Home News New Bristol noodle restaurant to host pop-up with Cardiff ramen favourite

New Bristol noodle restaurant to host pop-up with Cardiff ramen favourite

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A new Bristol noodle restaurant is teaming up with a top Cardiff pop-up for a special ramen residency in Old Market.

Tomo No Ramen – which means “friend’s ramen” – is collaborating with cult Cardiff pop-up Matsudai Ramen at the former West Street Kitchen site on West Street.

The two ramen businesses will serve simmering bowls of noodles with a core menu initially built around Iekei-inspired Yokohama-style Tonkotsu ramen.

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The plan is to run a weekly changing menu of specials, sides and more. Tomo No Ramen will also be serving up their signature Tomo-ya Dirty Shoyu Ramen, a golden chicken bone soup, with signature dirty shoyu tare, aromatic chicken oil and marinated back fat, house Tokyo-style noodles, smoked coppa chashu, diced shallots, ajitama, spinach, and nori.

The new collaboration is the result of the founders – James Chant (of Matsudai Ramen) and James Stuart (of Tomo No Ramen) – bonding over their mutual love of proper ramen.

Both chefs have previously appeared as guests on the cult podcast Way of Ramen to talk about the growing ramen scene in the UK.

James Stuart of Bristol’s Tomo No Ramen first began experimenting with cooking ramen at home almost a decade ago. Seeing gaps in what was available in the UK, he set out on an adventure to cook his own.

During lockdown, Stuart spent months making and eating ramen multiple times per day, using local ingredients and traditional techniques.

Fuelled by obsessive internet research and exchanges with other ramen obsessives, he began recreating classic styles – and creating new ones.

After multiple sell-out pop-ups at West Street Kitchen and collaborations with great ramen chefs from around the country, he has now quit his full-time job to focus his full attention on Tomo No Ramen.

Matsudai was first launched in 2019 by James Chant, who was disillusioned with his career in the music industry and itching to express his creativity through a new outlet.

He embarked on a series of pop-up events and kitchen takeovers in his home city of Cardiff, keen to see if his hobby for making ramen could ever become something more.

These events culminated in a packed-out six-week residency at a local night café.



Iekei-inspired black side

Throughout lockdown, Matsudai Ramen delivered thousands of freshly prepared DIY ramen kits to customers all over the UK.

Since then, Chant has taken Matsudai Ramen on a UK tour, grown his team to seven staff, and is about to embark on a multi-week kitchen takeover at the BFI in Soho, London.

Of the Bristol pop up, James Chant said: “Bristol is a great city, but previous Matsudai pop-ups here have been far too short and sweet, so I’m really excited to be teaming up with Tomo No Ramen for a longer stint – especially as autumn is upon us, and ramen weather will become the norm.”

Tomo No Ramen’s James Stuart said: “Big thanks are due to the outgoing team from West Street Kitchen for giving us this opportunity. This is a big step forward for Tomo No Ramen, and we hope we can bring something new and delicious to the city.”

The collaborative pop-up between Tomo No Ramen and Matsudai Ramen will be at 55 West Street, Old Market, from November 6. It will be open Weds-Sat, 5.30pm-10pm.

Tables can be booked here

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