Restaurant: Tonkotsu, Southbank, London SE1
I was on the South Bank in central London on business and during lunch spotted a Tonkotsu restaurant. I sat on the bench style table facing the chefs and plumped for the large set lunch menu. 3 prawn Gyozas and a large Tokyo Ramen.
The gyoza came first are lite and tasty. Soft. Not over fried. You could taste the prawns and the spices.
The Tokyo Ramen is soy based broth mixed with a very clear chicken stock. The Tonkotsu homemade ramen noodles, braised pork belly and a seasoned egg. Dressed with bamboo shoots and spring onions. The broth is dark, hot and very tasty. There is a hint of soy but its very subtle. Home made noodles soft and moreish. These are really good noodles and there are so many of them.
The 4 slices of pork belly are more than enough. The are best occasionally dipped in the chilli oil provided. Absolute delight. Not sure about the soft flabby pork fat but still ate it all. Lastly the soft boiled egg fit right in.
Finished it all.
Damn that’s good soup.
Words and pictures: @madgie
Restaurant: Viet Grill, 58 Kingsland Road, London E2
I found myself in East London on a Saturday, as I had booked to do a photography course just off of Hackney Road. So when we broke for lunch with the instruction to be back in 45 minutes I knew that gave me just enough time to slip out for some Vietnamese food.
Kingsland Road is well known for it’s Vietnamese community, with a great choice of restaurants. Because I had such a short amount of time, I went into the first place I found that looked good and only afterwards I realised it was actually part of the same company that own the fantastic Cây Tre restaurant round the corner. It turned out to be a good choice.
Viet Grill is quite a large space and I was just a little sad that it was lunchtime and I had a class that afternoon so I couldn’t sample one of the delicious sounding cocktails. I ordered from the Express menu for speed and didn’t have to wait long for my vegetable spring rolls and Classic Beef Pho to arrive. The soup is made with a 24-hour cooked marrow bone stock and is filled with steak and brisket beef, along with silky noodles and herbs and onions. The broth was good – rich and flavoursome and the soup was filling. The beef was tender, and the mixture of the two types of meat made for interesting textures. I always have hoisin sauce with my Pho, and I learned a fact from the menu that I didn’t know before. Apparently only people from the south of Vietnam use hoisin, in the north they have chilli sauce to accompany the soup.
A good, fast lunchtime soup and perfect for filling up with on a cold day.
Words and pictures by LadyLavish