After visiting Japan my opinion and knowledge of the country’s cuisine has radically altered. I sampled ramen, tempura, yakitori, bento, kaiseke and other specialties, indicating just how varied Japanese dishes can be… it is so much more than just sushi. My visit to Kanada-Ya brought back memories of my recent travels, from the welcoming chants as I entered the restaurant to the flavoursome rich broths I happily consumed.
Kanada-Ya Panton Street is the second branch of this popular casual Japanese eatery. Fans were delighted to discover that this Soho venue seats up to 56 diners and takes booking for groups of six or more, unlike the first Kanada-Ya where there are often tiresome queues outside. The boutique ramen restaurant feels casual and makeshift inside with basic wooden tables and simple lighting… all attention here is on the food.
The menu features a range of Japanese classics, but the ramen takes centre stage. I tried their Original Ramen (18-hour pork bone broth, served with pork belly chashu, wood ear fungus, seaweed and fresh spring onion) a comforting and flavoursome bowl of food. The broth has a meaty intensity and the toppings tasted fresh and vibrant. Guests are invited to choose their noodle consistency from extra firm, firm, regular or soft, though I think its best to take the waiters recommendation on this. For a lighter ramen, nice for lunch, opt for the Chicken-Paitan (corn fed chicken bone broth, secret sauce, chashu pork collar and shredded leek). A side order of Hanjuku egg completes the dish.
From the rest of the menu I really enjoyed the light and crispy Karaage Japanese fried chicken with house mayonnaise, and the strangely enticing Truffle Edamame. For dessert Kanada-Ya offer a strikingly green Matcha Soft Serve, a favourite in Japan, but definitely an acquiried taste here in England.
A meal at Kanada-Ya will cost you around £15-20 a head, and I can honestly say this little eatery offers the best ramen I’ve tasted outside of Japan.
More information about Kanada-Ya here.