I had approached 2017 with a spring in my step and a twinkle in my eye previously dulled by every catastrophe of 2016. 2017 was going to be a good year, with good friends, good times, and of course, some good food and drink
Though starting the year single again, fatter from Christmas and much, much poorer, I felt revived after a delicious, hearty and warming lunch of rich broth and juicy prawns spiked with chilli and ginger at Tangs Noodle Bar on Great Russell Street.
I don’t know what it is about soup, broths, chicken and noodles – but when the weather is rainy, cold and grey, it’s the only thing to put a smile on your face. Tangs captures that restorative vibe better than anyone. Their noodles are light and springy to make the most satisfying slurp, the broth fresh, rich but not think and coating like those of ramen bowls, and my prawns were juicy, big and pink. The whole thing was topped with a winking golden yolked boiled egg halve and crisp onions for a different texture. The hot, sweet, sour and spicy notes worked harmoniously to make me feel a little more human!
Off the starter menu, I enjoyed the beanspout salad (£4.50) which was transformed with a squeeze of lime and the delicious bao buns which are gluten free, springy and delicious to boot! The crisp Korean style fried chicken bao (£4.50) was peppery and crunchy but still juicy when you bit into it. Accompanied by pickles and that homemade chilli sauce, it was easy to forget that right outside the noodle bar out lay London, hustling and bustling by.
The restaurant is a cheerful south Asian canteen style settling, perfect for a satisfying lunch with their bowls priced very reasonably at £8-10 with deals on for bowls and beer. Head chef Chen, takes inspiration from south Asia such as Singapore using the techniques and flavours of centuries with slightly modern twists. I definitely left the restaurant smiling, warm and having slurped noodles on one of my chins following the excesses of the year before and though full, it was the first time since Christmas I’d felt healthy and sated.
The weather is set to be miserable for the next few weeks, but when in need of an imunity and mood boost, at least I know that Tang is a hidden gem just a short walk away from my office.
The damage: starter and main £15
Go for South Asia in a bowl and hungry. I guarantee you’ll struggle to finish a full bowl
Don’t go if you’re wearing a brand new white shirt, expect slurpage