Kanada-Ya

There’s two approach to London’s grey-skied autumn.

The SAD one, and the noodle-based one.

Kanada-Ya ● London best noodle restaurant ● Cake + Whisky

If, like me, your preference goes to the later, I (and all of London’s ramen lovers) know just the place.

Kanada-Ya.

Kanada-Ya ● London best noodle restaurant ● Cake + Whisky

The authentic Japanese tonkotsu ramen specialist has two friendly, informal, one near Piccadilly and one just off Tottenham Court Road.

Neither take reservations and both are always incredibly busy.

Kanada-Ya ● London best noodle restaurant ● Cake + Whisky

Which is not all that surprising since Kanada-Ya is home to London’s most comforting dish – the ultimate bowl of tonkotsu ramen.

Originating from Fukuoka on the Kyushu island of Japan, the infamously time-consuming soup broth is based upon pork bones, boiled for several hours and served with ramen noodles and sliced pork belly.

Kanada-Ya ● London best noodle restaurant ● Cake + Whisky

At Kanada-Ya, the default toppings include sliced wood ear mushroom, seaweed and spring onion, with add-ons such as chashu-cured, gooey-yolked egg, spicy yuzu or porcini truffle paste coming highly commended!

Kanada-Ya ● London best noodle restaurant ● Cake + Whisky

And so do the small plates.

Not that you’ll really need them (the noodles themselves are plenty!). But if you’re able to resist the karaage chicken, well you’re clearly a lot more restrained than I am. And absolutely wrong at that.

I mean, if you’re going to stand in line with all of London’s noodle lovers, you might as well make the most of it.

So don’t be chicken and get it all – it’ll warm you to the bones!

Kanada-Ya – 64 St Giles High Street, WC2H 8LE (Covent Garden) or 3 Panton Street, SW1Y 4DL (Soho)
Kanada-Ya

Sushi Shop Summer Box

I love cooking. In a curious, trial-and-error, obsessive sort of way.

But even I couldn’t bring myself to turn the stovetop and/or oven on in the heatwave we’ve been blessed with those past few days.

Sushi Shop Summer Box review • Cake + Whisky

Delicious, colourful sushi, fresh crisp salads, my weight in fruit daily and liters of water. When the temperatures rise, this is how I roll.

Just what Sushi Shop’s gorgeous, limited-edition Summer Box is all about!

Sushi Shop Summer Box review • Cake + Whisky

Created in collaboration with paper-wizard Parisian brand PaperMint, the Sushi Shop Summer Box promises a modern, brightly coloured & refreshing take on the traditional sushi platter!

Decorated in a vibrant flamingo pattern, the Summer Box includes 36 pieces of sushi (2 of which are exclusive creations), a side dish and a fresh melon, papaya & berry fruit salad, making it the ultimate Summer bento!

Sushi Shop Summer Box review • Cake + Whisky

The sushi themselves are beautifully crafted and the selection is playful & creative.

My favourites were the Chicken Katsu maki and the classic tuna nagiri. And of course, the new, summer-tastic Spicy salmon & papaya spring roll.

Sweet salmon, fruity papaya, balanced perfectly by the light tingle of the spicy sauce… Just soy good!

Sushi Shop Summer Box review • Cake + Whisky

Perfect for sharing with a friend for fun in the sun!

Or -more accurately- in the air-conditioned comfort of your local Sushi Shop store, office or home sweet home. Order yours here (available for pick-up or take-away)

O-fish-ally the most delicious way to survive a heatwave!

More things to eat in a heatwave

Best EVER guacamole (Vegan, GF)

Kale & Rice salad with avocado & salmon (GF)

Anything from Ahi Poke

All the tapas on the Thames!

The Sushi Shop Summer box was gifted to me by the brand and/or their PR agency, however all opinions, pictures, sushi love, bad fish pun & tendency to turn into a puddle of sweat are my own.

Sushi Shop Summer Box

Miso ramen with prawns and scallops

I’ve been on a bit of an Asian food roll lately. Sushi roll, of course, but not only.

On Monday, it was sushi, on Tuesday, miso salmon, on Wednesday, Korean pork stir fry (somewhat inspired by this recipe).

Then on Thursday, I somehow made it to the fishmonger before it closed and picked up prawns & scallops to try out this winner of a stri fry.

Souper miso ramen soup with prawns and scallops | Cake + Whisky

The scallops were so fresh and beautiful that I got a few extra to make myself an extra-indulgent lunch on Friday.

And extra-indulgent these miso ramen with prawns and scallops were indeed!

A treat that’s good for you, mind. Warm, comforting, filling, it’s packed full of protein, vitamins, minerals and all sorts of good stuff to boost your metabolism. And absolutely none of the nasties (no gluten, no dairy, no nothing!).

Miso ramen soup with prawns and scallops | Cake + Whisky

This easy miso ramen soup keeps for a few days, so you could easily make a batch for the week ahead and be ready to scoop, spoon ‘n’ slurp to your hearts content with a smug smile on your face come lunchtime!

Miso ramen soup with prawns and scallops | Cake + Whisky

Warm, comforting and utterly delicious… it really is souper!

Miso ramen soup with prawns and scallops | Cake + Whisky

Miso ramen with prawns and scallops (for 2 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1 bundle of ramen rice noodles (I used funky black rice ones from Clearspring)
  • 2 small pak choi, leaves removed and heart cut in quarters
  • 4 uncooked prawns, peeled
  • 6 scallops, each sliced in half to make 12 discs
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • a small pinch chilli flakes
  • 1 clove garlic, finely sliced
  • about 10g fresh ginger, cut into matchsticks
  • light soy sauce to taste (I used about 1 tbsp)
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • a couple of pinches of black sesame seeds
  • 1 small spring onion, finely sliced
  • 2 sheets of nori seaweed, finely shredded (I used those and if you haven’t tried them yet you MUST!!)
  • 2 single packs of instant miso soup (I like this one)

1. Cook your noodles according to the package. When they’re done, share in two equal portions and pop into the bottom of your bowls/lunchboxes and leave to cool.

2. Blanch the pak choi for about a minute in a pot of boiling water. Transfer into your bowls.

3. Season your scallops with salt and pepper. Heat the sesame oil in a frying pan or a wok until it starts smoking, then throw in the garlic and ginger and cook for one minute or until soft.

4. Add in the prawns and scallops and fry for another minute or until your start getting colour on the edges of the scallops, then turn the seafood over.

5. Add about 1 tbsp of light soy sauce and allow to cook for a minute, then remove from the heat and pile into your bowls.

6. Boil a small pan of water, then cook your egg until soft-boiled (about 6 minutes, less if you’re using smaller eggs). Remove from the heat, allow to cool in some cold water before peeling, slicing lengthwise and popping half on top of each of your bowls.

7. Sprinkle each bowl with a generous pinch of sliced spring onion, then top with some shredded nori seaweed and a little bit of black sesame seeds.

8. If you’re making this ahead of time, seal your boxes up and store in the fridge.

9. When you’re ready to chow, boil the kettle and prep your instant miso soup according to package instructions. Pop your boxes open, pour the miso on top and leave things to re-heat for a minute. Mix it up and tuck in!

Miso ramen with prawns and scallops

Koya Bar

Hidden away at the heart of Soho is a little piece of Japan.

Koya Bar, London | Cake + Whisky

With its simple design, it’s not much of a looker and you might have passed it hundreds of times without even realising.

Koya Bar, London | Cake + Whisky

But behind Koya’s traditional curtain is one of London’s most authentic Japanese restaurants.

Koya Bar, London | Cake + Whisky

No sushi here though; Koya focuses on home-style food, especially udon noodles, of which they offer dozens of variations.

Koya Bar, London | Cake + Whisky

Koya Bar, London | Cake + Whisky

Koya Bar, London | Cake + Whisky

Get there early, grab a couple of seats at the communal wooden bar and make your choice (we went for a bit of everything).

Koya Bar, London | Cake + Whisky

Sit back, relax and let the incredibly calm atmosphere soak in while the chefs make their magic.

Koya Bar, London | Cake + Whisky

Koya Bar, London | Cake + Whisky

Japanese green tea absolutely mandatory, of course.

Koya Bar, London | Cake + Whisky

Koya Bar, London | Cake + Whisky

A bit of people watching is always a good thing to indulge in as well.

Koya Bar, London | Cake + Whisky

Unless you’re too busy eye-ing up the gorgeous ceramic dishes, of course! ?

Plates arrive when they’re ready…

Koya Bar, London | Cake + Whisky

Starting with Pickled apples, puntarella and shiso salad.

Koya Bar, London | Cake + Whisky

One of the daily special and a very fresh and Spring-y take on Japanese pickles.

Koya Bar, London | Cake + Whisky

Followed by another special, the Agedashi tofu with wild garlic and ginger.

Incredibly fresh and truly remarkable in every single way.

Koya Bar, London | Cake + Whisky

So good in fact we didn’t waste a drop!

Koya Bar, London | Cake + Whisky

Buta Miso Udon noodles (with pork and miso).

Koya Bar, London | Cake + Whisky

Sweet, comforting and umami all at once.

Koya Bar, London | Cake + Whisky

One of Koya’s specialities and an absolute must order!

Koya Bar, London | Cake + Whisky

Last but not least, the Ten Curry Don.

Koya Bar, London | Cake + Whisky

AKA the best tempura prawn I’ve ever eaten, covered in Japanese curry sauce and served atop a bowl of sticky rice.

Koya Bar, London | Cake + Whisky

With some miso soup on the side. Possibly the most comforting yet healthy lunch in the whole of Soho.

And definitely the most relaxing one. koya was busy for the entire time we were there, yet it was the calmest restaurant environment I’ve ever set foot in. A very positive vibe, and my new favourite place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the London life.

Koya Bar, 50 Frith St, London W1D 4SQ  Koya Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Koya Bar