At least two of my foodie friends swear that the best ramen they ate in London was at Bone Daddies. Naturally we had to go and try it out for ourselves but did it meet our expectations? Well, we went in May when indoor dining was not available, however the Bond Street branch luckily had outdoor seating. After heading over from Oxford Circus, we hung a right at James Street, and found the branch across from a CocoIchibanya (check our our review of Coco Ichi here)!
Our first impression was that Bone Daddies has a fair few fans. We waited for a good twenty minutes in the queue but this only built up our appetite. This long line also brought back memories of queuing for ramen in Japan. I suddenly remembered lunchbreaks where I was waiting thirty minutes in a line for decent ramen, finishing it within ten, and attempting to get back to the office in the remaining time!
What did we order?
Once “inside” the covered outdoor seating area, our attentive waiter passed us some menus and we ordered some drinks immediately. Sake once again caught our attention, and then we ordered our ramen. My friend went with a classic Tonkotsu (ramen noodles in a rich pork bone broth) while I opted for their Tantanmen (ground pork and ramen noodles in spicy creamy broth).
How was the ramen?
One thing that stood out about Bone Daddies was their speed of service. Our drinks came out quickly and so did our ramen. For the Tantamen, I felt the broth had depth and was generally on par with Japanese Tantanmen, however it could have done with some more spice. The noodles felt fresh and had a good bite although the minced pork wasn’t really visible. When it came to the Tonkotsu, the broth was not as rich as it is in Japan, but my friend was able to make it work by adding some of the spices available on the table. Both of us agreed the Clarence Court egg was on the cold side but the Chashu pork belly slices on the other hand were superb!
There has to be a mention for this. The service was amazing. The staff were attentive and friendly and kept coming to check on us. They even held up a light so we could take better photos. The restaurant had real atmosphere too – Bone Daddies is clearly not just a place to eat but a space to relax and enjoy the evening with friends. Not every ramen joint can claim this. I have read about their rock n roll decor and soundtrack in their Soho branch too and I’m sure this would make for a great dining experience!
One thing about the Bond Street branch that was a little weird for us was the toilet door decorations. Bone Daddies if you are reading this (unlikely but we hope that someone tells you) please have a think about whether such decoration is appropriate in 2021!
First, we were simply grateful to be able to eat Japanese food, as many Japanese restaurants in London did not have outdoor seating during this period. I genuinely feel this also affected the ramen we ate, since not only were conditions different to normal but after a good four months of not being open, there must have been some effect on the ramen created.
As written above, Bone Daddies has the full confidence of two foodie friends and there must be a reason for this. Therefore we now have an excellent excuse to go back and try it again!
If you are reading this, please do comment and let us know your opinion if you have eaten at Bone Daddies. It would be great to hear other views of their ramen and side dishes. Also, perhaps their Soho branch does differ to their Bond street branch and this would be good feedback for Bone Daddies to know!