It seems that there is a huge noodle explosion in London recently and I managed to try Kanada-Ya with fellow food buddy Kristabel. Here, I got to indulge in some of my favourite things – noodles and taking photos of food! Located a stones throw from Tottenham Court Road, it is located directly opposite massive Japanese noodle chain Ippudo (which I am yet to try). Both are Japanese ramen chains but the difference between the two restaurants in London is quite obvious, while Ippudo opts for a restaurant-bar like atmosphere, Kanada-Ya is small and relies on communal seating. Both restaurants require queuing but since Kanada-Ya is so tiny, we waited about 45 mins for our noodles!
Was the wait worth it? I would say so. As a Chinese kid, if you’re not eating rice then you’re eating noodles! So I’ve always been wary about paying so much for a bowl of noodles when it’s such a cheap dish to make. While people in Asia might laugh at the £10 per bowl pricing (which is pretty steep when you compare to a similar bowl of ramen in HK) it’s not really that terrible for UK prices – I for one, can’t make that delicious rich tonkotsu broth at home.
The menu is simple with just a few noodle options, onigiri and some drinks. I like that you can choose the hardness of the noodles (I went for hard) and that they served genmai cha green tea (roasted brown rice) which is one of my favourites. I had the original ramen with Hanjuku egg – no ramen dish is complete without these soft boiled eggs in my opinion! The broth was super rich, slightly fatty and not too salty which I find with some broths. The Onigiri were quite big and so perfectly uniform that I’m sure that they used moulds rather than being hand-moulded. We opted for the regular salmon ones and they were pretty moreish and reminded me just how good this snack food is! One day I will go to Japan and raid the konbini’s for their excellent selection of Onigiri. In all, it was a really great meal and in a cosy environment – just be warned that it has two opening times (the lunch sitting closes at 3pm and reopens at 5pm) and definitely be prepared to wait in the cold outside. With the weather feeling so icy at the moment, this is definitely my idea of a perfect Winter warmer!