I love Ramen, longtime followers of my Instagram (@rosieposiebtn) will remember a time I made it for 30 people (below) in a competition, to fundraise for Action Against Hunger (the only circumstance which would make me put myself through an ordeal like that). All you really need to know is that we raised loads of money for charity, I didn’t win and I didn’t eat ramen for a loooong time after that. Anyway, I digress…
Despite being an ardent Ramen enthusiast I’m almost ashamed to admit that despite many of my mates rhapsodising about it endlessly, and having been high up my ‘to eat at’ list ever since reading a review likening the broth to ‘roasting a whole pig, then liquidising and straining it (OMG where do I sign), I didn’t actually make it to a Bone Daddies until early last year.
But, I’m delighted to say it was love at first slurp and the Victoria site became a regular haunt thanks to the absolute carnage that was Network Rail, last summer.
Serving up Ramen and Rock ‘n’ Roll is their promise and they deliver not only with their food and soundtrack, but also with their vibes.
After eating at a couple of their ramen bars and the Oxford Circus site of Flesh & Buns (more on that below) plus fangirling over their daily social media content (great pics guys), it’s clear that this collection of brands are alll about keeping it fresh and keeping it moving.
With frequent collabs, monthly specials and takeovers from legends in the Ramen game, they’re constantly diversifying their offering. In this day and age where restaurant OG’s are announcing closures every week it seems, it’s never been more vital to keep widening your reach, talking to your customers and giving them plenty of reasons to talk about you, and more importantly, keep coming back!
I’ve eaten a lot of Ramen, a LOT (I even have my own hashtag #rosieposieramen), and the Tonkotsu (with or without softshell crab, but I would strongly suggest you add it as an extra) is up there with some of the best, if not the best. The broth, 20-hour simmered pork bones was everything the review promised, the meat they yielded equally delicious and the noodles, pert. Topped off with a Clarence Court Burford Brown – the absolute DON of the egg world, and a slick of miso butter – it doesn’t get much better than this, lads. Bonus points for supporting the lovely charity Magic Breakfast, with an optional donation on every bill.
The chicken and cheese katsu noodles was a monthly special, but if it pops up again I would recommend getting involved, I got to demolish the remains thanks to my mate having eyes bigger than their belly. Shoutout to the mastermind who decided fried cheese would be an excellent filthy addition – genius.
In terms of side dishes, or as they call them, snacks, I would guide you towards – the Karage, Korean fried chicken wings and Padron peppers with lemon salt – fun fact, Bone Daddies is the first and only place I have ever actually had a spicy Padron pepper.
For the quality, surroundings and portion size I think the price points of £4-£9 for a starter and £11-£14 for ramen are what they ought to be and is exactly what I would expect to pay, particularly in London. That said I’ve no doubt at all that they would kill it if they brought it to Brighton, so if you’re reading Bone Daddies gang – let’s make this dream a reality 🍜🍜!
Now down the Victoria line to Flesh & Buns, their younger yet more grown up sibling. Both the interior and atmosphere is definitely more upmarket and less rowdy than its Ramen Bar sisters, and fitting of the Fitzrovia postcode. I liked it a lot – boujee but in a cool way. There’s another one in Covent Garden too.
I’ve banged on about the brand enough, above, so just know that at all the sites I’ve visited (four and counting) have absolutely NAILED the hospitality holy trinity of banging food, drink and service. Throw in Instagram gold like a ‘press for Pisco’ button on every table, the ideal selfie mirror in the (spotless) loos and an excellent wifi connection… et voila!
In terms of food the menu is ‘the same but different’ and slightly larger than Bone Daddies. The Poké Don menu feels designed for slotting into one’s lunch hour, and looking around the almost full main restaurant, the other punters seemed to agree. But equally, a brilliant place for a long lunch, girly dinner or date night – it’s got the lot.
Sorry about the picture of the wings… despite getting up close and personal with literally hundreds over the last couple of years of my career, the fuckers do NOT behave for the camera without styling, which given how generously coated in the piquant sauce they were, just wasn’t polite in a nice setting. Just know, they were freakishly large in size and flavour – 10/10 would bang again, especially for £7.40.
The Rabbit Katsu (£16) with two pillowy steamed rice flour buns (not pictured) was accurately cooked and a more than generous portion. I’d danced the usual dance with my server ‘I hope you are hungry, the portions are LARGE’ Me: ‘hahahah watch me’, but he was right, the portions were huge, rich and extremely filling and nearly defeated me, but I completed it, obvs.
The third and final member of the Bone Daddies fam is Shack-Fuyu and you’d probably recognise them for their ubiquitous and internet famous, soft-serve green tea icecream. I’ve only been there briefly once, and didn’t eat, but if the rest of the group is anything to go by, I need to make going back to give it their ‘western-style Japanese food a whirl, a priority.
For those of you who have just scrolled through the pics and are at the bottom looking for a succinct summary of my feelings on the Bone Daddies group, here it is: The service across the board is slick, charming and friendly and the food consistent, high quality and reasonably priced. Full marks for instagrammability of both food and venues, excellent soundtracks and switching it up with specials and takeovers. If you are here for negativity, reader, today, you are shit out of luck because I love them, sorry.