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Event review: Launch of Tengu Sake specials menu at Tonkotsu Ramen

September 6, 2013| 1 Comment

On 28th August Tonkotsu Bar and Ramen on Dean St, London launched their sake specials menu with sake supplied exclusively by Tengu Sake. I went along to deliver training to eager staff members and then help out for a few hours whilst the new menu settled in.

Check out my original post which details what sake are available.

The guys over at Tonkotsu make some seriously good ramen. Their broths have always been superb but now that they make their own noodles too (by hand!) everything is just right. I’ve been all over Japan trying ramen and I can truly say that this is up there; my wife’s an even harsher critic and she agrees!

I’d worked hard to match exactly the right sake from our portfolio to each of the menu items at Tonkotsu and by God does it work well! The creamy, full, deep flavours of the signature “Tonkotsu Ramen” are met perfectly by Ancient Mountain’s sweet and rich soy and mushroom notes. Similarly their fantastic Karaage Chicken is unbelievably good with Black Samurai. This surprised me a bit when I first discovered the pairing but it really does work!

Karaage chicken is chicken that’s been marinated in a mix of soy sauce, garlic, and/or ginger and then deep-fried to give a beautifully crispy (and often spicy) batter. Tonkotsu Ramen serve it with their signature chilli sauce “Eat the Bits”. Black Samurai is a red-blooded, full-bodied sake with flavours of caramelised, spiced bananas and apples as well as bitter, dark chocolate. Together they are a taste revelation. The spicy and oily nature of the chicken is offset by the acidity in the sake and the rich, umami flavours work perfectly together. Definitely worth a try!

Tokyo Ramen with Morning Dew, Soho Ramen with Black Face – time and again we found these pairings to be big winners with the crowd.

By the end of my few hours I decided I’d earned a bowl of my own and opted for the lighter soy-based Soho Ramen with a carafe of the Black Face.

All-in-all it was a great night and I had a lot of fun helping out. If you don’t believe me about the sake pairings go and check them out for yourself, the specials menu is running for a while. I doubt you’ll be disappointed!

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Me and Tonkotsu manager, Marco at the end of my ‘shift’