Bone Daddies. That has to be up there with some of the worst named restaurants ever. Told my mate I was off to Bone Daddies tonight, “You do you”, they responded.
- Food (8/10)
- Value (8/10)
- Service (8/10)
I was invited to Bone Daddies with my best mate Molly, because her boyfriend doesn’t really like it that much. Which I was surprised about, he seems pretty open minded sexually. I’ll stop with the puns, but in all seriousness he isn’t a fan of ramen because he doesn’t find it very filling, “its just noodles and broth”. Yeah? Two of the most filling things to exist, a heavy and dense pile of carbohydrates with a giant trough of hot liquid? And meat, and eggs. I didn’t really dwell on this ridiculous statement until now, and was mainly just content to be invited out for dinner. Also, I love ramen.
I have queued for ramen on at least four occasions. I am however, dubious of places in London selling ramen. I went to a famous ramen place in London (Can’t be that famous, don’t remember the name), but I remember the queue being literally an hour long. And the ramen was average at best, and I had to pay a POUND EXTRA if I wanted egg on my ramen. Which I did. And it was HALF an egg. For a POUND. On ramen, in a ramen place, where the bowl of shit ramen was already like £16. I vaguely remember having to sit on a very uncomfortable stool in one of those awkward spots by the windows of restaurants where you’re essentially sitting next to a stranger and everyones aware of how quickly they want to turn over the customers. So the whole experience was off putting. I mean, as soon as you realise you have to pay extra for an egg, when an egg is one of the main components of the dish, you’re going to feel rather bitter. Just add a pound to the price and give me the egg. Don’t make me ask for it specifically. I was very hopeful that Bone Daddies wasn’t going to be like that, and then I found out it was a chain restaurant anyway, so there was plenty of ramen and eggs to go round for us all.
After a quick googling, I found out Bone Daddies started back in 2012 (stewing up some stock with the ol’ olympics just over the road), and quickly built up to having a bunch of restaurants here in London, with some delivery only bars too. Their pop-up-turned-permanent restaurant Shack-Fuyu looks especially good, inspired by Japanese Yoshoku food, which is a sort of western influenced style of cooking in Japan. Think fried food, curries, sandwiches and bao. It also apparently sells “The Best Dessert in London”, Kinaki French Toast with Matcha Ice Cream. Stay tuned for that review.
The sheer amount of condiments on the table was comical. Not only condiments, but it felt someone literally put the contents of a kitchen cupboard on the table, alongside the contents of ‘that weird miscellaneous drawer we all have’. Not only was there chilli, chilli oil, soy sauce and a sesame grinder, there was also a jar of raw garlic and a garlic crusher. And a hand sanitiser AND a jar of hairbands? I mean, I get it. You use the hairband so your hair doesn’t go in your soup. But now I’m just thinking about hair at the dinner table. Is crushing garlic a fun thing now, to do amongst friends? Crushing garlic is one of my worst things to do in the kitchen, why would I choose to do it in a place where I’m supposed to pay someone to do it for me. Just crush it up for me, I have no desire to make my hands smell all garlicky. Mince it, serve it in another little jar. This is just ridiculous. The more I think about it, the more absolutely fucking stupid it is to give me a jar of garlic and a garlic crusher at a table. And so much garlic, like 15 cloves? How much do you want me to crush? Or I’m just sharing the weird communal garlic jar with customers of past and future. The sesame crusher grinder thing however, fantastic and amazing. That can stay.
Luckily, going to Bone Daddies is pretty near to me. All the daddies congregate in the local park so its convenient. Sorry sorry. We were seated straight away, most likely because we were the only people there. In terms of atmosphere in the restaurant and the decor, I honestly couldn’t make comment. I don’t remember, I was too busy finding myself hilarious.
And another thing, there’s two people at a table and they order chicken wings to share. BEARING IN MIND, the chicken wings are £7.50, they bring out three. How is one supposed to share a wing. I felt awful because I sort of ripped the last wing in half, my half accidentally being the massive juicy meaty part, Molly’s being essentially bone to knaw on pathetically while I enjoy myself. They were however, insanely good wings with a hefty amount of sauce. And they were big. I would actually still get these again. They were some of the best wings I have had, ever? I never ever order wings and they’ve converted me to liking wings. So that’s pretty big. But then again, these were honestly probably the first wings I’ve actually EVER eaten out, now I write this. Wings always gave me the ick, but something inside me has changed. I think I had some terrible wing experience as a child, or I was probably just eating them from the chilled section of some unnamed corner shop, where the skin is all wobbly and kind of congealed and a bit…flappy. But I’m over it now and I’m 100 percent ready to try an all you can eat wing place, for the first time. An idea I had previously shunned, but the thought now thrills me.
In terms of the actual ramen, I decided with a heavy heart not to go for the Tonkotsu (my all time favourite) because I was trying to be healthy. Tonkotsu is the super creamy, super fatty but deliciously rich pork bone broth, and in some (very unlike me) act of self denial, I went for the Tantanman 2, which was Chicken mince and pulled chicken, sesame chilli bits, bok choy, beansprouts, egg and noodles. It seemed like the healthy option but Jesus Holy Fuck, it was the most creamy, rich, dense, delicious broth EVER. Each sip of the broth was like being smacked violently in the face with flavour. I doused it in the communal table chilli and felt BLESSED by the melt in your mouth chicken mince which I had honestly never seen on ramen before, but it just worked insanely well, a fantastic idea. Not only was there chicken mince, but a big portion of the pulled chicken too, which was cooked to perfection. Two halves of an egg, would you believe it (and for no extra cost)! A glorious bowl of ramen. 10/10. I was overjoyed that I didn’t go for the Tonkotsu, because I tried my friends and it was akin to drinking a lukewarm dish-bowl of water with the distant echo of a stock cube. Looking back, I feel she may have even been served the wrong ramen, it didn’t taste like any Tonkotsu I had had at ALL. Or perhaps my tastebuds had just ascended to another plane, and any previous ramen taste was just uninstalled from my brain. I didn’t need it anymore, I had the Tantanman 2, and that was all I needed to know now.
That was all I ate, the wings and the ramen. A ramen joint isn’t really the place to mess around and try a bunch of stuff. I mean, unless you’re Molly’s boyfriend and the ramen is just a small tapas style appetiser. I can’t say anything about the service, as the food was brought out and we were just left to it, we honestly didn’t stop talking the whole time we were there, so I am sure the waiters just kinda let us do our thing.
As much as I tend to avoid chain style ramen places (always disappointed), this place slaps. I really hope they don’t get bought out by some private equity thing and turn into a really shitty high street chain that ends up all over the UK. They really know what they’re doing and the price is decent. I mean, it’s the same price as a Wagamamas and they’re just shit. Suddenly had a flashback to being 16 years old in Wagamamas and discovering that my chicken was literally raw in the middle. When I complained to the waiter he was just like ‘ ‘ and never came back. Anyway, another amazing thing about Bone Daddies that I am happy to find out is that they’re on Deliveroo, although not so sure how good ramen is in takeaway style, surely just slops around the back of the dude’s bike and is a bit lukewarm on arrival, but I guess I’ll have to order and find out. Do you think they deliver some hairbands and a garlic crusher as well? Like the worlds most depressing party bag. Either way, it’s a big YES from me.
Bone Daddies, 22 Putney High St, London SW15 1SL