Ichiryu Udon House has recently opened up on Tottenham Court Road, serving up a range of exceptional noodle dishes and other Japanese specials. They are famed for their homemade udon noodles which are served in a range of their delicious hot or cold udon soups.
The restaurant is bright and spacious with high ceilings and industrial style lighting hanging down. There is a long sharing table throughout the centre of the restaurant and smaller tables around this. There is an open kitchen along the length of one wall, where you can watch the chefs at work and play, as in this place, they look one and the same. Ichiryu has the buzz and liveliness of a classic Japanese dining experience and feels effortlessly authentic, with friendly greetings on arrivals, from both the wait staff and the chefs.
Their steaming bowls of noodles are incredible; the fat udon noodles are combined with a range of ingredients depending on your soup choice. Their classic Tonkotsu is a winner, with the rich miso broth providing the base for the noodles, sliced pork, egg and spring onions. This is always a Japanese favourite and Ichiryu made it extremely well. Another hot udon dish that must be sampled on a visit here is their signature Beef Curry. Served in a meaty broth, the soup has a rich flavour and is filled with generous servings of beef and noodles.
Aside from their specialist udon dishes, there are other options on the menu that shouldn’t be missed. Their sushi is also great, with the freshest salmon filling their California rolls and thickly sliced unagi combined with avocado and cucumber. Their Hakata steamed buns are also exceptional with slow-cooked pork sandwiched in the soft bun and complimented with a sweet sauce and crisp slices of cucumber. Their tempura is served in the lightest crisp batter and you can choose from the classic king prawn or a range of tempura vegetables, of which I would highly recommend the aubergine.
Japanese desserts are still to catch on in a big way over here but we were served a trio of dessert balls which I would definitely reorder. They were each flavoured with a different popular Japanese ingredient: matcha, yuzu and sesame. The flavours were bold and memorable, different to what you might usually expect from a western style dessert but the perfect end to a delicious meal. They weren’t too filling but the sweet little bites perfectly hit the spot.
Ichiryu serves honest and delicious Japanese food in a beautiful, bright environment. Their simple ordering system makes it a no fuss dining experience but with exceptional food guaranteed every time. The popularity of Japanese noodle bars has increased steadily in recent years and Ichiryu is certainly one of the best. Due to the spacious seating plan and quick service, there are no lengthy queues outside the restaurant and it is perfect for both bigger groups but solo or couple dining too. Don’t miss their signature beef noodle dish, it’s worth visiting for that alone!
ICHIRYU HAKATA UDON HOUSE, 84 New Oxford St London WC1A 1HB