingly Court, an eclectic food venue made up of an alfresco dining area in the central courtyard surrounded by three storey building occupied by a variety of restaurants. One of these restaurants is Shoryu, a ramen joint.
Nestled in the vibrant Kingly Court, SHORYU Carnaby stands out as a beacon for ramen enthusiasts seeking an authentic and satisfying dining experience. From the moment you step into this cozy haven, the ambiance exudes a perfect blend of traditional Japanese charm and modern London flair.
What We Had
The menu at SHORYU Carnaby is a testament to the artistry of ramen-making. With a diverse array of options ranging from classic tonkotsu to innovative vegetarian creations, there’s something to satiate every palate.
Opt for the signature Ganso Tonkotsu, and you won’t be disappointed. The rich and velvety pork broth was a triumph, a result of hours of meticulous preparation. The noodles were perfectly cooked, and the chashu pork slices were tender, flavorful, and simply divine.
Their main dishes are variants of the Tonkotsu Ramen with a variety of toppings. The classic Tonkotsu Ramen is noodle served in a rich 12 hour pork broth. This is usually topped with 3 classic toppings; char siu BBQ pork belly, kikurage mushrooms and spring onion. There is also the rich orange yolk nitamago egg, red ginger and nori seaweed. If you are new to Ramen and unsure of which to pick, we recommend the Signature Shoryu Ganso Tonkotsu. Otherwise, try one of the following that we also had.
Dracula Tonkotsu Ramen
For that extra garlicky taste, the Dracula Tonkotsu is loaded with caramelised black garlic mayo and topped with garlic chips. This changes the taste of the tonkotsu broth but in a good way (if you like garlic). You still get the usual pork belly char siu, egg, nori, spring onion and mushroom.
Karaka Tan Tan Tonkotsu
Instead of slices of char siu pork belly, the Karaka Tan Tan Tonkotsu is topped with rich and spicy minced pork marinated in white miso garlic and chiu chow chilli oil. This makes the brother even thicker and for those who prefer a little kick to their broth, spicier. You still get the nitamago egg, kikurage mushrooms, spring onion, red ginger and nori seaweed.
What Goes Into the Tonkotsu Ramen
The attention to detail extends beyond the broth and noodles. The toppings, including the wood ear mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and seaweed, were fresh and added delightful textures to each spoonful. The aroma alone was enough to transport me to the bustling streets of Tokyo.
What truly sets SHORYU Carnaby apart is its commitment to authenticity. The chefs take pride in using high-quality ingredients, and you can taste the difference in every bite. The dining experience is elevated by the friendly and knowledgeable staff who are more than happy to guide you through the menu and offer recommendations based on your preferences. Here is what is in your bowl of ramen:
1. Original Noodles
Bespoke housemen made by noodle master using high quality ramen flour for that perfect chew and bounce to match the rick tonkotsu soup. You can ask for these to be cooked to different level or bounce or hardness from Futsuu standard, katamen hard, barikata or very hard and konaotoshi which is just submerged briefly in boiling water to remove the flour dust. I would just go for standard if you are unsure.
2. Tonkotsu Soup
The main event; the heart and soul of every bowl of Shoryu ramen is the tonkotsu soup. It is a secret blend of 12 hour pork bone stock and original soy tare sauce. This creates an opaque, rich and creamy tonkotsu pork stock full of collagen, fat, marrow and calcium.
3. Nitamago Egg
Brown soft boiled eggs known for their rich, orange, gooey yolk. The egg is marinated overnight in soy, mirin, sake and ginger.
2. Kikurage Mushrooms
Another essential ingredient is the kikurage mushroom, an asian wood ear mushroom that adds umami to every bowl. Umami translate from Japanese as pleasant savoury taste.
3. Red Ginger and Sesame
For colour and flavour, pickled and sliced red ginger and a sprinkle of nutty rich toasted sesame sea is add for that extra dimension of flavour to the ramen.
4. Spring Onion
Finely diced and liberally sprinkled on top as a finishing touch is spring onion.
BBQ Pork Belly is the signature topping. Marinated in soy, mirin, sake and sugar and simmered slowly for a minimum of 4 hours. Other protein options include seafood (prawns, squid, Naruto fish cake), braised kaki pork belly, marinated minced meat.
Finally, dried, pressed seaweed sheets are part submerged to the broth. You can choose to stir these into the soup or have it partly wet. Either way it adds texture and flavour to the whole ramen experience.
Check out their sample menu for more information.
Shoryu Carnaby Interior
The decor of the restaurant is tastefully done, with a mix of traditional Japanese elements and modern aesthetics. The wooden accents and subtle lighting create an inviting atmosphere that complements the warmth of the staff.
The only downside might be the limited seating, so it’s advisable to make a reservation, especially during peak hours. However, the wait is well worth it for the culinary journey that awaits you. While we were early and there were plenty of seats inside, it soon filled up with a queue forming outside.
If you do not mind sitting outside, there is a nice alfresco dining area with long table and benches.
While SHORYU Carnaby is known for its exceptional ramen, the drink menu should not be overlooked. The sake selection is extensive, and the cocktails are expertly crafted to complement the bold flavors of the dishes.
The bar offers a huge selection of Japanese delights including sake, Japanese craft beer, wine, shochu and bespoke sake cocktails that change with the seasons.
SHORYU Carnaby is a must-visit for ramen aficionados and anyone looking to embark on a gastronomic adventure. The authenticity, attention to detail, and welcoming ambiance make it a standout destination in London’s competitive culinary scene. We left SHORYU Carnaby with a satisfied palate and a longing to return for another bowl of their exceptional ramen.
Access via the Carnaby Street entrance between Dr Martens and Ben Sherman stores and you will find Shoryu on the ground floor. Alternatively, access Kingly Court via Kingly Street entrance opposite Tenison Court.
Address: Shoryu Carnaby, G3-5 Kingly Court, London, W1B 5PJ