London has been struck by a fever and not a single diner or restaurant is safe from its grip: bottomless brunch. I was bitten by the bug yonks ago, forcing me to indulge myself with endless amounts of food and booze from about 1pm most weekends. Japanese restaurant Shoryu Ramen is one such outpost in which I can indulge my cravings. Taking place at their Covent Garden restaurant every Sunday, the bottomless brunch is here to fill you up for the entire day.
From the same people behind the UK’s largest Japanese supermarket, the Japan Centre, Shoryu Ramen started in Soho before proving so popular that branches have now popped up all over London and even in Manchester. The Covent Garden branch is an unimposing little restaurant moments from Holborn station. Inside, the spot has all the hallmarks of an Asian noodle house with a little drum bonged every time someone entered, a tiny corner bar stocked full of sake, red lanterns strung from the ceiling and simple wooden tables and chairs. As it was a sunny day, we sat outside on the restaurant’s street tables, overlooking Freemason’s Hall.
Shoryu Ramen have taken the word ‘bottomless’ very literally in terms of their brunch, with a huge food selection that includes bottomless ramen, four sides each, bao buns and ice cream. The food offering was so big, in fact, that it ended up taking up two of the outside tables we were sat on. Rather than enjoying the view of the gorgeous hall opposite Shoryu Ramen, passing groups ogled at us and our feast - perhaps fours sides each was a little excessive.
Fortunately, disapproval of my eating habits has never affected me and I worked through the plates with gusto. For me, the standout dishes included the Shoryu bun starters as soft pork belly was sandwiched between fluffy bao buns and oozed with a thick, rich red sauce. The chicken karaage side was an Asian take on fried chicken which worked perfectly against a thick mayo, and Hakata tetsunabe gyoza were served on a sizzling black skillet with a side of soy sauce. Shoryu’s show stealer is of course the ramen; I went for Shoryu ganso tonkotsu, which came with half a hard-boiled egg, a thick chunk of juicy pork and a salty mix of seaweed and noodles. Drinks are also bottomless at brunch, with a choice between beer, various wines and green tea and Calpico. I opted for Kobai plum wine with soda which was sweet without being too sickly.
Shoryu Ramen’s bottomless brunch costs £38 and is available on Sundays at Shoryu Ramen, 35 Great Queen St, London WC2B 5AA.