‘Exciting’ wasn’t a word I associated with ramen noodles, until Thursday that is…
There’s something about the Covent Garden branch of Kanada-Ya that feels really authentic. I’ve been there a handful of times now and the food has never disappointed.
It’s definitely up there with my favourite noodle places in London. Whenever someone needs to be inducted into the club, it’s my first choice. Paul indicated he might need a fork, so reader, I was already nervous about how the evening might turn out.
It was a rainy Thursday in London’s glittering west end. I was, naturally, running late. I would like to blame the Hammersmith and City line, I really would. But I can only really blame myself for allowing 20 mins for a 35 min journey!
Damp and disheveled I met Paul at The Angel, a pub literally next door. Now, Sam Smith pubs have a No Phones rule. They’re not shy about it, and it seriously rubs me up the wrong way. But, it meant I had put my phone into my bag so as not to be distracted.
As we left the pub I transferred my phone to my jacket pocket.
We sat down in Kanada-Ya. It’s communal tables which lends to the authenticity. We ordered and got back to chatting.
Our food arrived. I’d chosen the Chasu-Men ramen, because I always see other people having it and get jealous of the amount of meat. Paul chose the brothless ramen (basically noodle salad). We split chicken karrage and pork gyoza.
As with earlier visits, the broth was TO DIE FOR. Like a rookie though, I had forgotten to add an egg. Note to self: pay attention when ordering! The karrage was slightly on the salty side but incredibly crispy. The gyoza were a tad disappointing, tasting a bit like the oil they had been fried in had been there for ‘a while’.
We got up to leave and I scoured around in the floor for my bag. It had gone. But another bag was there, so I, in an unusually optimistic moment, presumed it was a case of mistaken bag retrieval by our earlier table-mates. The staff noticed our dilemma though, and were quick on the case to check out the toilets and advise that no, this was more than likely a theft.
Not to be deterred, the evening continued but it left me feeling slightly like ramen noodles that have been cooked too long. Limp and disappointing.
Thankfully I’d got my phone, wallet and keys, so it could have been a lot more of an issue.
However, other than a reminder to never not be paying attention, the noodles remained up to their high standard, and this experience doesn’t change Kanada-Ya’s place near the top of my list.