A new weekend, a new adventure,
Welcome to a new episode of Ramen Escapade where your host, Le Captain Foodie, walks you around London to review the best and worst Ramen Restaurants.
This time we head to London’s South Bank, at the lively Flat Iron Square foodie hub to visit Tatami Ramen, a Ramen restaurant born a few years ago in Barcelona.
Here is my review of Tatami’s Tonkotsu Pork Ramen and their delicious Chashu!
Tatami Ramen, From Barcelona with love:
Opened in London in 2016, Tatami Ramen originates from Barcelona where the owners Jason and Hugo launched their first Japanese restaurant : The Tatami Room.
Following the success of their first restaurant in Barcelona, Hugo and Jason decided to open their first franchise in London : Tatami Ramen.
Hugo, the chef operating in the Kitchen of Tatami Ramen (cf picture Above) is passionate about Japan where he has spend 15 years before deciding to start his business in Barcelona and London.
Tatami Ramen is located in the great Flat Iron Square food court. For those who don’t know the place; It is a vibrant venue with lots of food vendors, food trucks, bar, live music and entertainment.
Tatami Ramen stall is inside the food court with other restaurants such as Edu or Ekaicha. The set up is simple, you order your Ramen and then take a seat at one of the shared table available within the food court. All the restaurants share the same dining hall which creates a very friendly and open atmosphere. The perfect place to have a few drinks and food with your friends.
Tatami Ramen’s kitchen is a small place with all the necessary tools to cook a great ramen. You can have a sneak peek of the kitchen in the picture below. Nothing fancy, just what you need to prepare great food. I like to think that simplicity is at the heart of Ramen.
As you would expect the menu at Tatami Ramen revolves almost exclusively around Ramen; With 6 variations of Ramen from the traditional Tonkotsu to a more exotic Black sesame Spicy tan tan. Price wise, the Ramen range from £8 to £9.50 which is quite competitive in London.
As usual, you have the opportunity to add your preferred Extras for a few more pounds: Hanjuku Egg, extra Chashu (highly recommended!), Kimchi (original) and Kaedama if needed.
In addition to the Ramen, you can also order extra Kimchi as a side dish (i wonder if it is homemade?) or Chicken/Shrimp Gyoza.
It is quite original to see that Tatami Ramen has also decided to sell four different options of Sushi. I am not sure if i would recommend eating Sushi while slurping Ramen, but i guess it is a good business opportunity considering the people coming to the Flat Iron Square food court and the lack of Sushi restaurant there.
My Review: The Tonkotsu Ramen
Time for the review; i was pretty hungry that day (as always!). With my new ambition of not using transportation anymore during the weekend in London, I had a pretty long walk from Camden to Tatami Ramen restaurant (about an hour something..). It was time to investigate if the Ramen scene from Barcelona is worth a detour or if they should just stick to Catalan tapas and Football.
Broth: The tonkotsu was served at a good temperature. Well balanced, rich, creamy, good level of saltiness. It is not the best i have tried in London but It does not disappoint.
One thing also, the broth is lacking the depth i am still looking for with a proper Tonkotsu, but it is a constant with all the Ramen in London so far. If you like the Tonkotsu broth being served at other popular Ramen joints such as Kanada-ya or Monohon Ramen; Tatami Ramen won’t let you down.
Noodles: the Chef sets the timer to cook the noodles for exactly 1mn30. A short time to ensure a good Koshi-ness (it is the concept of perfect texture for Ramen noodles, similar to the Al-Dente principle for Italian pasta) The result is great noodles and good texture.
In regards to the flavor of the noodles, they were good but they lacked the tiny plus that makes the whole difference between good noodles and Ramen’s Heaven. I don’t know if the noodles are prepared home-made (i hope) but i would be curious to know the flour combination and recipe they are using at Tatami Room.
Pork: I am happy to say that i have finally found a Ramen serving proper slice of Chashu pork in London. The pork served that day was delicious, super tender, great saltiness and a deep flavor. It is the best slice of Chashu i have tasted in London so far. Well done Tatami Ramen!
Toppings: The Tonkotsu Ramen at Tatami Ramen is served with Nori, Japanese rocket, Wakame and fried leek. It is not that often that a Ramen is served with Japanese rocket and fried leek in London, i have to say that these toppings accompany quite well the Tonkotsu Ramen.
The extra Hanjuku Egg was unfortunately overcooked. The yolk was not creamy which was a bit of a disappointment.
Size: The portion served at Tatami Ramen is correct: Great amount of noodles and broth. I highly recommend you to order extra slices of their Chashu pork with your Ramen, it is absolutely delicious.
Price: £8 for the Tonkotsu Ramen, £0.50 for the extra Hanjuku Egg and £1.50 for the extra Chashu slices. A total of £10 which is a very competitive price in London.
Overall: Tatami Ramen is serving an honest Tonkotsu Ramen that should not disappoint you. If the overall Tonkotsu does not create the surprise, the super-tender slices of Chashu uplift the overall experience. At such a competitive price and located in such a great environment, it would be a shame not to give them a try ! Ramen-Lovers you have been warned; Tatami Ramen should be your next Go-To destination!
“Great experience at Tatami Ramen, Endulge yourself with a tasty Tonkotsu and what i consider the best slice of Chashu pork in London.
If you are around borough market or intend to grab a drink at the Flat Iron square food court, Tatami Room is a great place to stop by”
Price for value: 4/5
Tatami Ramen London
Flat Iron Square,
Devonshire House, Arch 32, 64 Union Street,
SE1 1TD London
Opening Hours :
- Monday – Thursday : 12:00 – 15:00; 18:00 – 21: 30
- Friday : 12:00 – 15:00; 17:00 – 22: 30
- Saturday : 12:00 – 21:30
- Sunday: 12:00 – 16:00