Kanada-Ya 金田家

Kanada-Ya
eatwithsteph experiences the ramen craze first-hand at Kanada-Ya, a ramen bar sought out to be the best in London

History and Background:

The English equivalent of the word tonkotsu is pork bone broth, usually prepared over 18 hours resulting in smooth, thick and savoury noodle soup.

There has been a steadfast of ramen bar openings that have filled the streets of London in recent years, and here to name a few; Shoryu, Tonkotsu, Bone Daddies, Sasuke, Seto and Ippudo. Kanada-Ya has opened its latest branch on Denman Street directly opposite Ippudo. Compared to the likes of its competitor, its large, dedicated fan base and frequent first-rate reviews has propelled Kanada-Ya to be unofficial number one ramen bar in London.

With successful branches in Japan and Hong Kong, the opening of this bar in autumn 2014 has led to queues and queues of people waiting in line to taste the authenticity of what you would call – Kyushu style tonkotsu ramen.

One of the cheapest eats around where you can finish your meal off with less than £10-15, please visit the Bits and Bobs section below for further information on deals.

The meal: (Photos are from two different visits)

Kanada Ya
Chashu-Men £12.50 (Recommended)

This place really reminds me of Ichiran in Hong Kong, where you can choose the firmness of your ramen, or to add toppings to your meal for an extra price. For more information on the menu, please visit their website: https://www.kanada-ya.com/food-and-drink

Kanada Ya
Hanjuku Egg (Ramen dishes do not already include egg) £2.00
Kanad-Ya
Black Garlic Sauce (Ma-yu) £1.50

I chose to have firm noodles. The texture was made just right, and broth, so smooth and thick , enticed with enriching pork flavours. The ramen are made out of thin wheat noodles and are made live from a noodle gizmo.

Kanada-Ya
Original Ramen £10.00
Egg made perfect!

Above, was a meal spent with Vanessa, and with a party of 2, it was much easier to be seated than with a party of 6 below!

Kanada-Ya
Louise, Fia, Daisy, Mun Squared, and Claudia enjoying Beer Monday
Kanada Ya
I’m actually not much of a tonkotsu fan, but boy does Kanada-Ya serve up some good broth.

Being the glut that I am, Muns and I ordered an extra onigiri (rice triangles) stuffed with salted salmon.

Fresh Flaked Salmon Onigiri priced at £4.25
The Onigiri is so-so, quite a large portion for onigiri, but a meal out of just ramen is enough! Too full.
My Chashu-ramen getting its solo shot

With the very generous portion of pork slices and thick, creamy broth, as well as your bottle of beer (usually priced at £4.00) it’s hard to come out of Kanada-Ya still feeling hungry!

Everyone snapping away to update the world of social media what they had for dinner…
Vanessa’s original ramen, nothing beats hot food on a cold day.

The bits and bobs:

  • No booking, expect queues or time your visit wisely! (There are heaters outside)
  • Table sharing system
  • Avoid visiting in large crowds, 2-3 is the optimum
  • Large and clear windows mean that you may have hungry google-eyed citizens staring at you eat from the outside…

Deals:

  • Local business employees deal – (if you show your business card = 15% off)
  • Students discount too, if you bring any form of ID
  • Beer and Ramen Mondays! Any ramen and beer for £12.00

Service: It’s a small place but the waiters are there when you need them. Minimal interaction but attentive

Price: £

Kanada-Ya on Urbanspoon

Kintan

Matt, Toby and Athena (or rather, Athena’s hand) in eager anticipation for their meal to come

History and Background:

Newly renovated, newly opened, (July 2014), Kintan acclaims itself as London’s first yakiniku restaurant. Centrally located in High Holborn, a place bustling with City workers, you’ll find it hard to be seated during its busiest hours. With a considerably large dining area, it accommodates up to 130 seats. Kintan has actually already achieved worldwide success, the name not uncommon to most Japanese people, as its authenticity has allowed it to become the number one yakiniku restaurant chain, with restaurants all over Europe, the US, and Jakarta.

All in all, a welcomed addition to the locals, since in recent years, sushi and ramen bars have dominated and over populated the London-Japanese food scene.

The meal: [Set lunch for £17.50]

Salad and Miso soup

There are three different types of lunch set menu’s and you are given a choice out of 6-8 different meats, and you choose 2-4 depending on the set.

Pork Belly
Kalbi short rib

This is the fun part, the DIY-ing. The meat, sweetly marinated and thinly cut, topped with sesame seeds… and with the grill so hot… you can’t wait to get your hands on those tongs!

Matt and Toby makes grilling meat a work of art.
Hungry yet?

Thin slices of finely cut, high quality meat all ready to be eaten within minutes of grilling, tender and succulent.

Alongside the meat, you are given three sauces as dippers and a generous bowl of rice.

Cook it the way you want it. Grilling galore.

Service: One of the slowest customer service I have ever encountered. We were sat around the corner and away from the staff. It got to the point where I had to get out of my seat and order, or request things. Many reviewers on blogs, urbanspoon, and timeout have encountered the same problem. It is important for a restaurant to focus on customer service too, not just food.

Regardless, my colleagues and I have chosen this place for the company’s Christmas lunch this Friday, given the restaurant’s proximity to the firm. Let see if there are any improvements…

Bits and Bobs:

  • They do plenty of deals, prices can be steep, but there are also set lunches/ dinners  at £17.50-£39.95
  • They use an artificial barbeque grill, (as you can see from the photos)
  • Booking highly recommended if going in the evening. They’re not too efficient with seat allocation so do book.

Price: £££

 

Asadal

Busy on a Friday night, one of London’s biggest Korean Restaurants.

History and background:

Slap-bang in the middle of the High Holborn intersection lies Asadal and easily one of the most popular Korean restaurants in Central London. It first opened in 1991 in New Malden and then relocated to the City in 2005 (and what a good decision that was). Predominantly filled with City workers, business men and women, a large portion of its customers come from local universities such as LSE, which is a 2 minute walk away.

Working near Holborn myself, meant that I have been to this restaurant countless of times after work, and no doubt, it doesn’t disappoint. Although, I wouldn’t say it’s the most authentic Korean restaurant out there (the dishes are more catered towards a British audience), it does deliver good food.

Pajeon £8.90

I usually go for the Kimchi pancake, but on Friday, I went with the Seafood pancake (pajeon). Some type of sauce always complements the pancake, though I am not sure what it is..

One of my favourite pancakes in London. Crispy and crunchy.

Pancake made of egg, wheat and rice flour batter, pan fried with spring onions, oyster, mussels, prawn and squid.

Shikhye – Rice punch

Below we have Korean BBQ! A lot of people come here for the BBQ, they have a great selection, I would recommend anything marinated, or Kalbi.

Dewji Bulgolgi £8.50

Dewji Bulgogi is spicy marinated pork, we had this bare, but you would usually complement it with lettuce. Annoying thing about Asadal is that they do the BBQing for you. I’m one of those people who like to DIY it!

DSC07309
Galbi £9.50

This is the Galbi – beef. So good and succulent… I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

Specially marinated cuts of rib of beef
Yu Khei Bibimbap £9.90

Bibimbap consists of vegetables and beef and rice, then you mash it all up. Yukhei is raw fillet beef but it gets soon cooked inside the hot stone bowl.

Sam Gae Tang £13.50

This is a whole baby chicken stuffed with sticky rice, dates, ginseng, chestnuts, garlic slow cooked and served in broth. The first time I’ve had this at Asadal, or even in London. It was mostly good, though some parts of the chicken were quite dry.

Sticky rice soon became unsticky… lost it in the soup!

Not denying its popularity, but I wouldn’t say it’s the best restaurant out there…nevertheless, it serves good quality food at an alright price.

Service: Not great service to be honest, it’s quite impersonal. They do have a lot of staff, but you need a lot of staff for a 120 seat restaurant. 10% service charge.

Bits and bobs:

  • The restaurant is underground, little service/ signal and no wifi
  • Booking recommended but with 120 seats, you don’t usually wait long anyway

Price: ££

Square Meal

Asadal on Urbanspoon