Throw me a bone fellow bloggers…don’t rant and rave in superlatives about restaurants when there is absolutely no way that they are, or ever could be, ‘the best’. Don’t allure me with edited snaps, don’t tease my palate with delectable turns of phrase, stop duping me.
These internet gobbets, these fantastical notions of culinary expertise, did just this last night; they duped me. A red herring of a bone if ever there was one, in fact, a multitude of red herrings masquerading as bones, led me, ironically, to Bone Daddies.
Leaving work at the pinnacle of rush hour – which in Victoria translates as a ferocious battle to get to the tube (we fight to clamber into sweaty carriages underground, while the sun shines above), a commuters’ mosh-pit – I shoved myself into the crowd of irritated workers, surrendered my freshly applied face of make-up to sweat and made my way north to Soho.
Now before I take you through the swishy black drapes and into the heart of the restaurant, I should make it clear that despite my vehement annoyance at being duped into expecting Bone Daddies to be ‘the best’, this doesn’t mean that I think it is ‘the worst’.
So now that’s clarified, welcome in. Bone Daddies is a self-professed ‘Rock n Roll Ramen Bar,’ which is ‘headed up’ by ex-Zuma and ex-Nobu head chef Ross Shonhan.
If you’re wondering what Ramen is, of which I confess I wasn’t 100% sure, here is the ever trustworthy Wikipedia definition: “Ramen is a Japanese noodle dish” which “consists of Chinese-style wheat noodles served in a meat- or (occasionally) fish-based broth, often flavoured with soy sauce.” Considering I was served this (see below), I assume it to be spot on.
Before I was served this, however, I had to get a seat. This was pleasantly easier than anticipated; the restaurant’s (which was all the rage a couple of months ago) popularity seems to have dwindled. Good news for me, I thought. Yes, I was behind the curve, yes I wasn’t going to unveil a new restaurant, nor tell you all about one that you haven’t heard of before, but I would get a seat. I wouldn’t have to deal with a Bubbledogs incident.
Indeed, after a mere 10 minutes my companion and I were seated. Five minutes after that we’d had drinks – and two visits from a petite waitress to inquire what we’d like. I say inquiries, but they were more like clutches…she wasn’t really interested in what we wanted, but how quickly we would be wanting it. Alas, the inevitability of the non-book restaurant, another in and out job where we’re treated as cash cows rather than diners.
“Which is the most popular ramen?” I asked.
“This one,” she replied and tapped the clipboard.
“The Tonkotsu Ramen?”
“Okay, I’ll go for that one then.”
She turned to my dining companion.
“I’ll have the soft-shelled crab and then a side of pulled chicken with the…”
“What wait,” I interjected. “I didn’t realise there were sides.”
The whole thing had been so rushed that I hadn’t scoured the bottom part of the menu, and I most certainly hadn’t been asked if I’d want any by this harlot.
“Oooh, I’ll have the (always a sucker for a douse of crude humour)…cock scratchings.”
She didn’t smile, or even give so much as a happy twinge of facial muscle. She wrote it down, got the remainder of my dinner date’s order and sauntered off.
She and the food returned, predictably, uber fast. The starter of soft-shelled crab accompanied the mains.
The food wasn’t horrendous, it wasn’t bad, to call it mediocre would probably verge on harsh; it was somewhere on the scale between satisfactory and good. Indeed, bits of it were good (the soft boiled egg), and bits of it were satisfactory (cock scratchings). It is also, I found, quite difficult, nay impossible to eat ramen elegantly…bending down so low a head rush is on the cards while chop-sticking cock into your mouth, well it’s not very lady-like.
To conclude, it’s not ‘the best’, it’s not ‘the worst’; I wouldn’t go for supper, or on a date. I’d consider it for a quick lunch with the ladies…if pushed – that’s the bone I’ll throw to you.
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