Review of 'Heddon Yokocho'

A personal favourite

It seems so long ago that we were able to go to a restaurant, sit inside and have something to eat. Takeaway and delivery is not quite the same as the experience of being somewhere different, being served and having great, fresh food delivered to the table…no dishes to clean up either!


“Heddon Yokocho” is the first Yokocho (“alleyay” in Japanese) restaurant having been resident in the Ichiba Japanese Food Hall in Westfield London. They had the misfortune of having opened their restaurant in the middle of the pandemic so now, with dining restrictions lifted, they have opened their doors and offered a “reopening” special with all of their ramen (Japanese noodle soup) dishes costing £7 each. I had been wanting to visit ever since I heard of their arrival in the small Heddon Street dining corridor just off of Regent street so £7 ramen was an added incentive. Needless to say, the restaurant was busy both in their outdoor seating area (under an awning) and inside. Despite having booked an outdoor seating for our 7:00 pm Wednesday reservation they happily offered us a table inside beside the bar…thankfully, the weather was not great!


The interior is quite kitch with old Japanese film posters and advertising lining the walls and a red/black colour palate that works quite well, making it feel like what you could imagine a real Japanese noodle house should be like - Cozy, a riot of colour, and a welcoming buzz of conversation. This location also features “Solo Shuchu Booths” (aka “Focus Booths”) that offer a more private dining experience where you have a small, sectioned off part of a counter where your order is delivered from the kitchen straight in front of you.

The menu was a couple of A4 sheets of paper with the cover being an explanation of their COVID measures. The sections are “Eat” (Ramen listed with location/date where it comes from as well as broth ingredients and stewing time, noodle type and ingredients; Hirata Buns; Sides; Roll Sushi), and “Drink & Dessert” (Beer & Cider; Plum Wine; Highballs & Cocktails; Sake including a “Sake Flight” sampler; Shocho, Wine; “Boozeless”; Soft Drinks; a good selection of Tea; Coffee; Desserts including ice cream and mochi). Menu prices are reasonable with their (large) bowls of ramen ranging from £11.90 to £14.50.


We started with “Hakata Tentsunabe Pork Gyoza” (6 pieces, £8.25) from the Sides section of the menu which came with a generous bowl of dipping sauce. These did not have a lot of flavour though the dip was quite tasty. At £8.25 a bit pricey as well but they came fresh to the table from the frying pan.


I availed myself of the fact they had one of my favourite teas, “Genmai” (“from Kyushu” “brown rice and green tea”, £3.80 for a small pot) which was quite tasty if a bit too heavy on the green tea for my liking. Our waitress was also happy enough to top it up with hot water when I started running low.

Tantan Men Ramen

I decided to try something a bit different so picked the “Tantan Men Ramen” (“Tokyo, 1958” “3 hrs - sesame based chicken & pork broth” “hosomen [noodles] thin & straight” “minced pork, menma, pak choi, nitamago egg, chilli oil, jalapeno, bean sprouts”, £14.50). This was marked with a spicy indicator, which it was but too much. Absolutely delicious and unlike any ramen I have had before (and I have had quite a good number) - An almost gravy-like, rich, sesame broth with perfectly al dente noodles and delicious accompaniments. The ground pork simply blended into the creamy broth. My companion tasted some of mine but said she found it so rich she doubted she could eat a whole bowl…Though I did. The vegetables were not overcooked and the egg was still slightly running inside.

The Yokocho Ramen

My companion decided to go for their signature “The Yokocho” ramen (“London, 2020” “3 hrs - soy based chicken & pork broth” “chijire wave [noodles] & medium thickness” “menma, bbq pork belly, spring onion, cabbage, extra pork belly, naruto fish cake, nitamago egg, nori”, £12.90) which she found very tasty indeed though was not so keen on the “naruto fish cake” (not a slight on this dish, just the ingredient). Full flavoured mixed meat broth, the pork belly was tender and delicious, and noodles perfectly cooked.

What is nice here is that you can work your way around Japan trying the different ramen that feature there (much like what I witnessed in the Yokohama Ramen Museum when I visited in 2007, see here for details). Beside the main entrance there is a map where each of the ramen are marked to show you where they come from. A great idea and really shows the diversity of the ramen that are on offer.


Our waitress was really friendly and helpful, taking time to explain things despite being busy, though they didn't really stick around! It did take a few minutes before we received our food (about 10 minutes after ordering) but we were happy to have a look around and enjoy the experience. The bill came to £32.55 for the two of us which included my tea and a wine for my companion as well as the £7 ramen special, without this it would have come to about £46. This price was without service which was nice as we were able to add what we liked when paying.

We really enjoyed our visit and will definitely be back.

Rating: “I have absolutely no complaints”

Review Date: 2021-05-24

Cuisine: Japanese (Noodle Bar)

Address: 8 Heddon St, London W1B 4BU ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE Piccadilly Circus TUBE Oxford Circus

Location: London (England) - Mayfair



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