You’re cold and hungry, craving some warm, soupy noodles. Need some suggestions? Here’s a roundup of the best places to grab a bowl of noodles in London!
Now that we’re coming up to the last days of winter, let’s take a moment to reminisce the best experiences during those cold, dark days: the feeling of wrapping your cold fingers around a hot bowl full of flavourful broth and packed to the brim with tasty noodles. Steam in your face, the aromatic smell of spices up your nose, and the breathless feeling you get when you blow onto the noodles that you’ve picked up in an effort to cool them down…ahh, now that’s heaven. Dig into these restaurants, where you’ll find the top picks for the ultimate soup and noodle combination that will have you drooling for more, and leave you feeling fuller than ever.
1. Ramen at Kanada-ya
Ramen has always been a go-to for those living in Asia, and its popularity has fast been spreading through London with the sudden influx of ramen restaurants through the city. Kanada-ya is a chain of ramen stores that originated in Japan- so you know you’re getting the real deal when it comes to their food quality. And if that doesn’t convince you, their tonkotsu ramen might: with a bold and flavourful broth, it certainly comes out on top of the other competing ramen chains.
2. Udon at Koya Bar
When it comes to udon, the texture and chewy-ness of the noodle are the most important qualities that distinguish authentic udon from the pre-packaged store-bought variety. In Koya bar, the difference in quality will make your tastebuds feel like they’ve flown to Tokyo. The restaurant boasts an extensive udon-filled menu that will fulfill all your food-related needs. Feeling like a hot broth cold noodle combo? What about a curry broth for your noodles instead of the traditional clear route? You name it, they got it. Bonus points- they also have a Japanese breakfast available for diners before noon (and if that doesn’t hook you in, I’m not too sure what will).
3. Laksa at Sambal Shiok
For those unacquainted with the traditional Malay dish, laksa consists of noodles in a curry-like sauce with a coconut milk base. Though not for the weak-stomached (due to the fishy smell which can be overpowering initially), it’s a definite must-try for people who adore spice and flavour in every meal. Sambal Shiok has so far been a pop-up restaurant appearing around London, but from Spring 2018 we’ll be blessed with a permanent place, so stay tuned to their Instagram page for more updates (and a sneak peek into their menu!).
4. Pho at Sông Quê Café
With Vietnamese restaurants becoming the vogue in Hoxton, it’s hard to choose which one to go for. Song Que Café is a Time Out 5* winner, with the great reviews to prove it; additionally, the menu flaunts a massive variety of starters, rice-based and side dishes, meaning that to sample a good selection of the whole menu you’ll just have to come again…and again…and again. For the brave diners, why not try the pho with tripe? Otherwise, several other Vietnamese classics are available- and if you’re a coffee drinker, the Vietnamese coffee is a must.
5. Wonton noodles at Four Seasons
Wonton noodles are a staple in Hong Kong, where street-side stalls sell bowls of wonton noodles for ~3 pounds. Although those prices sadly cannot be replicated in London, the taste of these noodles can be at Four Seasons, which specialises in Cantonese dishes. So what makes this dish so special? The broth, which is shrimp and pork-based, creates a unique flavour; the noodles are also thin but springy, much like pasta cooked al dente but with a very different taste; and finally, the wontons which are the star of the dish. Enjoy a bowl with a plate of charsiu (barbequed pork) for the ultimate combination of flavours, just like how the locals do it!