Tonkotsu Soho

I absolutely adore ramen. It’s one of my favourite things in the world to eat. It’s so delicious and comforting, even thinking about it now I’m salivating. I get proper cravings for it. If you’ve got a cold or feeling a bit under the weather there’s honestly very little better than a hot steaming bowl of ramen. There’s now handily many great ramen restaurant in London to choose from, however my absolute favourite has to be Tonkotsu. I’ve tried loads of different places, but I always end up coming back here. They’re famous for their tonkotsu ramen that the restaurant is named after. They enrich their broth with extra lardo and it’s just the best. Invariably I almost always go for it, though their chicken ramen is also great. They’ve got several different branches across London now. The one in Selfridges Food Hall is particularly useful after a hard day’s shopping in the West End. I do wish they had non-mushroom gyoza on the menu there though as they have in their other branches. Also worth picking up while you’re in the restaurant is a jar of their delicious ‘Eat the bits’ chilli oil which is delicious to keep at home and used to add spice to just about anything.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is another book I read as a teenager while at school. When it was first adapted for the stage at the National I was really keen to see it, particularly after it got such rave reviews. However I just never seemed to get round to it. It transferred to the West End, opened on Broadway, went on a nationwide tour and yet still I never got round to seeing it. Anyway finally I saw that it was about to close and thought I really should get my arse in gear and see it. So I booked tickets with my friend Rup to see it. I’d vaguely remembered most of the basic story of the play, but there was still some nice surprises in the play of things that I’d forgotten, including who crucially who killed the dog. The play was beautifully staged and I enjoyed it. Really glad that I finally got to see it. Make sure you stay for the end where they explain the maths problem.

Austentatious

Another Edinburgh show that I didn’t get the chance to watch in Edinburgh. It’s been a sell out every year at the fringe for five years running. So got to see in London. It’s an entirely improvised play done in the style of a Jane Austen novel. The whole cast is in full regency costume and there’s a live musical accompaniment. The title of the play is set by the audience that night, so no play is ever exactly the same. I love a bit of improv and this is probably one of the most professional and well done versions there is. Some well known comedians among the cast as well, including Rachel Parris and Cariad Lloyd. The show was very funny, really enjoyed it.

 

 

Six: The Musical

I’d heard good things about this small independent musical for a while. I’d wanted to see it at the Edinburgh Fringe, but sadly wasn’t able to get tickets for it. It’s based on the lives of King Henry the Eighth’s six wives, and is a modern retelling of their story done in the style of a pop concert. It received lots of accolades up in Edinburgh. It’s so nice when a small independent musical likes this takes off. It’s on at the Arts Theatre in Covent Garden which is quite a small venue. Despite being right in central London it’s considered an off West End production. As such the tickets for the show were really reasonably priced and we had great seats for not much money. I loved the show, really fun and well done. My favourite wife was Catherine Parr who had wonderful comedic timing. I can’t recommend this musical highly enough, really fun and a bargain for the price.

Blacklock Soho

This was my second time at Blacklock and I’m a big fan. Annoyingly it’s another of those no reservations restaurants however if they don’t have any space they’ll put your name on a list and they give you a time to come back when they can fit you in and thankfully this being Soho there’s lots of nearby bars and pubs in which to grab a drink while you wait. Also most importantly it’s actually worth the wait. This restaurant is a meat lovers paradise. They serve great big platters of grilled meat. Though they do have vegetarian options, I would definitely say this is not really a restaurant for your vegetarian/ vegan friends. Brilliantly they’ve also done away with happy hours and have any time £5 cocktails instead, bargain.

For £20 per person (min 2 people) they do what they call an ‘All in’, which includes pre chop bites, beef, pork and lamb skinny chips all piled high on a charcoal grilled flatbread to share with a side each per person. The pre chop bites include cheese and pickle, pigs head and kimchee, and egg and anchovy. They come in bite size canapés type portions. I had two of each and JP who I was dining with had six egg and anchovy as they’re his favourite. A delicious way to start the meal off and perk up the taste buds. The massive platter of meat comes next and it’s pretty impressive, stacked high on a large serving plate for you to devour, with the flat bread at the base which soaks up all the lovely meat juices and is a delicious treat when you get down to the bottom. By that time we were completely stuffed, but if you do want dessert they do a white chocolate cheesecake which looked great. Highly recommend this place. Pretty good value for all the delicious food you get as well. Apparently they also do a mean Sunday roast as well.