Taking a break from marking a friend and I were looking for a quick, light lunch around Piccadilly. Shoryu was back on the agenda for the new year but there was a queue out of the door and one of my golden rules for life is never queue to get into a restaurant.* So anyway, we moved on.
Well, Stockpot may be gone but there are now TWO ramen joints on Panton Street, being nearest we popped into Kanada-Ya (or should that be KANADA-YA?) to see what was cooking. After the trad Japanese greeting at the door (or as close to it as a nervous French host could get) we were seated at a round table with the potential to have to share it later on as lunch got busy. It didn’t get that busy so we had plenty of elbow room.
The menu is shorter than at Shoryu, which I don’t mind. I did a random order thing and went for a bowl of ramen with pork in it. What I liked was that the guy asked me if I wanted an egg on top. Eggs make me feel sick at the sight of them so I was glad to turn it down in advance rather than forget to ask for an eggless ramen and have to remove it later.
The ramen was good and tasty – a good broth, quite a bit of veg and 4 chunky slices of pork. On the side edamame in truffle salt were too salty for me, and the truffle element seemed a bit pointless. But the ramen was what we were there for and that worked. Drinks are your usual suspects – bottle of Asahi for about £3 isn’t too extortionate in these parts.
The room was fairly full by the time lunchtime got properly going with a good mixture of locals and tourists. The music was pleasingly subdued compared to Shoryu where sometimes the sound of chatter fighting to be heard over the speakers can be a bit of a chore if you want to talk to somebody.
Uneasy ‘highlight’ of lunch (and I’m not sure whether my fellow diner was aware of this, I forgot to ask him about it) was a couple of office workers across the way getting into the kind of dry humping session that one would normally witness a couple of teenagers indulging in after a night of Blastaways in Martine’s of Eastleigh. Chapeau, madamoiselle, I just hope he was worth the loss of dignity.
To see which other restaurants I’ve visited in 2017 check out my GoogleMap
*One of the most tragic scenes to be beheld in the West End is of poor saps queueing to get in to Pizza Hut on Haymarket.
Blue Badge guide to London and academic specialising in early twentieth century history. Blogging on history, academia, and food and culture in the capital (and occasionally elsewhere).