boti eats | tonkotsu
Popular London ramen bar, Tonkotsu, opened its doors in Brighton in June and known for their signature hearty bowls of ramen and their famous plump gyoza, we headed down to their first restaurant outside of London to see what the fuss was all about. First up, their cocktails rock, so if you’re partial to a bit of magic, we’d recommend them.
We managed to get a taste of their gyoza last month when they did a pop-up at UnBarred Brewery, so they set the bar high for the rest of the menu, as both the Pork and Mushroom gyoza were tasty on the tongue. The site itself is a welcomed addition to New Road, bringing a modern twist to the site previously known as Polpo.
One thing the Tonkotsu team pride themselves on is making their noodles fresh every day (three different types!) using mid-century machines imported from Tokyo. And at the Brighton site they make sure you know their mantra from the moment you walk in the door, with a neon light installation that says ‘If you don’t make your own noodles, you’re just a soup shop’. Oh and the noodles are GOOD.
We tried the Chilli Chicken and Chilli Prawn Ramen dishes, bursting with fresh ingredients and each with a kick. The chicken broth & sea salt base welcome their homemade noodles, topped with Eat the Bits pulled chilli chicken, mange tout, bamboo shoots, spring onions and a seasoned egg. YUM. You can get this as a ‘lunch’ portion too, saving you a few quid. They are super generous with the noodles too (see below!), so you get plenty of bang-bang for your buck!
Speaking of bang-bang, our favourite things on the savoury side of the menu were the cauliflower ‘wings’ coated in our Eat the Bits chilli sauce. If you’re into a sweet but zingy flavour then this is for you. We dipped whatever we had left on the table in it, it was that good. You’ll be pleased to know that you can also get their Eat The Bits sauces from the Brighton site, bringing a bit of Tonkotsu magic into your home on the daily, if you so wish.
Naturally, we went for their Gyoza too, because when you know something is good, you’ve got to go there again, haven’t you? They are a staple and when they are fresh hot out of the kitchen, they are SO good. We’d also recommend the cucumber and mustard seed pickles – a tasty little bit of sweet and sour for the table. Deliciously fresh too, mmmmm.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, our advice would be to leave room for a Happy Ending. Choose from three of their small but mighty ice cream sandwiches. We went for the Chocolate & Miso Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sando, which was perfect shared between two, as the flavour was super rich but delicious. The flavour combo is incredible. We also tried The Malty One, which tastes like a milk chocolate hobnob on ice.
We could eat it again and we will. Have you tried it yet? We’d love to know what you think!
Tonkotsu Brighton, 20 New Rd, Brighton BN1 1UF
Open 12.00 – 9.30pm seven days a week. Also available for collection and on Deliveroo.