by Aimee Sics0
Bone Daddies: brilliance in broth
Fear not —Bone Daddies is not named after a pair of skeletal-like father figures. As entertaining as that would be to label a ramen joint, it’s fortunately a tribute to the rich bone stock that forms the base of ramen, the signature dish at Bone Daddies. The first solo venture from Aussie chef Ross Shonhan, whose impressive CV includes being head chef of Zuma London, and Nobu in Dallas, Bone Daddies is all about challenging people’s perceptions of Japan.
And it’s worked quite the charm: we’re officially in love with the idea of refuelling with ramen, with a side of rock ‘n’ roll. Not only is this flavoursome broth real food – it’s an entire meal in one bowl. What’s not to love?
The team at Neon decided to do some heavy-testing research at the Marylebone branch to ensure this loving relationship was still intact (hard work, real hard work). Replicating the rough and ready décor as with the other Bone Daddies — Soho, Kensington, Bermondsey and Old Street —tall wooden tables and stools fill up quickly with hungry foodies, who are bopping in their seats to the old-school rock soundtrack. It’s a fun, lively setting.
Wait staff are in tune with this cool, laid-back end of the dining spectrum. Service is just right: not annoying, nor overly-attentive. It’s a small menu, with only eight starters and eight ramens; however it’s the kind of menu whereby you have to keep pulling up the handbrake because you constantly have to stop and reassess your original commitments. Murmurings of “oooh, what about the spicy pig bones?” and “No wait, the FRIED CHICKEN WINGS as well!” are commonly heard.
After the final round of picking, our orders were in. We rolled our sleeves up, tied our hair back, and adorned ourselves with the plastic bibs —the latter two of which are thoughtfully catered for. Our penchant for a classic, yet creative cocktail on a Wednesday eve was met with a Frozen Yuzu Margarita and a Lychee & Pomegranate Martini. Let the hashtags commence: #delish.
Our stomachs didn’t have to grumble for long as the kitchen works quick here: Prawn Kushiyaki robata with a yuzu ponzu sauce was delivered at once with a Wild Soft Shell Crab dish – the green chilli ginger sauce giving it just the right amount of kick. The Chicken Yakitori robata needs to be enthusiastically ordered upon our next visit: tender chunks of chicken are caramelised with a kind of soft pepper marinade.
The ramen is up next and we’re already bowled blown over with the delicious blitz occurring. Round two of cocktails are upon us (same again, please!) as we prepare for the smoky flavour, tender texture and perfectly seasoned bowl of soy ramen. Steaming to the brim with chashu pork belly, fresh noodles, and a bright oozy egg, the table is silent as we die in ramen heaven. The additional topping of spicy chicken mince adds a crunchy texture that buries us even further.
Yet the proof is in the pudding broth. Mess it up here and you’ve got Tesco chicken soup for all we know. But these guys are the notorious “Bone Daddies” don’t forget: Shonhan’s broth is notoriously slow-cooked for 20 hours, consequently resulting in a silky liquid that transcends the word oishii. Every mouthful is a mood-boosting gulp of comfort and love – in rock star form.
In fact, everything about Bone Daddies is of rock star value. And while we could continue our rant about how darn-fabulous it is, we think you need to do some serious research to understand what we’re on about.
Visit the Bone Daddies website for locations and opening hours