The first post-lockdown restaurant and it was back to an old favourite after a day of sweating over the books in the library.
It’s been a fun few weeks on the pub front in terms of tasting the variety of procedures each one has come up with to comply with HMG’s Covid regulations; from the libertarian-anarchist approach of the Beac (‘What virus? You want virus? We don’t serve that here. You want Heineken?’) to the ‘Welcome to Changi Jail, our staff will process you through the reception area when a cell becomes available’ approach of the Greene King pubco.
Thankfully Shoryu are pretty relaxed but vigilant, striking a nice balance. It helps that they’ve got a good wide pavement outside if you want to dine al fresco but when we got there that was full up. They were also booked up inside (a good sign) but I spotted a couple of places free in the window and they were happy for us to plonk there after testing our temperatures and taking our contact details.
There’s no draft beer any more, which is a shame, but the bottles of Kirin were cold enough and we people-watched Lower Regent Street before selecting our food.
The menu has been stripped back but there’s still plenty of variety. One of the joys of lockdown was eating well prepared food at home but with none of us in the house particularly adventurous cooks it was nice to be looking at something completely different for a change. So we went for Octopus Balls up front and I had a Dracula Ramen with them.
The balls were excellent – crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside and with bits of Japanese crunchy shit on top. The ramen was a bit warm for the hottest day of the year but as tasty as it’s always been at Shoryu with a good kick of garlic and six slices of juicy pork.
Thanks to the government scheme the whole thing came to 15 quid a head, which for this area is a bargain. Given that many an old favourite in St. James’s/Piccadilly (Getti, Rowley’s, Al Duca, the wine bar in the Royal Opera Arcade)is still boarded up I’ll likely be back to Shoryu soon.
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).