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ate every morsel and declared it to be one of the best desserts she had ever eaten! Our son chose the Chocolate Mousse Bombe, and stayed very quiet for the next ten or so minutes, sadly not leaving any for me to try. Filled with Raspberry Coulis and 70% Dark Chocolate Mousse, he really enjoyed the flavours, which was somewhat of a surprise as he doesn’t usually like dark chocolate, with its high cocoa content. The service at Crocker’s Folly is friendly and laid back, providing a good match with the ambience of the place, which in spite of its grandeur, retains a ‘pub’ like feel. On a pleasant and balmy summer’s evening, we found it hard to leave our comfortable table, but we would have been equally happy sitting outside, or even sipping cocktails in The 1898 Bar. Next time we’ll go on a chilly wintry evening and sit somewhere cosy, hopefully near the fireplace – I bet it’s wonderful! You must give this restaurant a visit, and when you do go you may even recognise the place as we hear it’s been given a starring role in a host of films, among them Gregorys Girl, Reds, An Education and Captain America: The First Avenger. I am sure that Frank Crocker would have been pleased to know that his great ‘folly’ has found its way into stardom (of a sort), and he would be delighted at the superb job The Maroush Group have done in bringing this true gem back to life.

Shoryu Ramen

35 Great Queen Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2B 5AA www.shoryuramen.com Japanese food is really popular nowadays, as it is not only very tasty, but also healthy, and that is a heady combination in this weight conscious world. There are many restaurants providing a variety of foods from the orient, but Shoryu Ramen is a cut above these and it has been recommended in the Michelin Guide 2014 and 2015. Shoryu Ramen specialises in Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen from the Hakata district of Fukuoka city on the southern island of Kyushu, Japan. As I am sure everyone knows Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen is a style of ramen made with a thick, rich, white pork soup and thin, straight ramen noodles, and the recipe is specially crafted by their executive chef Kanji Furukawa, who was born and raised in the area. Creating the rich and creamy pork stock which forms the basis of all of the ramen bowls takes over 12 hours of cooking, and rather than explaining all of the ingredients and the process, as this may put you off(!), suffice to say that the time and effort taken, to create the ramen produces a final soup that wouldn’t be out of place in Japan. To make the perfect Ramen you also need the right noodles and Shoryu Ramen have used exclusive Soryu flour to make the perfect hoomen (thin noodles). You can then customise these noodles by choosing how you wish them to be cooked – very hard, hard, medium or soft. The final components are the added ingredients to make the various offerings, 4

American In Britain

and these vary depending on what you order. I visited the Covent Garden restaurant, located just a short stroll from the main plaza. Please note that you can’t book tables, so it is just a turn up and dine system, but be warned you also will not be seated until all of your party have arrived. The décor is minimalistic, but there is a cool buzz in the restaurant and the wooden tables are reasonably spaced to allow diners to have privacy, but also not feel all alone. As we entered Shoryu Ramen, one of the staff banged a gong, a gesture I hope to welcome me to the place, rather than a warning we were coming! I like restaurants that know what they do best and focus on this rather than having a menu that resembles War and Peace. Shoryu Ramen has one of the shortest I have encountered, as it is only a one page menu with two sections, Ramen Noodles and Sides. On seeing this I thought excellent, as it would be easy to make a choice, but how wrong was I? Under the ramen heading you have a variety of options including a Kimchi Seafood Tonkotsu (£14.90) with a variety of prawns, scallops and squid nestling in the noodles and also the more indulgent Truffle Tonkotsu (£18) (only found at the Covent Garden restaurant) which was a large bowl of a rich comforting soup packed with noodles and slices of tender pork, all delicately flavoured with truffle. I was struggling again to decide, and turned to the waitress for some much needed advice, and after explaining what my tastes were, I was recommended the Green Curry Ramen (£12.50). This was a perfect choice, as a generous portion of prawns and chicken along with the noodles, seaweed, red chilli and lime all bathed in a tangy rich and creamy green curry sauce was delicious, and will keep me coming back again and again. I am reliably informed that you can’t have ramen without gyoza, even though they are normally considered Chinese food and not Japanese, and at Shoryu Ramen these fried dumplings are filled with tender pork and served in a scalding hot cast iron skillet, so watch your hands (£4 for 3 pieces, £7 for 6). I personally prefer my gyozu to have a little more umph, so added a little garlic which I

crushed myself from the bulb provided on the table, but that is down to personal taste. The other sides we selected were the Shoryu Bun and the Tiger Prawn Tempura (£9). The buns are light and fluffy and it is good to see that they are made daily at Shoryu Ramen’s own bakery. There are a number of fillings for these buns including Soy Marinated Chicken, Grilled Halloumi and Shimeji Mushrooms, and Tiger Prawns, and our selection, the Char Siu Pork Belly with Japanese Mayo (£4.50 for 1 piece, £7.50 for 2 pieces), and these were a perfect accompaniment to my creamy ramen. If you feel a little extravagant then go for the Wagu Beef filled ones as the meat is perfectly marbled and melts in your mouth (1 piece £8.50). I love tempura and prawns, and when they are put together they just tick every box, and here this is no exception. The prawns are meaty and the batter light and crisp, just how I like it. I usually find that healthy food rarely fills me up, but this time, after my Ramen and sides, I was comfortably full, and was grateful that the desserts recognise this and there is nothing too heavy on offer. I selected the Yuzu Cheesecake (£5.90) and my wife chose a Salted Caramel Mochi Ice Cream (£3 for 1 piece, £7.90 for 3 pieces). The Yuzu fruits taste closely resembles a mixture of grapefruit and mandarin orange, and is quite tart, which gives the cheesecake a fresh and clean taste. Mochi Ice Cream is a small, round dessert ball consisting of a soft, pounded sticky rice cake (mochi) formed around the salted caramel ice cream filling. The ice cream flavours the confection, while the mochi adds sweetness and texture, and the ice cream was a great way to end a lovely meal. The wine list, including numerous sake’s, caters for all tastes and pockets, and you will always find something to complement your dishes. The Liverpool Street and Soho restaurants have a particularly large range of wines and specialise in Japanese favourites, Shochu, Umeshu and of course Sake, and indeed have the largest range in the UK with over 130 to choose from. I passed on sake this time, but when I return, and I will, I may just take that plunge and partake.

American in Britain Autumn 2016  

The features in this issue include Mid-Year Tax Round-Up by Westleton Drake; Wealth Management: The Role Of Foreign Exchange in Investing by...

American in Britain Autumn 2016  

The features in this issue include Mid-Year Tax Round-Up by Westleton Drake; Wealth Management: The Role Of Foreign Exchange in Investing by...

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