On March 17th Tonkotsu, the Japanese bar and noodle restaurant, launched a new guest ramen at their London and Birmingham venues. Until the end of April you can feast on a Korean ramen put together by chef and food & travel writer Gizzi Erskine. In her own words:“I’m a die hard Tonkotsu fan, and being able to to give it a Korean twist pleases me greatly!”
Gizzi is famous for her love of K-food (Korean food) and for Tonkotsu she has created a ramen that uses the ingredients and spices of the Korean kitchen to give you a fierily flavoursome taste of it.
We went along to Tonkotsu East last week to meet Gizzi and to try her menu ourselves.
Using Tonkotsu’s pork belly broth and ramen noodles as the basis of the dish, Gizzi has added Korean bean & chilli paste, doenjang miso, gochujang red pepper paste, kimchi vegetables, black garlic oil and two half eggs to give each diner a bowl bursting with flavours and colours. The broth is creamy and velvety and absolutely delicious.
Tonkotsu and Gizzi also serve up her ‘signature dish’ of KFC – Korean Fried Chicken, something she has perfected over the years and, for anybody who loves spicy chicken, is an absolute must. Marinated in buttermilk and spices, coated in three different kinds of flour, fried and then smothered in a hot Korean chilli sauce, sesame seeds and spring onions, these chicken wings are delicious. Of course you should be prepared for it to get messy. But it is so worth it!
We had a Inhaler Pale Ale from Midland brewers Magic Rock with our meal, a refreshing, fruity beer made from six different hops, that worked well with the spicy food.
Tonkotsu East is situated in a railway arch just a few minutes from Haggerston station and it is all exposed bricks, dark wood and huge white rice paper lanterns,with a glassed in room at the back where you can watch the ramen being made.
And though ramen, in all its varieties (including vegetarian) is what Tonkotsu is famous for, I will have to return to try their gyoza and katsu dishes and leave some room for one of their desserts.
Gizzi’s Ramen – £12.95
Gizzi’s Korean Fried Chicken – £6.95
Magic Rock’s Inhaler Pale Ale – £5.00
Have it all for £22.50