35 Upper Street, London www.kanada-ya.com
This bowl of ramen is cheaper than a therapist and much more delicious.
I found solace in the new miso paitan at Kanada Ya (Upper Street). Deemed London’s’most authentic’ ramen, Kanada Ya was founded by Kanada Kazuhiro in Yukuhashi, Japan, back in 2009. They opened their first London restaurant in 2014.
I was greeted with Ã¢â‚¬Å“Irasshaimase!Ã¢â‚¬Â and immediately was super excited about what to come. I have learnt with most things, authenticity is key and a good ramen is like a signature – unique to the chef.
I started with truffle salt edamame, slightly garlicky, musky, gorgeous. Then came the miso paitan ramen, consisting of a light-but-bright miso and chicken bone broth which was orange in colour and utterly soul soothing.
The noodles are hard and with bite, as recommended, although you are able to request how firm you want your noodles from soft to ultra-hard.
The noodles are also made on site with a special Japanese machine that Ã¢â‚¬Å“uses a very specific brand of flour, enriched with the right protein content and alkaline salts to produce a bouncy, firm noodle capable of standing up to the rich broth,Ã¢â‚¬Â we’re told.
Toppings included comforting fried tofu, calming shredded leek, gentle shiitake, consoling bamboo shoots and sugar snap peas, alongside nori seaweed and their famous chashu pork belly – all pocketed around the bowl consecutively.
You are also given fermented chilli and spicy pickled ginger to style to taste. The ramen is finished with a stick of melting butter and the dish becomes ultimate indulgence.
While I thought this might be unnecessary – I was wrong. The butter heightened all the flavours.
And while traditional ramen is hard to beat, I enjoy it when boundaries are tested.
Corn is now involved in most ramens, but it’s rather new – originating in the northern prefecture of Hokkaido, Japan where simmered corn and butter are used to top bowls of miso-based ramen.
And for me, after the broth and noodles, the sweetcorn becomes the star of this hearty soup.
Whether you’re dining alone or catching up with friends, Kanada Ya’s noodle soups will give you the support you need to rest, pacify and quiet the noise.
Alongside Miso Paitan they also have another new Miso Tonkotsu, with a richer pork based broth.
Both are available until end of April.
Need a tiny challenge? Find your favourite limited-edition Kanada-Ya ramen the old-fashioned way Ã¢â‚¬â€œ try them both.