Classic tonkotsu ramen: a staple in Japan…
…but bringing it authentically to London requires you to use your noodle.
There’s certainly been oodles of good thinking from the Kanada-Ya team, which launched its first restaurant in Yukuhashi, Japan, way back in 2009.
As did the opening of the debut London outlet in Covent Garden five years later. Three more branches were launched, including a 55-seater in a red-brick building on Upper Street.
The Islington outlet, like its siblings, plies the good work of ramen wizard Kanada Kazushiro. There’s little in the way of ostentatious decor, instead opting for a little Land of the Rising Sun-inspired minimalism. A manga-style portrait of Kazushiro on the wall pays tribute to the big man.
First timers to the Kanada-Ya brand should plump for the signature ramen: the noodles created by a noodle-making machine imported from Japan; the pork bone broth an 18-hour-aged liquid gold. Add to that sliced spring onions, chashu pork belly and a nori sheet.
The secret to its success is well, er, a secret.
Kanada-san’s secret sauce was forged in that original Yukuhashi restaurant, and is still handmade by the wizard himself.
See it off with a glass of Tamagawa Heart of Oak, a room-temperature sake from British toji Philip Harper. Or for something light on a summer’s day, pick out the citrusy Hitachino Nest Yuzu Lager.
If you’re already a fully fledged Kanada-Ya-stan, then you’ll know one of the defining features of the other restaurants was a queue to get in. Not so here, where you can use the Walkup app to check table availability. Bash the ‘Eat Now’ button and you’ve got 10 minutes to claim your seat.
And if there’s one thing worth breaking a sweat for, it’s ramen.
NOTE: Kanada-Ya Angel is open daily for lunch and dinner. There are no reservations, but you can use the WalkUp app to queue virtually. You can find out more HERE.
Kanada-Ya Angel | 35 Upper Street, London N1 0PN
Not in a noods mood? Check out these other great Islington restaurants