Ramoramen started out in Camden and earned quite a bit of attention with not just halal Japanese ramen, but a unique fusion of Filipino and Japanese flavours that made them stand out in the market. So it’s no surprise that Ramoramen Soho was super busy when they opened its doors in September this year.
During the first week of their launch, there was a 50% off offer and reservations were full within minutes. We tried to do a walk-in but to no avail. We tried again the following week, once again, without reservations. Luckily, there was a one-hour gap between the time of our arrival and the next reservation so we managed to squeeze into that slot. Our other visits have then been at odd late lunch hours during the week and it’s much easier to get a table then. Anyhow, point is, we would recommend making a reservation before visiting.
Ramoramen expands with second branch in Soho
As part of the ever-growing Maginhawa group, Ramoramen is now expanding with a second store opening in the heart of Soho. At Ramoramen Soho, you’d find familiar dishes that are served at their Camden branch but also a range of new dishes to take their menu up a notch to appeal to the west end market. The interior is also a little bit nicer and more atmospheric than its Camden branch. It also got an amazing music playlist featuring old-school classic R&Bs that really sets the atmosphere.
The Food at Ramoramen Soho: What We Ordered
All meats served are halal at Ramoramen. No pork but alcohol is served at the restaurant. Here is what we ordered:
Pandesal Garlic Bread (£4)
Using freshly baked Pandesal bread from Panadera Bakery and then toasted with garlic butter, the Pandesal garlic bread is something I didn’t know I needed in my life this whole time! The bread was ridiculously fluffy – even fluffier than I remembered from Panadera Bakery. Its natural sweetness fits well with the flavours and gives a lovely buttery sensation. The best part though, as recommended by the staff, is to dip the bread into the sauce from the scallops – and, oh my, that was exquisite. If I were to pick on it, I wouldn’t mind to have an extra pinch of sea salt to let the garlic flavour pop even more. But that’s a really minor criticism.
Roasted Scallops (£12.5)
Scallops are one of my favourite seafood and I just had to get it when I saw it on the menu. Roasted with bagoong (Filipino shrimp paste) butter and calamansi, they have executed the perfect flavour balance. There was just the right amount of savouriness and a little touch of tang to bring out the flavour of the scallops without overpowering it. The delicate flavours of the scallops were absolutely irresistible but the biggest star ought to be dipping the Pandesal garlic bread to the sauce. It was the way the bread soaks up the sauce, the way the savoury interlaces with the citrus and complimented with a buttery touch for umami.
Miso Maple Wings (£7)
These wings came with a super crispy coating and were beautifully glazed. It’s got a lovely blend of savoury and sweetness, plus a good kick of heat seeping through from the scotch bonnet. All in all, it’s a nice starter to get your taste buds dancing.
Cassava Bites with Edamame Puree (£6)
I wasn’t expecting much from cassava bites but these were actually quite impressive! The cassava was cooked to a perfect golden crisp on the outside, beautifully crunchy as you bite into it and deliciously soft & mushy on the inside. The most outstanding part, in my opinion, was the edamame puree, which I find addictively moreish! This is probably the only occasion you’d find me happily scooping mushy green bite after bite.
Lobster & Crab Ginatan Ramen (£28)
We tried another ramen and this one’s a new one on the menu for their Soho branch. It’s quite a luxurious one – consisting of a crab coconut broth, springy Tokyo noodles, and topped with grilled lobster with lemon butter, menma, shiitake, pea shoots, and spring onions.
The broth carries a really good depth of flavour. It’s light but also no short of umami. The best part was discovering the crab pieces at the bottom of the bowl, so definitely give it a mix when you savour the broth!
Wagyu Bistek Donburi (£20)
Another exclusive new dish to the Soho branch is their donburi. The wagyu bistek donburi, in particular, is no doubt a showstopper. Flat iron wagyu steak cooked to a perfect medium-rare and neatly arranged over the rice bowl, topped with cured yolk and toyomansi glazed onions, and garnished with spring onions – I could just stare and admire the beauty of this donburi all day long. Flavour-wise, the wagyu was lusciously buttery as ever, with a lovely glaze and simply melt-in-your-mouth tender. The cured yolk added a lovely richness and umami to the rice bowl, and I adored the toyomansi glazed onions, which is essentially caramelised onions with a tinge of tangy soy sauce. What I would pick on though, is that the bistek rice felt a bit too much going on. Personally, I think regular white rice would suffice and be the perfect balance without needing another extra touch of bistek flavourings.
To sum up, we really enjoyed Ramoramen Soho and definitely liked it more than the original Camden branch. I absolutely love the new menu, which is fun and creative in incorporating Filipino flavours into these classic Japanese dishes. It’s no doubt a great spot to pop by when you’re around the area!
All meats served are halal at Ramoramen. No pork but alcohol is served at the restaurant.
Tel: 020 7434 3777
Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus