A Retro Ramen Bar Has Opened Inside London’s Japanese Food Hall

Alex Landon Alex Landon - Editor


Showaken offers slurpable noodles and throwback vibes.

What with the – ahem – interesting times we’re living in, nostalgia has become an ever more attractive option to cope with the frenetic pace and frequent upheavals of modern life. We love a bit of nostalgia at the best of times, but when it also includes delicious food, you can pretty much guarantee we’ll be the first in line – and happily, that’s exactly the case at 70s-inspired ramen bar Showaken.

Photo: @shoryu_ramen

Now open at food and lifestyle store Japan Centre on Panton Street, Showaken hearkens back to a time before smartphones and street food, and offers a laidback lunch option. Those with a handy knowledge of Japanese will guess at the retro vibes from the name; Showaken denotes the Showa period, which spanned the reign of Japan’s Emperor Hirohito from 1926 to 1989.

Photo: @japancentre

Narrowing it down somewhat, the ramen bar has chosen 70s Tokyo as its inspiration, featuring red tabletops, lanterns, and wall art to evoke the ramen joints of Shitamachi, on the eastern side of Tokyo. It’s being run in collaboration with popular ramen joint Shoryu, who’ve created a menu of authentic Shitamachi ramen, favouring light broths served with char siu BBQ pork belly, Chinese cabbage, and nitamago egg, along with vegetarian and miso-rich Hokkaido ramens.

Photo: @shoryu_ramen

Like the 70s, however, it won’t be sticking around forever; Showaken is a pop-up, albeit one with an unspecified end date. So, if you’re sick of romanticising the past and would rather ramenticise it, pop on down for a bowl sharpish!

Find Showaken at Japan Centre, 35b Panton Street, SW1Y 4EA. Nearest tube is Piccadilly Circus.

Featured image: @japancentre

Also published on Medium.

Food & Drink