As a staple dish of Japan that is over a century old, it took the UK a long time to catch up with the joys of ramen. Now that the country has discovered its delicious and reviving qualities, we can’t get enough of the noodle soup.
So, with it becoming increasingly available across Leeds, we went on a tasting tour of some great Japanese restaurants in the city to get our ramen fix. Here’s where you can get yours too.
Since 1997 Fuji Hiro have been serving the people of Leeds with traditional ramen before we even knew what it was. This cosy and casual restaurant also offers sushi, bento boxes and rice dishes on a full Japanese menu that caters for a quick lunch or relaxed evening out, but it’s hard to resist the ramen; there’s a great choice, from veggie moyashi to pork broth tonkotsu, and it’s just the atmosphere to slurp it down in.
House of Fu
New to Leeds in 2021, House of Fu was immediately the place to go for a hip setting and a hot ramen. Specialising in the stuff, whichever you choose from their chicken, pork, miso and shiitake, it’s destined to deliver. Founder and Chef Ben Iley has acquired a deep knowledge from years of training in Japan and has since built a reputation in Leeds for his food at Ox Club next door. Now cooking up his ramen passion, House of Fu is big on style and matches it with substance.
A bright and vibrant modern Japanese concept restaurant, Blue Sakura isn’t the place to go for a simple bowl of ramen, but it is going to take you on a tour of wonderful Japanese cuisine. This is a set price banquet of sushi and Asian style grill, all beautifully presented tapas plates; but in amongst the sashimi and nigiri are miso soups and the art of the noodles, providing a glorious taste of ramen to complement your classy cocktail.
Over two decades since opening, Little Tokyo remains a fabulously unique restaurant for both its decor and food. With cushioned seating, water features and natural materials creating an inviting setting, this is a winning visit before you’ve even tucked into a menu that includes all the Japanese favourites, from sushis to bento boxes to curries. Their ramens are full of lip smacking flavour, and to sample it at a bargain price, Little Tokyo’s lunch special includes a ramen with a starter.
A relaxed cafe-style restaurant that serves food as comforting as its surrounding but far from simple. Beyond pretty platters and beautiful boxes are some satisfying ramens to delve into. These chicken, seafood and vegetable noodle soups are all equally appealing to indulge in the daytime or at night. You can also find Bento, a Japanese street food and izakaya serving up even more deliciousness and authentic flavours.
The decor of classy restaurant Sakku is immediately striking, as colours, flowers and booths greet lucky diners. The food lives up to the surroundings too, as a luxurious experience of flavours and fun; the unlimited menu showcase 150 Japanese delights, which of course include some expert noodles.
Ending on a little detour perhaps, but beyond the ramen purists there are many more magnificent noodle soups from other Asian cultures to be enjoyed in Leeds. From phos to laksas, or how about some fresh authentic lanzhou beef hand pulled noodles? That’s what you’ll be treated to at Noodlesta, where masters of their craft will nearly convince you in noodle soups that it’s not all about the ramen.
Images: House of Fu, Little Tokyo, Blue Sakura, Bento