Saturday 3 June 2017

Shoryu Ramen

As you enter Shoryu Ramen (which has just opened on Piccadilly, Manchester), you're greeted with a loud gong and the staff cheer your arrival... which was great for us, as we were running 20 minutes late and so were quite thankful that they were so happy to see us!

The place was teeming with people (a great sign), and the atmosphere was stylish, but very relaxed, with white wash stone walls, low hanging lights, gold detail; not to mention being bathed in natural light thanks to its two glass walls.

If you're from Manchester then you'll know that the Piccadilly area really struggles with its reputation (and if you've visited Manchester it's probably the bit in the city centre that made you wonder why you came..), so I'm really pleased it's getting names like Shoryu to tempt people back to spend time there.

Before I get on to the good stuff (spoiler alert: the ramen is incredible), one thing James and I both commented on was how friendly all the staff were. Not just to us, but to every table - chatting away, offering friendly advice and generally being lovely and attentive. They were really busy but always made time to put a smile on people's faces, and that created such a nice atmosphere. Big shout out to Duncan too (Shoryu's answer to Michael McIntyre?!), who was really funny and a great host.

For drinks, James went for the manly Okinawa Sunrise (mint, mango puree, orange, maraschino, red rum and grenadine), and I had the Avocado Nikkei (blended avocado, namazake, pisco, agave syrup and lemon) (FYI I have no idea what namazake or pisco are but the drink tasted lush so there we go).

They both hit the spot perfectly and weren't sickly sweet like some summer inspired drinks can be.

When Duncan was talking through the menu, the wagyu beef bun jumped out at me, as did the pork belly bun... this picture does not do the soft, fluffy bun justice. It was heaven. The pork belly was thick and so tasty - the bun came with a spicy sauce which was just to my taste. The wagyu bun stole the show though, with a gorgeous flavour and really 'light' feel.

Wagyu beef bun

Pork belly bun
Us being us, we also ordered the Duck teriyaki from the jumbo hakata yakitori menu, and the king prawn tempura.

Oh my gosh, I don't know what to start with, duck or prawn. The duck was absolutely amazing - skewered and coated in a gorgeous teriyaki sauce with a slightly crispy skin, it was incredibly moreish.

The tempura on the prawns was lovely and light, not too heavy and worked so well with the big juicy prawns - I was so impressed.

When it came to ramen, we knew we had to get a Tonkotsu - Shoryu specialise in Tonkotsu - a rich pork broth that cooks for 12 hours, and is topped with barbecue pork belly, nitamago egg, kikurage mushrooms, spring onion, sesame, ginger and nori seaweed.

We got the Shoryu Ganso Tonkotsu, which came with fried shallots, and it was gorgeous. The soupy broth is soo tasty - you could eat that on its own and be satisfied! The portions are huge and it's a lot of fun watching the person you're with not splash broth everywhere...

I really liked the shallots and spring onions in the pork dish, they brought the flavours to life for me - it's incredible how the noodles pick up all the different flavours.

As I'm a huge (huge huge) fan of Thai inspired cuisine, we also got the Green curry ramen - a really spicy, coconut-y soup with king prawns, chicken karaage (fried), menma (bamboo shoots), nitamago egg, red chillies and of course, loooads of noodles.

My green curry ramen (and teriyaki duck in the chopsticks)

This was my absolute favourite dish and I was gutted at how full I got towards the end as I couldn't finish it! If you like Thai green curry, I promise you you will love this dish.

After a good twenty minutes or so of letting our food go down, more drinks (this time, Asian beer!) and chatting, we were offered dessert. Despite being so full, Duncan persuaded us to try a tiny little Japanese pudding called Mochi (Japanese icecream balls, essentially). James chose salted caramel and I went for sesame. These were the perfect size for having something to satisfy that sweet craving.

Each part of our meal was absolutely delicious, and come on.. how nicely are those ramen bowls presented?! It's a great spot to with friends after work, or to grab a lush meal if you're out shopping or fancy food and drinks and a genuinely friendly service!

Shoryu Ramen kindly invited me down, but you know I wouldn't ever write about or promote a place that I wouldn't go to again - and I really, really urge you to go and check this place out! We'll definitely be back. Thank yooou Shoryu Ramen. 

PS if you're looking for more Asian inspired recipes and reviews in Manchester - here's a few of my others... here, here, here, and here!


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