Last week, I was invited to try the ramen restaurant, Shoryu in Manchester’s Picadilly Gardens. The establishment, which is sandwiched between Pizza Express and Ask Italian, has been there since November and is the brand’s first venture outside of London. It has been widely recognised by those in the industry and has been recommended in the Michelin Guide in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
The restaurant is renowned for its Hakata tonkotsu ramen from the Hakata district of Fukuoka city on the southern island of Kyushu in Japan. The ramen consists of a rich, white pork soup (each pan takes over 12 hours to cook at a ‘rolling boil’… fancy!) and thin ramen noodles, topped with char siu BBQ pork belly, nitamago egg, kikurage mushrooms, spring onion, sesame, ginger and nori seaweed.
I absolutely love ramen and Japanese cuisine in general, and I’d only heard good things about this place from other bloggers, making me very excited to try it. When we arrived, we were greeted by Nelson, who asked us whether we wanted to sit where the chefs prepared the food or looking on the gardens: we went for the ‘theatre’ option as I love watching food being made.
We were given the set menu and the regular menu to peruse. The set menu cost £22 each and included a starter, main and cocktail, which I think is a reasonable price for the city centre, seen as a cocktail would have set you back £9-11 by itself. We both chose the seasonal passionfruit and vodka cocktail, because nothing says summery cocktail like passionfruit does.
For a starter, you could choose from either a grilled halloumi and shimeji mushroom or soy marinated chicken karaage bun, which we got one each of. I’ve seen these buns before, especially when I was in Berlin (strangely) but I have never had the pleasure of having one, and it was worth the wait. I can’t really describe the texture but it was quite a doughy and sticky bread bun with the filling inside – not the most appealing sounding, but amazing!
For the main we both went for the infamous Hakata tonkotsu ramen. The waitress told us we had made a good choice, and the main came as soon as we’d finished the starter. I’ve had a lot of ramen in my time; I used to go to Wagamama about twice a week when I went to university in Manchester, but this one topped them all. The broth itself was so flavoursome, and the ingredients were so fresh – we even got asked how hard we wanted our noodles, which was a change (apparently the traditional way is to have them quite al dente). Embarrassingly though, we both had to ask for forks instead of using chopsticks.
After the ramen, we were encouraged to try the Sakura & Azuki Chiffon cake, which was limited edition, and the chef’s favourite. I’m not exaggerating here when I say that it was the lightest cake I’ve ever eaten, and the cherry coulis was a welcome accompaniment. The cake itself was a regular sponge, with a sort of citrus taste running through and I would 100% eat it again.
Overall, I think Shoryu is definitely a welcome choice to the already ever-expanding Manchester foodies scene. The food was reasonably priced, incredibly delicious and the staff were so welcoming and knowledgeable about what you should try.
I will definitely be going back to Shoryu, sooner rather than later, and would highly recommend it.
You can find out all about the restaurant here.
Thank you to Shoryu who treated us to a complimentary meal for 2. All views are my own.