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Dinner at Tonkotsu Mare Street

The best thing about living in Hackney is the seemingly endless supply of hot new restaurants and bars available to your average hipster-about-town.

My latest gastronomic adventure was a rather impromptu trip to the recently opened Tonkotsu on Mare Street. The third branch of the chain is by far the sleekest- and the first one to feature a cocktail bar.

And a good thing that is because on a Friday night you can expect to wait over 40 minutes for a table for two, and potentially longer for bigger groups.

But it is worth the wait- especially in the cold winter months when a steaming bowl of rich broth and fresh ramen is the only food IN THE WORLD that would drag me from under my cashmere blanket.

The menu is simple stuff- six or seven options of ramen, including the brand-new seafood option- available only at the Mare Street outpost. There are also some appetisers, most of which are fried, and some very delicate gyoza.

Excellent fried nibbles, and a delicious homemade chilli sauce

Excellent fried nibbles, and a delicious homemade chilli sauce

Everything is delicious and warming, even if I think they may have slightly overshot the ratio between potato and crab in the koroke. My seafood broth was great, and the Pal’s chilli chicken one certainly had a fiery kick to it.

Chilli Chicken Ramen at Tonkotsu Mare Street, perfect for when the weather makes you cry icicles

Chilli Chicken Ramen at Tonkotsu Mare Street, perfect for when the weather makes you cry icicles

The cocktails were also most welcome, particularly my ‘Dave and Cheralene’s Wedding’- a mix of gin, sake and citrus that was both sweet and biting.

TOP TIP: If you are heading east for a bowl of warm ramen at Tonkotsu, you should definitely try out their Chilli Oil. I guarantee you will love it so much you will want to take it home. The good news is that no theft will be required- you can now buy the chilli oil at the restaurant or from the Selfrigdes Food Hall.

All in Mare Street is a nice win for the team behind Tonkotsu- keep’em coming fellas!

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